When writing Heartshire High, one of my goals was to make sure the book passed the Bechdel test. Increasingly appearing in mainstream conversation, this test requires are that two or more female characters must hold a conversation where the topic of conversation is not men. Seems easy and obvious at first, right? It seems like every work of art would pass it? You might be surprised.
The next time you watch a movie , stream a TV show on Netflix, or read a book, take note. When two women are talking to one another and no men are involved in the conversation, what are they talking about?
As a teenage girl myself, I felt it important that readers, especially my fellow girls, be able to connect with the characters and see a proper representation of interactions when it comes to life in high school.
Completing this test also ended up benefitting the book in ways I had no expected. I was able to expand the dimensions of the different individuals to a greater extent, as there were no restrictions when it came to certain stereotypes commonly used. The characters seemed to come to life on their own as their varied conversations helped expand their personalities. YA novels always have a love story thrown in, and it was such a relief to read one that didn't, even if I had to write it myself.
I recommend all authors take the Bechdel test into account when writing as I feel it will impact both the writing process of the story and later the audience in an extremely positive way. And, in case you didn't know, sometimes in real life girls talk about things other than boys.
I'm a high school senior who loves to read, write, read about writing, and write about reading. My first novel, Heartshire High, is out now!