Sometimes there’s a topic I’ve wanted to discuss with you for ages and before I work out how to write it up, someone else beats me to it and does a far better job. Miss L’s Handy Guide for Filmmakers is the perfect example.
Folks, not all women are sex workers, we’re not always naked (you might be shocked to learn this, but there’s a whole global industry devoted to designing and manufacturing uncomfortable clothes without pockets for us!), and when we die, our corpses may be grotesque, pitiful, or disgusting, but they’re rarely sexy.
Alas, you wouldn’t know any of this if you had only learned about “women” from watching film and TV.
All of which is to say, if you write for film or television, there’s a huge, gaping, demeaning, dehumanizing reality gap in the way women are portrayed. And there’s a great opportunity for you as a writer to do a better job of writing women.
“How on earth would you go about that?” you ask. Good news: the fabulous Miss L has put together a flow chart to guide you through how to do a better job of writing women.
Run your script against this test. If is fails, you have work to do.
PS Lest you think Miss L is exaggerating about the representation of women in film in any way , follow her on Twitter as @ProResting or check out her Tumblr Casting Call Woe where she shares real casting calls from real casting websites. After which you may want to rinse your eyes with Lysol–and then sit down and write something better.