Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Bechdel Test

I was recently reminded of the Bechdel Test. For those unfamiliar with it, it's a very simple test. In order to pass, the book/movie/episode/whatever must have: 1) Two female characters 2) who talk to each other, 3) about something besides a man. It's worth noting that this has no connection whatsoever with whether or not a story is any good; the latest remake of Journey To The Center Of The Earth (the one with Brendan Frasier) is quite an enjoyable film, and utterly fails this test - on requirement 2 - but that's because the whole setup involves isolating the three main characters, of whom two are male.

I like to think that the stuff I write generally passes this test. That's not because I actually try, it's just that my characters tend to have bigger problems on their plates. And a bit of re-reading with this in mind might actually surprise me - I may not do this as well as I like to think. Genre makes a big difference, too - in a romance novel, for example, you'd pretty much expect to see the characters discussing relationships most of the time.

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