Does Your Novel Pass the Bechdel Test?

Posted on INK OUT LOUD.

Some thoughts about the Bechdel Test, and why most of my work doesn’t pass.

Does your novel pass the Bechdel Test?

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YES. SO MUCH YES TO THIS. So much no to Russell Crowe ruining Javert for me, but the rest of it’s going to be brilliant.

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Just found out this got picked to be Freshly Pressed! Look for it in the next few days. Flattered and excited.

Originally posted on InkOutLoud:

For those of you who are here strictly for the writing tidbits, I promise they’re in this post. Don’t let the first part fool you.


Saying that you’re an overachiever often feels a bit like a humble brag.

Sometimes it is, but sometimes it’s honestly a problem. It’s a crippling desire to succeed, at the expense of all that is good in the world.

My name is Melanie Rio, and I’m an overachiever.

Personally I sort of blame my parents for instilling in me the desire for perfection from a very young age. Once upon a time when I was in fifth grade, I told my mother I got a 95% on a test. I was pretty pleased with that until she said, “Well, maybe if you had studied it would have been a hundred.”

Before you judge my mom (whom I love dearly) too harshly, let me say…

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This is an incredibly refreshing thing to see on the internet. Well said, articulate and thought-provoking – and without a hint of name-calling. I don’t agree with every facet, but my hat is still off to you, sir.

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Amen. That’s all I can say about this.

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NaNo’s right around the corner. Thoughts for the two-day countdown.

Originally posted on InkOutLoud:

In the last few days, there’s been a lot of talk about the Mary Sue Litmus Test flying around on the NaNo forums.

If you have no idea what that is, that’s okay, but you should educate yourself because it’s an interesting concept.

The Mary Sue idea in the field of modern literary criticism identifies idealized or hackneyed characters which are more functional as fantasy fulfillment for the author (or readers) than as realistic presentations of actual people. Basically, a Mary Sue is a character written in such a way that he/she is too perfect to be real. A few notable examples are Nancy Drew, Wesley Crusher, and anybody from the Twilight series.

So, in the wonderful world of fiction, how does one avoid this? As an author you’re always walking a thin line between a character that’s likable and a character who’s too likable (yes, you can write a…

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In defense of being a ‘writing elitist,’ and why nobody should strive to write 50,000 words of crap in a month.

Originally posted on InkOutLoud:

I want to kick off this post by saying that there is absolutely nothing wrong with writing a novel just for fun, with no intention of ever getting it published – or anyone else even seeing it.

However, lately I’ve been a bit bothered by the all-too-cavalier attitude with which a lot of people approach this crazy thing called NaNoWriMo – including the people who organize it.

Quite a few people in the ‘legitimate’ literary community (i.e., people who take writing seriously outside of NaNo) have condemned the whole conglomerate that is NaNoWriMo to the deepest circle of Hell – and not entirely without justification. Here are just a few reasons to hate NaNoWriMo:

  1. Every December, agents and publishing houses get flooded with terrible, terrible manuscripts that have not been thoroughly edited (sometimes they haven’t been edited at all) and are nowhere near up to the industry’s expected standards.
  2. National Novel…

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This was an exciting post to write – I just finished my next novel! Which means I’m all set to start (erk, finish actually) outlining for November. Here are a few thoughts about that euphoric feeling of actually crossing the finish line on a WIP.

Originally posted on InkOutLoud:

Ladies and gentlemen, today I have (a) something exciting to say and (b) an excuse for why I’ve just been re-blogging stuff this week.

(A) and (b) are one and the same. Tonight, I finished my work in progress. Or, work-no-longer-in-progress, as I guess I have to call it now. Semantics aside, I finished another novel!

I’m going to start by saying that it feels pretty awesome.

Now that that’s out of the way, let me explain how this came about.

In the past ten days, I have written a little over 36,000 words. That’s an average of about 3,600 words a day (obviously). There are three real reasons for this unprecedented productivity:

  1. I got to the super-exciting part of my story and couldn’t stop writing.
  2. I wanted to finish this thing and leave myself enough time to finish plotting for NaNovember.
  3. Today is my mother’s birthday.

The third one…

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This is all very well said and pretty much exactly what I’ve been trying to articulate to my Apple-zombie friends for a few years. Way to go.

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Originally posted on InkOutLoud:

A little while back, I did a post about what makes an ideal writing environment – and I promised to, eventually, talk about materials.

Ain’t no time like the present.

It’s officially October. My favorite month. Why? Well, it includes a lot of things I love. My birthday, my mom’s birthday, Halloween (best holiday of all time) and the first real days of fall. Oh, it’s also NaNoPlanMo. October is NaNo warm-up month, when those people who actually plot their novels sit down to do just that.

This year, for me, is a little bit different. I’m still plotting my NaNo novel (much more meticulously than I did last year, for a variety of reasons), but I’m also trying finish my current WIP before NaNo hits. So. I’m at about 55K right now. I’d like to finish somewhere between 80 and 100. However, I also want to get back into…

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