anthimeria: Comic book panels (Sequential Art)
[personal profile] anthimeria posting in [community profile] writers
Do we still need First Girl Ever stories?

In the real world, these stories happen and are still happening, but we've been telling them for several decades--the Song of the Lioness quartet (Alanna), by Tamora Pierce, came out in the eighties, and I've read opinions that this trope is "tired and overused."  (To be clear, this isn't the only place I've read/heard that, Brennan is just very clear.)

While I definitely agree with Brennan in the article linked above, that I would love to see more Second Girl Ever stories, I'm wondering if there's still a need for the First Girl Ever story.  Is it still important?  There are girls making huge strides in male-dominated fields today, but as Brennan points out, they're largely in "field[s] that, while not exclusively male, [are] still heavily skewed that way."  Which makes the Second Girl Ever story all the more important.

So what do you think?  Is the First Girl Ever story tired and overused?  Or an important story that needs to be told, no matter how many times we've already said it?


(Crossposted, since I'm hoping to get as many opinions as possible.)

(no subject)

Date: 2012-09-14 10:34 am (UTC)
maverickz3r0: trainer riding a flygon in a sandstorm (Default)
From: [personal profile] maverickz3r0
Firstly: I love Marie Brennan, she's an excellent writer, so I know it's coming from a good source.

Secondly: I would love to see new spins on old tropes, but I think we really do need more new things in fantasy. Second Girl Ever (whether it's just one Second Girl or a group of them) needs to be done more, absolutely. I can understand the appeal for writers to want their main character to be the First, the Special One, the Hero, the Legend. But there's all kinds of unexplored ground in the intrigue that follows that sort of thing. Now that the idea's come up, yeah, the idea of a Second Girl Ever or even the next generation of girls who decide they can do this now would be fantastic.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-09-16 08:20 am (UTC)
ninety6tears: Kotetsu & Barnaby (shoes) (trek: SFS)
From: [personal profile] ninety6tears
I think there are ways to do a spin on the trope. Maybe she is the first girl ever to do a thing, but there are actually other remarkable things about her that people remark on first and while we can assume she's gotten the women-don't-do-that trouble at some point, it's just not part of the story and adds to the character without feeling redundant. Or she's supposedly the first girl ever until you find out she might not be because this other girl did it too and just wasn't given any credit for some possibly interesting reason. Or First Girls Ever rather than just one girl, if this hasn't been done a lot.

It's interesting to consider the question when you're looking at historically set works, because while you're choosing any time in the history (whether it's our world or a fictional world) you're obviously free to start at the big milestones, but we're also free to have the bias of what we're able to relate to because of what's going on right now. I'm not tired of the trope yet and I do think it has a unique impact that is different from what would be achieved by the Second Girl wave. I think we need both, I guess.

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