My last post, Why Blades of Hope? Women Aren’t Accessories, They Just Wear Them, touched on the roles of women in comic books causing me to reflect on a woman’s role as a human being.
A woman’s role as a human being is the same role as everyone else’s, to fulfill certain obligations, it’s simply a matter of whether or not a person decides to follow through. Granted, everyone has their own version as to what one’s role is in life, just like everyone has the ability to decide whether or not they want to commit to that role. And it is with great certainty that the equalization of all people is something everyone should strive for.
With equalization comes honor, with honor comes humility and with humility comes morality. Once all of these are achieved, not only within ourselves but towards our fellow human beings, we all gain a sense of value. All of which I felt needed expression, within female characters, in today’s rapidly growing comic book world.
While scripting Blades of Hope and creating the main characters, I focused first and foremost on the way they act, the way they carry themselves, the way they treat others and the way they handle the struggles that life gives them and the struggles given to those around them. I spent days putting myself into each character’s worldview to tap into their weaknesses and how those weaknesses could eventually translate into strengths. I spent hours submerged in each character’s obstacles in hopes of gaining a better understanding of the emotions and drive that would come from such situations.
Regardless of what I was doing throughout the day, the main characters were always there tagging along in the back of my mind. As I acquainted myself with each, one thought continued to surface, “How can I make these female characters women and girls of honor, self-respect, and inner and outer strength?”
From day one, I decided not to approach writing the graphic novel in a way that was common for comic book readers. I was going to do the opposite and write it specifically for women and girls in mind, particularly those who aren’t (yet) comic book readers.
That being said, I also decided not to approach writing this graphic novel from the typical stance of avid young adult novel readers either.
My approach was based on one thing, the characteristics of honorable people with a focus on independence, intelligence, emotion, empathy and love for our fellow human beings instead of the love found in a love triangle.
The lead characters in Blades of Hope are all strong female characters who fight for the greater good and justice just like you would find in any superhero comic book. What sets them apart from average super heroes (aside from their clothing and humility) is the realism that is woven throughout this apocalyptic fantasy creating a deeper personal connection with the reader rather than only the standard “good vs. evil” comic book issue at hand.
Blades of Hope is a journey where the main character walks beside you through the story, from a narrative perspective, allowing the reader to see and feel her weaknesses and motivation yet at the same time watch her exhibit her resilience and her desire in helping others grow.
Though Blades of Hope is a character driven novel, it’s safe to say that action and fantasy, through well-developed martial arts, play an equal role in the development and drive of both the story and it’s characters. One can even conclude that the book itself is honoring the skills and talents of any devoted martial artist.
Bottom line, whether you are male or female, Blades of Hope is a martial arts journey about the growth of struggling characters and how they fight to balance their honor in times of darkness.