More Data Points

YAHeroineInfographic-Large4As longtime readers know, I’m always interested in efforts to quantify the messy business of writing, and to establish as many data points as possible.  This graphic, from, is concerned with movies (obviously), but for the most part we’re talking about things that were books first. As usual with this sort of thing, you can tell as much from the differences as the similarities.

Is it more interesting, for example, that all of these heroines are white and mainly have poor self esteem, or is the wider spread in the number of siblings and parents they have a more intriguing point?  It is tempting, of course, to ascribe the similarities to the authors (I think, at least as far as the books go, that all these authors are white, and we can probably assume they are all shy, with low self-esteem, they being writers and all).

Plain old marketability probably has a lot to do with it, though.  I’m guessing, after all, that half the authors weren’t raised by single parents in small towns (then again, if those traits are marketable in a main character, they most be only sort of marketable since so many authors don’t bother).

The real question, assuming the traits of YA heroines has a lot to do with marketing, is, is all that similarity really necessary, or is there an audience out there clamoring for a more diverse band of heroes?  Or, for that matter, is this chart full of cherry-picked data?  Perhaps someone more versed in the YA scene can point out a boisterous, confident, red-headed YA heroine.

meridaOh, hang on, how about Merida?  Shoot, not a book.  Never mind.



~ by smwilliams on February 26, 2013.