Behind the Scenes 3 - YA Fantasy Showdown

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Gravity by Vienna Teng.

Simon (The Mortal Instruments)
Ender (Ender's Game)
Moriboto (Moriboto)
Maximum Ride (Maximum Ride)
Rose Hathaway (Vampire Academy)
Tobias (Animporph's series)

These are just a few of the names being thrown around among the characters we've "forgotten" to include in this YA Fantasy Showdown. So why didn't your favorite character X not make it into the tournament?

Well, for a couple reasons, most likely.

Equality - Keeping everything even between boys and girls was a challenge in its own right. There are a ton of awesome, strong female characters that are necessarily fighters. I'm thinking of Dashti from Shannon Hale's Book of a Thousand Days (or Miri from Princess Academy), Ella from Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted, Sophie from Diana Wynne Jones' Howl's Moving Castle, or Mitsuko from Kara Dalkey's Little Sister.

There was also the problem with them being in the same series as another competitor. Such was the case with Lirael (from the Abhorsen Chronicles) or Yelena (from Maria Snyder's Study books) who otherwise would have most assuredly been in. So, besides having to be a fighter, there were a ton of great male characters that had to be looked over because we wanted it to be even.

Variety - Besides being gender equal, we wanted to make it as diverse as a group as possible. Because really, fantasy is all about the possibility, and for the life of my I have no idea why it is so hard to find the kind of diversity that exists our world in a fantasy setting. Did you know that Eugenides has dark skin? Same with Ged? Eona, Ai Ling, and Goranu are all Asian (the two former being an AU Chinese and Goranu being Japanese). Even our dear Katniss is described as having olive skin and black hair. In fantasy, anything is possible, and we wanted to show that meant anyone can be a hero as well.

This variety also pertained to showing just how diverse fantasy can be. We wanted to include sci-fi, traditional sword and sorcery, magic, non-magic, old school, new releases. We wanted to cover the gamut of just how cool this genre is.

Not Fantasy - Nothing personal. They probably would have died half a minute into the battle, if that. Think the opening of the Hunger Games with the cornucopia. Just like with the freakishly awesome girl characters not represented, it goes back characters that could survive a battle. Some of my well loved characters in fantasy, Like Jonah from The Giver, are not on here because, well, they'd have a target painted on their head.

I'm sure there's a few more, but gotta run so I can check up on the stats and you know, start writing the next round soon. Yipee! :) (and no, there is no way anyone is seeing a picture of me until at least a week after this thing is over. I have such dark bags under my eyes I look like the creature from the black lagoon, and it's a miracle I'm not stuttering when I talk). More behind-the-scenes coming soon!



I'm embarrassed to say I don't know who most of these characters are. Am I lame or what, but I'll vote for the ones I know. You're sick (to use my teenage son's lingo) to do this!


Katie said...

I was kinda sad to see no HP characters, but it seems like you've really planned this out, so I trust your judgment. ;)

Anonymous said...

Question: What about the Warriors series? There are very... unique characters, and who wouldn't want to see a cat smacking down a dragon? (yes, I'm talking about Saphira)

Tara said...

Thank you for doing this. It rocks. And I love that the authors are watching the results closely also!


Is that Gravity by Vienna Teng the same as the Gravity by Sara Barielles? I love your profile. Don't ever lose your love for life!



Nope not the same Gravity, but same theme, same haunting quality. Try hers after all this is over.