I’m bothered by the shamefully small amount of female characters in my story. I know I technically shouldn’t think in terms of representation (I don’t want to end up creating token characters), but I’m someone who is very vocal about the importance of diversity in fiction and yet…here I am. Nine…
I couldn’t fit all of my words into a reply box, aha, forgive me, Spes!
You know, you definitely aren’t alone. I know lots of writers who have difficulty with female characters and getting invested in them, but if I may speak from the other side of the fence, a moment, as someone who is SWARMING with female characters…
I don’t think you should force yourself into focusing more on the females in your cast, or beat yourself up for not featuring them more prominently. The world needs more interesting, dynamic female characters, with strong plotlines and important story contributions! But, if you, as the author, do not find a character to be interesting, or dynamic, or that they can contribute meaningfully to the story… then it won’t read that way to an audience, either, no matter how much you try.
Maybe do a bit of workshop with your ladies, if you can. Find out what it is about them that you DO, and DON’T like… what are their qualities and what are their flaws? What do you relate to, and what totally mystifies you about them? If you can pull something from them that really draws you in - for better or for worse - it will give you a good jump off point and something to zoom in on that allows you to be interested in their development. Genuine interest is key!
As always, I’m just the peanut gallery, but this is a topic very near and dear to me, and I hope this maybe helps, at least a bit.