My personal caveat: women are as guilty of writing the non-complex woman as men are. Often including the writing of their own lives.
I think it’s necessary to prioritize non-traumatic events as much as traumatic. (Of course, trauma’s easy to pick on because our contemporary storytelling casually uses psychological language more than it has in the past.) I might add that it’s important (for me) to value a non-Event as much an Event.
Personal failure, discrepancy, lack of memory or unorganized memory, unattractiveness and unattraction — these should matter as much as their opposites.
How I act upon myself is more interesting (and honest) than how others act upon me.
Let some characters be unsexy […] Let women be heroes for the sake of heroism. Women don’t have to be damaged or traumatized to be strong, or to want to make a difference. Corollary: Dropping rape into a backstory is not a panacea for making a female character complex and gritty […]
Write women you’d get in arguments with. Write women you’d be legitimately scared of […] A lot of the time, male characters act, and female characters are acted upon. Let female characters make difficult choices — and sometimes choose wrong — and have struggles and the same real victories.