Over at Tor.com, Katherine Addison (the new writing identity of Sarah Monette) discusses the Coming of Age trope, and mentions how often it is assumed that the default hero of such a story will be male – stories traditionally tell us that when girls become women, their “story ends” when they get married, while men get to transition into kings, heroes, magicians, etc. She also notes the general assumption that a Coming of Age story will be about the transition between childhood and adulthood, even though there are other points in people’s lives when a growing up/transition/levelling up story is relevant.
There are some great developments of some of Addison’s ideas in the comments, especially the first one by Dr Cox, which quotes Laura Ingalls Wilder:
Around the time of WWI, Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote in Our Darling Daughters that before her marriage, her dreams ended with the marriage and that “when a girl was successfully married there would be nothing in her life afterward worth making a story about” but that “Greatly to my surprise, I found that with my marriage the story had hardly begun and since then I have found life daily more engrossing and worth while as I have watched and experienced the changes in the life and ideas of women” (from A Little House Reader, ed. William Anderson).
This is so completely relevant to the post I’ve been burning to make about the kids fantasy TV series Yonderland, that I knew I had to write it RIGHT NOW OKAY. So here we are.