The Gender Dillemma

I’ve written before about how I feel comfortable writing female characters. I said I thought it might have something to do with having been brought up without significant male role models. In this interesting article the author points out that, if you worry about writing from the point of view of someone of the opposite gender to your own you are mistaking stereotypes for characters.

I am pleased that most of those who have read my book Transgression (you can purchase it by clicking the image on the right) have praised the characterization. The Irish author and playwright John MacKenna said my “characters came alive”. I could not have hoped for better praise than that.

Here are the opening paragraphs of Harrison Demcheck’s post. If you want more, click the ‘read more’ link.

Neither all men nor all women are written equal.

It’s inevitable: Some women struggle at writing male characters. Some men struggle at writing female characters. We’ve all seen it in one novel or another. I know I have, although of course, as a developmental editor, at some point I see almost everything. And because I do this for a living, one of the questions I receive is how—that is, how do I write a woman? How do I write a man? What should I do differently?

Moving beyond our own personal experiences into the head of another character—someone who is not us—is one of the trickiest parts of writing fiction. It’s also one of the most essential parts. And when it comes to writing the opposite gender, there are a few important ideas to keep in mind.

Read more

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