Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Writing Different Sexes

No, this isn't a kinky post.

What I'm talking about is when women write male characters or men write female characters. Sometimes it can be tough to get it right.

I love this article by Rob Preece, titled Women Are from Venus; Men Are Annoying. He raises some very important points, including:
I do think that a good writer, of whatever sex, must be able to create convincing characters of both sexes—characters who are recognizably male or female every time they open their mouths, every time the author dips into their internal dialog. Yet, if you read some romance, you’ll come across male characters who just aren’t convincing. Certainly in romance, we aren’t looking for completely realistic male characters (most readers are women who already have an all-too-realistic male in their lives).
Rob goes on to provide some things to watch out for when women are writing about men. It was certainly something I considered when I decided to write Torn Canvas, which is mostly from Jori's point of view. You can see what those cautions are by reading the entire post here. It's definitely worth the time.

The following video is also a very visual (and hilarious) presentation on how differently men's and women's brains work. When we understand that, I believe it makes it easier to keep this in mind as we write our characters. Seriously, there was one point where I almost wrote "Jori went to his nothing box." The video is a little long (13 min) but it's well worth it.

I especially like the section toward the end of the video where he talks about some of the things that can irritate us in our interactions with with close members of the opposite sex. So now, rather than being irritated at my husband when he offers suggestion to fix a problem I'm venting about (and not asking for suggestions to fix the problem), I realize he's trying to give me his very best solution for when he has challenges.

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