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Topic: I'm a guy who can only write about female characters...

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Subject: I'm a guy who can only write about female characters...
Date Posted: 8/1/2009 5:10 AM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2009
Posts: 169
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I suppose it's one of my limits as a writer. I've never had any interest in a man's point of view. The only thing that stirs me to write are the thoughts and reactions from a woman's perspective in a given scene.  To dwell on her insecurities, or maybe look in on some unspeakable desire. These are the only things that seem to matter to me, but can you see how that could get stale after awhile?

Does anyone else have similar "limits" in theme? Maybe the other way around?

Date Posted: 8/2/2009 1:30 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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I think it's great for men to write female characters; there are certainly plenty of women writing male characters. As a child I was always disappointed in the paucity of strong female characters in my favorite novels.

 

All I ask is that if you are going to write women, don't follow Jack Nicholson's dictum in As Good as it Gets: "I think about a man, then I take away all reason and accountability." Please, make your women real people, with hopes and dreams, strengths and weaknesses just like anyone else!

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 1:13 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2009
Posts: 151
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Phoenix! You beat me to that quote! haha. :)

I have to say my limits are I can't right about real life. I have to have magic or some kind of magical world. I can't write the real world. I can't think of anything interesting! lol.

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 2:52 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2008
Posts: 123
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Heidi: Have you ever tried looking at the world and trying to portray it magically?

Date Posted: 8/8/2009 1:29 AM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16
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I know what you're saying.  For me I know I would always have to write from a woman's perspective, just because I have no idea where to begin with a man's perspective.  Ironically, most of the fiction that I love to read is from a man's perspective though (Bukowski, Kerouac, etc.) 

Date Posted: 8/8/2009 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 1,640
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I am a woman and half of my stories are written from the male perspective. I've always hung around guys, as a kid and now.  I have a harder time writing from a female perspective for some reason.

Date Posted: 8/13/2009 5:40 AM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2009
Posts: 1
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I don't see your tendency as a weakness, but be mindful in keeping the females both unique and realistic.  Though I am a fan of Pat Conroy's books, he portrays most every female as physically ideal - and therefore boring, in my opinion.  Dan Brown takes the same route a step further; his female characters are stunningly beauiful, exceptionally brilliant, exceedingly admired and adored. Sometimes they've also mastered desireable, impressive talents as well.  But I think most people would agree that a female character's quirks and vices can effectively draw interest and connectivity from readers.  As your female perspective centers on less attractive qualities, your work should be safe from glorifying all things womanly.  Just remember to at least hint that insecurity and masked desire can exist in combination with power, bravery and pride. 

Date Posted: 9/9/2009 8:27 AM ET
Member Since: 5/26/2009
Posts: 32
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i don't usually have a problems making either sex characters. when i'm a having a character block my male character seem to take the blunt with some books and sometimes its my females.

 

i usually have a better persepition from my females, but when i get in the right mind set i can write through my male's mind.

Subject: Maybe you should try..
Date Posted: 9/11/2009 5:02 AM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2009
Posts: 2
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Picturing the male character as yourself and making the character everything you ever wanted to be... I do that when I write my female characters.

 

Kate

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 9/12/2009 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I write from both male and female perspectives...I often think I do better from a woman's perspective, since it gives a little more distance from the character.

Or I could be delusional.



Last Edited on: 9/12/09 9:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/25/2009 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 9/10/2009
Posts: 20
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I'm female and I can write from the female perspective, but I'm just way more interested in writing from the male perspective. I have stronger feelings in that direction. I find men fascinating because there is so much about them that I just can't relate to. I can totally sympathize on an intellectual level. But I watch the men in my life make decisions, relate to each other, relate to the women in their lives...and it's just so foreign and fascinating to me. I think that makes my male characters more interesting than my female ones.

Date Posted: 10/12/2009 12:10 AM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2009
Posts: 4
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Jesse: I am not sure how to address your problem aside from saying that you should practice writing from a male perspective, or as yourself. I know I had to do that the other way around. I often write from both perspectives and love switching back and forth between genders. I think one of the ways I became comfortable with doing that, is by roleplaying on the Gaia forums... [For those of you who don't know, it's an extremely nerdy site that is fast rising in popularity.] It helps to step back from your comfort zone and just rush headlong into the things that you find to be your weaknesses, I often do in real life too and not just for my stories.

One of my insecurities in writing, is physical descriptions. I don't like doing them, and usually ignore trying to physically describe my characters because I feel that it's all been said before about a character, if ou've thought of a physical description it's already somewhere in a book. It bothers me, but I don't know what I can do about it. Take St. Mary's Home for the Mentally Disturbed as an example, I never once say what build or height, eye or hair colour, straight teeth or not that most of the characters have. Maggie is the only one I got close to describing, aside from the shadow Sid. Sid was in full detail only because it would be hard to feel the moment properly without it, but somehow I know that I didn't quite describe him right either....

Look at me babbling along... Ah, well. That's what I do.



Last Edited on: 10/12/09 12:11 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/12/2009 11:49 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Not so much gender issues. I too role played for many years and ran storylines for others for another few years (which is how I worked out I could write..LOL), so switching between characters and genders becomes easier now. 
I would recommend any writer try it.
There are some sites out there that are good. IF you are into vampires, mages, werewolves, shape shifters or people living in a city full of supernatural creatures, try going to the White Wolf chats.

My main issue is, I do not wish to know the ending..LOL I am like that when reading and watching movies, if I can work out the ending in the first half of the movie then I will stop paying attention.  Even writing I hate knowing the ending and I do not think too much about the details of it. Just a vauge idea of what is going to happen. IE I wrote a mystery, I knew the girl would make it out alive, that bad stuff happened to her but not the details until I wrote it. Writing fantasy that is not so much an issue but with mystery you do need to research certain things..LOL

Date Posted: 10/12/2009 1:49 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2009
Posts: 4
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Xengab: I agree with the knowledge of endings. I find that if I know exactly how I am going to write the story, details of beginning middle and end, I cannot bring myself to write it. Once I know how it works, I feel there is no point in continuing to write the story down.



Last Edited on: 10/26/09 5:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/25/2009 10:09 PM ET
Member Since: 11/27/2007
Posts: 126
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My thing is, I'm a female who purposefully tries to write about primarily male characters, cause I'm afraid if I write a lot about a female, I'm just going to make her too much like myself. Or too idealized or something. With men, it's easier for me to think of full characters that are people in their own right, rather than just transplanting myself onto the page. While fun, that's not what I'm going for!

Subject: The foriegn sex and description
Date Posted: 1/10/2010 4:01 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2009
Posts: 4
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I really like what ABby said about men being foriegn. To me that is what makes it worthwhile. I want to empathise with men, women,blue collar, white collar.

I am a liberal and the character I am writing is a conservative gun rights christian. It is not farcical. I respect this person and her perspective which is so foreign to my own. The greatest conversation I ever had was with an Afrikanner who had recently immagrarated to the United States. I would really love to write her.

Misa Misa mentioned desctription. I think this is a major failing of mine. Has anyone considered writing a story complete and then teaming up with another writer for the description. I am a completely non visual person. Pictures mean so little to me that I am not sure I can develop that trait.

Date Posted: 1/13/2010 11:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2009
Posts: 4
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Emily, you make the famle characters like yourself? You must be really well adjusted. I personally do not like myself enough to spend that much time with me. I like my characters even the bad ones immensely. Also the bad shit that happened in my life is something I would never want to dwell on so a character based on me would be either superficial or painful.