Writing Females

Many people have talked about writing females and now you can add me to the list. Writing females isn’t very difficult, but it requires the same skills that writing a male character. The key thing one should remember is that a female character is like any other character.

Females Aren’t That Different
The main misconception that people seem to have is that females are so entirely different than males that a male could never write one. I would beg to differ. Sure, there are some differences between males and females. However, each indiviual purson ranges the gamut, thus there are some males in our world that would behave more like females would behave and react and vice versa. Whether a character is male or female shouldn’t be the major factor in whether you decide to write a character or not. It’s their personality that should be the most important.

There Are Some Differences
To pretend that there is absolutely nothing that separates a male from a female. Thee are some things and while they are less than mot people like to admit, some things are generally found specific to each gender. However, if your observational skills are good enough to successfully write one gender, then you can have the skills to write another gender. Stereotypes exist because a segment of the population fit that description at some point in time. Often with stereotypes, they are not properly representative of the group as a whole. Even worse, many stereotypes are incredibly dated. Most women actually work now, even if it isn’t absolutely necessary for their families survival. Heck women aren’t ostracized any more if they don’t marry. Society has changed and women have changed along with it. The most important thing that has occurred is the bridging of the gap of differences. Now more than ever the gulf of differences

While some people may proclaim that they already see the differences, soetimes their observations are being colored by their opinions. Just like writing any character the key is observation and seeing how people would react to certain things. Most times people will come at a situation because of the life they’ve led and the influences they’ve been exposed to. If you observe how these different people, regardless of gender, act a better character can be created.

Mini-Rant
I’m tired of seeing female characters being brushed under the rug or relegated to specific genres. Things have been improving over time. In fact, female representation has gotten a lot better. However, that doesn’t mean that females aren’t still underdeveloped and objectified. Rather than being proper characters, sometimes they are just props manipulated. While, this is changing I’d love to continue to see more strong female characters that are characters first and women secondary.

Do you have trouble writing a particular gender?

4 thoughts on “Writing Females

  1. I’ve actually spent a lot of time writing male characters, and female characters only more recently. Kind of a betrayer of my gender, I guess…I don’t really feel a connection with many females, both in my life and as characters. I do find it interesting to think of “typical male roles” and just go “nah” and reverse it.

    One thing that REALLY bugs me about female characters (regardless of genre) is that frequently they’ll be set up/introduced as smart, strong, capable women….and then the rest of the work is dedicated to undermining everything about them and knocking them off their pedestal. I feel like I see it with Joss Whedon’s characters a lot, beloved though there are., and it makes me sad. Sure, we all have our breaking point, but every story doesn’t need to be about somebody’s breaking point.

    • Bah, betrayer of gender Nah. 75% of my novels have female MCs, but I’d say 80% of my characters are males. You’re not alone. I just hate when people make females flat caricatures rather than people.

      I completely agree about the trend of knocking down strong female characters. I think part of the issue is people think the only way female characters can be interesting if they are intelligent and strong, but I don’t believe that’s true.

      • I think characters should resemble real people as closely as possible (though sometimes “too real” is boring, I hear?). Not every person in the world, or even every person I know, is “strong”. Or, they have different strengths, like comparing Scarlett and Melly in Gone With the Wind.

  2. I swear every time I come across this topic I’m confused. I mean, I have male dominated books on my bookshelf and I have never felt like the women in these books were pointless or flat or uninteresting or whatever. I know the thought has to have crossed my mind at some point…that a character was pointless or flat or not handled well. I guess that’s where I place the blame…on poor writing…assuming it’s not intentional. I guess I don’t notice it often enough for it to bother me. Or maybe it just doesn’t bother me in general.

    About 90% of my MCs are female. The other 10% account for dual POV with a male and female. I have had male dominated casts and female dominated casts, but things tend to be pretty balanced in general. I have never thought about this. I just have what I need. Most of the books I read are that way, too. They have the characters they need to tell the story. I know this has to be a real issue because people keep talking about it, but I have honestly never noticed it. At least not in the capacity where I’m still thinking about it the next day.

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