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ReflectiveAcuity
12-17-2011, 08:45 PM
I’ll probably catch hell for this post, but I am interested in knowing if others have an opinion. I just completed reading a novel by a female author (though I keep saying I would not anymore and end up picking up another one again), and once again I saw many of the same tendencies that women writers seem to have. The main question here is:

Is there an obvious difference in the writing style of male and female authors of fiction? – I would say, yes.

It seems to me that women put way too much emphasis on love relationships, intimacy and sex (and I’m not referring to romance novels; it could be a book about basket-weaving, or anything). For instance, a male writer would have a couple getting into the sack and in the very next sentence they are having breakfast, whereas a female writer seems to add an exorbitant amount of unnecessary detail—often an entire page or two—of what takes place in the bed. Also, it seems to me that many women writers don’t create dialogue between characters in the way that people actually speak, with one character often—far too often—referring to the other by name. For example:

(A phone rings)
“Mary, please answer the phone.”
“No, John, I’d rather not.”
“You should, Mary, it might be important.”
“But, John, I’m busy doing my hair.”
“Fine, Mary, I’ll get it. But you need to hurry, Mary, or we’ll be late.”
“I know, John.”

People just don’t talk like that, calling the other by name so often when speaking, and it drives me batty every time I see it.


~RA~

thebloodfiend
12-17-2011, 09:20 PM
I’ll probably catch hell for this post, but I am interested in knowing if others have an opinion. I just completed reading a novel by a female author (though I keep saying I would not anymore and end up picking up another one again), and once again I saw many of the same tendencies that women writers seem to have. The main question here is:

Are you saying that you'll never pick up another book by a female writer, or a particular female writer?


It seems to me that women put way too much emphasis on love relationships, intimacy and sex (and I’m not referring to romance novels; it could be a book about basket-weaving, or anything). For instance, a male writer would have a couple getting into the sack and in the very next sentence they are having breakfast, whereas a female writer seems to add an exorbitant amount of unnecessary detail—often an entire page or two—of what takes place in the bed. Also, it seems to me that many women writers don’t create dialogue between characters in the way that people actually speak, with one character often—far too often—referring to the other by name. For example:

Read more. For every example you've given, I can name a lot of male authors who do the exact same thing.



(A phone rings)
“Mary, please answer the phone.”
“No, John, I’d rather not.”
“You should, Mary, it might be important.”
“But, John, I’m busy doing my hair.”
“Fine, Mary, I’ll get it. But you need to hurry, Mary, or we’ll be late.”
“I know, John.”

People just don’t talk like that, calling the other by name so often when speaking, and it drives me batty every time I see it.What you've described here is a technique that comic book writers love to use, albeit, you've exaggerated it. Guess what? The majority of comic book writers are male.

Television writers also love this technique. The majority of television writers are male.

Screenwriters favor this technique as well. Lo and behold, the majority of screenwriters are male.

Have you noticed that a lot of television shows, movies, and comic books put too much emphasis on love, sex, and intimacy? It's not because they have female writers on the cast.

You've listed generalities without examples. This is bad writing, which isn't limited to any gender.

Jersey Chick
12-17-2011, 09:21 PM
I'm curious to see how this plays out - because I doubt it's going to go well at all. Generalizations rarely do.

Williebee
12-17-2011, 09:30 PM
I'm curious to see how this plays out - because I doubt it's going to go well at all. Generalizations rarely do.

Umm. Yeah.

Instead of the weak generalizations, maybe come back with some specific examples? Also, more specifics re: genre.

My bet is that genre defines that content moreso than the sex of the author (at least in successful books.)

Pearl S. Buck and VC Andrews (the original, not the factory version) come to mind, at the moment.

Williebee
12-17-2011, 09:33 PM
MOD Note:

In the meantime, since this hasn't to do with a specific book, I'm going to port it over to the Roundtable.

Mind your drinks. Move in progress.

virtue_summer
12-17-2011, 09:37 PM
Yeah. How many books are you using to make this determination? Have you read the same number of male writers as female writers? Are they in the same genres?

If someone reads, say, 20 books by 20 different male writers, and then compares to 5 books by female writers, that wouldn't be a fair comparison. Same goes if someone reads thrillers by male writers and compares them to romance novels by female writers. So I think you should specify a bit more what you're comparing to come to these conclusions.

gothicangel
12-17-2011, 09:39 PM
It seems to me that women put way too much emphasis on love relationships, intimacy and sex (and I’m not referring to romance novels; it could be a book about basket-weaving, or anything). For instance, a male writer would have a couple getting into the sack and in the very next sentence they are having breakfast, whereas a female writer seems to add an exorbitant amount of unnecessary detail—often an entire page or two—of what takes place in the bed.


So men don't have an emotional need for love, or sex? They don't get hurt in relationships? They don't fall hard and deep for a woman - may be for their whole lives?
I think not.

I think the post was more insulting to men, than women.

*And yes, I've not long written a 3,000 word sex/love scene. :wag:

Terie
12-17-2011, 09:40 PM
Hey, guess what, ReflectiveAcuity. There are women writers here. Why should any of us share our opinions about your comments -- here or ANY OTHER POST YOU MAKE -- when you are so quick to dismiss what we have to say?

Grow the hell up.

thebloodfiend
12-17-2011, 09:42 PM
My bet is that genre defines that content moreso than the sex of the author (at least in successful books.)

Pearl S. Buck and VC Andrews (the original, not the factory version) come to mind, at the moment.

That's what I was thinking too. It's been a long time since I've read VC Andrews. Maybe five years? But she has that cheesy, repetitive way of writing that reminds me of silver age comics. Strange enough, the factory books take that style to the extreme. And I'm almost certain that her ghost writer is male.

But, yeah, I'd really suggest reading more books. Unless you've read a great variety of one hundred books by each gender and documented the differences and similarities in a database, this is really only your experience that can't be backed up or even defended without coming off as a somewhat sexist generality.

ChaosTitan
12-17-2011, 09:45 PM
:popcorn:

King Wenclas
12-17-2011, 09:49 PM
The difference I see in my reading is between "literary" writers, and those who write in what are considered more popular genres.

Literary writers tend to pile on unnecessary detail. They write a lot about the furniture. The viewpoint is often domestic and domesticated.

Popular novels use way more dialogue, and keep description to a minimum.

The big sellers I find to be too stripped-down and predictable.

Standard literary writing is lethargic, slow-paced, and as predictable, in its own way. (Pick up any "best" stories collection.)

The goal should be to create a synthesis between the two kinds, finding the best of both. As a writer, anyway, that's what I aim for.

Blitz Book Review
www.blitzreview.blogspot.com (http://www.blitzreview.blogspot.com)

leahzero
12-17-2011, 09:57 PM
Bad writing is bad writing. The writer's sex has absolutely nothing to do with it.

You're just rehashing the tired and demonstrably false idea that male and female brains are wired in "male" and "female" ways. Newsflash: people are not binary. We are nuanced products of both our nature and nurture. And recent scientific studies have proven that notions of gendered brains are essentially mythological and based more on socialization and cultural cues than inherent biology (cf. Delusions of Gender, Brainstorm, et al).

Williebee
12-17-2011, 09:57 PM
Have you read the same number of male writers as female writers?

This can actually be a difficult thing to know, what with marketing, pseudonyms and such.

Williebee
12-17-2011, 10:01 PM
MOD Note:

I might should have locked this after I moved it, but locked it is, now. The Room Mods may choose to reopen when they are back online. Their room, their call.

-- Williebee