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View Full Version : A gender question



MidnightMuse
10-16-2006, 09:03 PM
I'm just curious.

C.bronco
10-16-2006, 09:05 PM
What is the question?

MidnightMuse
10-16-2006, 09:08 PM
The questions are in the pole. Did it not work?

cree
10-16-2006, 09:12 PM
You forgot a choice for those of us who are trans-gendered, or would it be transvestite, or would it be bi-sexual?
Oh never mind, I mean I write both. :)

MidnightMuse
10-16-2006, 09:13 PM
Sorry, it's my first poll ! I forgot to add more than the standard 4 choices, and got confused :D

C.bronco
10-16-2006, 09:15 PM
Ooops. I didn't see the poll part. Sorry.

K1P1
10-16-2006, 09:18 PM
I frequently find myself at a loss for these abbreviations...MCs?

MidnightMuse
10-16-2006, 09:18 PM
MC = Main Character

K1P1
10-16-2006, 09:21 PM
MC = Main Character

Thanks. I was hung up on knitting abbreviations and couldn't get them to go away. :) Make Chain. Make Cable. Main Color.

jbal
10-16-2006, 10:17 PM
I can't respond, but I'm male. My first novel has a single MC (female), new one has six major characters, five male one female.

Kate Thornton
10-17-2006, 12:01 AM
I'm not really sure how to answer - I'm female and have a favorite MC who is a gay male. I also write from a teen-aged girl's perspective, a middle-aged woman's perspective and as an alien vampire. Hmmmmm.

MajorDrums
10-17-2006, 12:05 AM
i'm currently working on my first novel, and the MC is male. i am female.

maestrowork
10-17-2006, 12:06 AM
I'm male, and I have both male and female protagonists.

MidnightMuse
10-17-2006, 12:47 AM
Thanks :)

I'm a female writer who writes male protagonists exclusively, and recently someone told me that was highly unusual, that I should be writing strong women as main characters, and that's just not what I do.

Shows what they know :D

KTC
10-17-2006, 12:50 AM
Strange only 2 males voted?

Rolling Thunder
10-17-2006, 12:56 AM
I'm male but I lean heavily towards female protagonists, mainly because I feel women read more.

I could be wrong, but it works for me.

Soccer Mom
10-17-2006, 01:05 AM
I put female MC, but I realized that all my juvenile stuff has male MCs. My adult stuff has female MC. And I have never written a children's story about a little girl or an adult piece starring a man. Not sure what that says about me. Or about the men in my life.

AdamH
10-17-2006, 01:23 AM
MC = Main Character

I thought we were talking about MC's like MC Hammer! :D

Anyway, I'm a male but write from both sides of the gender spectrum. I let the protagonist chose their own gender and weave a story around them.

TrainofThought
10-17-2006, 04:21 AM
I have two main characters, male and female. I am woman. Which one is more difficult to write? The female character.

ChaosTitan
10-17-2006, 04:30 AM
I'm female, and I write both male and female MC's. I do tend to leave toward males, probably 2:1, but like writing both equally.

poetinahat
10-17-2006, 04:31 AM
I'm working on my first fiction piece, and the MC is a female transvestite. As far as poems go, I think my MC gender distribution is even; I go out of my way to use different genders.

icerose
10-17-2006, 04:33 AM
You forgot two more choices are needed in that poll.

I am female and I write both male and female MC's
I am male and I write both male and female MC's

I am the first option of my alternatives. In touching moments I find males are so much harder to write about because I don't know how "deep" to go.

Oddsocks
10-17-2006, 05:21 AM
I'm female, and while I don't exclusively write male MCs, I write mostly male MCs. I think. I'm working on my first story, so I've only got that one to go by, but the others I have in planning all have male MCs.

I'm always concerned, though, about my ability to get into a male head - sometimes I worry I might be writing them unrealistically.

Mandy-Jane
10-17-2006, 06:44 AM
I never intend to write mostly female main characters, but that's what I do. (oh, and I'm female!)

JohnnyV13
10-17-2006, 07:09 AM
I'm male and my first (only) novel has a male main character and mostly male supporting characters.

Right now, the book has only 2 female characters with large roles and 2 more supporting female characters who only stay on stage for a short period, but are well written and have important plot points.

I find it much easier to write male characters. Part of my problem is I've had quite a bit of education in socio-biology, which includes a considerable body of work that attempts to explain sex dimorphisms. Consequently, I'm a bit paranoid about anomolous motivations and thought patterns for female characters, so I try to avoid those errors by not using a female POV for too long.

L M Ashton
10-17-2006, 12:19 PM
I write both, but tend to gravitate towards female MCs. :)

Elodie-Caroline
10-17-2006, 01:00 PM
I am female and I write both male and female MC's...


Ellie

Nakhlasmoke
10-17-2006, 02:26 PM
i write both, in about equal number, so how does that work?

Maryn
10-17-2006, 05:57 PM
I'm female, and I write both male and female main characters, split more or less evenly.

Maryn, who (so far) hasn't had any surprises on anybody's gender, this time

Shadow_Ferret
10-17-2006, 07:20 PM
I'm a female writer who writes male protagonists exclusively, and recently someone told me that was highly unusual, that I should be writing strong women as main characters, and that's just not what I do.
I'm not sure if that's being sexist or insulting. Either they are thinking you should be doing it because you're female and well, you know, you can't possibly write from a male perspective... or they're thinking in terms of feminism and you just HAVE to write a female character to keep the sisters in power! :)

Anyway, my first completed manuscript had 5 main characters, the lead MC was female, and of the other 4 another was female.

Otherwise I tend to write in 1st person and they just generally come out male because, well, I'm male.

Live2Write
10-18-2006, 05:19 AM
I write both actually. My first published work wrote from a female (femme) and transgender butch point of view so, that's a bit different. Although, there seems to be a lot of "trans" writing going on on this board. lol!

Ol' Fashioned Girl
10-18-2006, 05:50 AM
I write both, but I'm more comfortable with female MCs. I think I create lousy males.

Sage
10-18-2006, 06:39 AM
I'm female. If you count my old fanfic & WIPs, I write mostly female MCs. But of non-fanfic finished novels, it's split. Counting WIPs, it gets more complicated as the MC in the one I'm working on right now is both ;)

Lyra Jean
10-18-2006, 06:57 AM
I have two short stories completed. My published story has a female MC. The unpublished one, which is in the submission process right now, is a male MC. I'm currently working on a new short and it also has a male MC. Haven't figured out my MCs for my novel for nano yet.

I definitely gravitate toward male MCs. Maybe it's because I was raised by my dad and had only brothers or something. It feels weird writing from a female perspective.

smiley10000
10-18-2006, 12:53 PM
Good question. Interesting to see that there are so many more women voting in your survey than men...

Had to think about this. Longer works (i.e. Novel length) are almost exclusively female MCs and shorter works (i.e short stories) are almost exclusively male MCs... now what does that say about me?


Maryn, who (so far) hasn't had any surprises on anybody's gender, this time
Maryn, I was surprised once again (as always) because TrainofThought is female and she has a picture of a man as her avatar. That throws me off EVERY time.

:Shrug:10000

Cath
10-18-2006, 04:01 PM
Another female here (yeah, shocker huh?). I'm comfortable writing male or female characters - oddly the female characters tend to be strong (but imperfect) women and the male characters tend to be more on the sensitive side. Guess I'm just a troublemaker. :)

DragonHeart
10-18-2006, 05:06 PM
I'm female and I write both, but I do tend to have more male characters than female. It just works out that way. I don't really have anything against female characters but males just seem easier for me to write. *shrugs* I'm just weird like that.

~DragonHeart~

Tiger
10-18-2006, 11:03 PM
I'm always concerned, though, about my ability to get into a male head - sometimes I worry I might be writing them unrealistically.

All of the works of Marys Renault and Stewart that I've read had male protagonists. Truth's to tell, I never thought about the gender of the authors during all of that reading. I guess these male characters must have been convincing enough to me.

The only time that I've been turned off by female, male portrayals has been with authors trying to make some kind of social or political point.

Are your friends more male, female, or other?

-D

janetbellinger
10-18-2006, 11:06 PM
I think it's really hard for a male to write from a female persepective and a female to write from a male perspective. I have rarely if ever felt any identification with a female character written by a male, they usually come across as male fantasy, a woman with big boobs who jumps into the sack without wanting any emotional commitments. I am sure there are women out there like that, but I have never met any who TRULY wanted uncommited sex.

ChunkyC
10-19-2006, 12:21 AM
I'm a 51 year old male and the protag in the novel I'm currently shopping starts out at five years old and she is sixteen at the end. So far, those who've read it have pointed out a few things here and there, but overall think I've done a pretty good job of portraying a young girl.

Mind you, I have a daughter and three granddaughters and most of my close friends throughout my life have been female.

As for other things I've written, most of my protags are male, but there are always prominent female characters.

Tiger
10-19-2006, 01:51 AM
Mind you, I have a daughter and three granddaughters and most of my close friends throughout my life have been female.

Maybe the "get it" divide is not dependent upon writers' genders as much as personal experience and empathy.

-D

Oddsocks
10-19-2006, 04:10 AM
All of the works of Marys Renault and Stewart that I've read had male protagonists. Truth's to tell, I never thought about the gender of the authors during all of that reading. I guess these male characters must have been convincing enough to me.

The only time that I've been turned off by female, male portrayals has been with authors trying to make some kind of social or political point.

Are your friends more male, female, or other?

-D

My friends are mostly female. I really don't know why I tend to write from a male MC's perspective - it's certainly not to make any kind of social/political point about gender. Most of the time, I think gender is kind of irrelevant to my characters and stories.

ChunkyC
10-19-2006, 04:31 AM
Maybe the "get it" divide is not dependent upon writers' genders as much as personal experience and empathy.
I really think so. Like with anything else, you can write about something well if you are familiar with it.

I can't remember who it was, but I remember reading about an author who was putting some pretty young characters in his books, who hung around with elementary school kids for a time to get a feel for their slang, body language, and so on. And I always hear about actors who spend time with people similar to the character they're preparing to play, like a guy playing a cop going on ride-alongs.

I think the same would hold true for gender. If you are struggling, perhaps go hang out with an appropriate group to try to soak up the 'culture' so to speak. Mind you, asking your wife if you can tag along on girls night out might not work. ;)

basenjinana
10-19-2006, 07:11 AM
Another female here who writes both male & female MC. But I think I do lean more towards female ones.

smiley10000
10-19-2006, 12:12 PM
Another female here who writes boy male & female MC. But I think I do lean more towards female ones.


Um, what's a boy female?
:tongue 10000

Forbidden Snowflake
10-19-2006, 12:27 PM
Female and written both, but mostly female MC.

basenjinana
10-19-2006, 09:49 PM
Okay...I fixed it to say [B]both[B]. LOL

I love being Polish...I love being blonde...

janetbellinger
10-19-2006, 09:51 PM
I'm writing my most recent novel, with the tentative title of "Sunrise over Bay of Fundy," from the POV of both a woman and a man. Not sure yet how well it will work as I've just written close to 1,000 words and only began writing the novel on Sunday.

Tiger
10-20-2006, 03:01 AM
My friends are mostly female. I really don't know why I tend to write from a male MC's perspective - it's certainly not to make any kind of social/political point about gender. Most of the time, I think gender is kind of irrelevant to my characters and stories.

Aloha.

Message writing works for some. Apologies to Jean Auel and her many (well-deserved) fans, but you could see the very worst that maledom had to expectorate onto the page in "Clan of the Cave Bear." Her blonde, thoroughly modern heroine was held back, oppressed and exploited by (literally) a neanderthal patriarchy.

I know plenty of guys who had no problem with Jean Auel's, or Marion Zimmer Bradley's, depictions of men in their novels. Still, I felt some of the male characterizations to be unlikely... Not necessarily insulting or offensive; just unlikely.

On the other hand, I had similar challenges with female (also cultural) characterizations in "Memoirs of a Geisha" and others.

Regards,

Dean

ChunkyC
10-20-2006, 03:39 AM
Good examples, Dean. I found the character of Jondalar in Auel's Valley of Horses to be a ridiculous caricature of a man. The guy couldn't have been more perfect if Michaelangelo had sculpted him out of marble.

Tiger
10-20-2006, 04:36 AM
Hullo, ChunkyC.

That's right--there's the "good" end of the unrealistic male character divide as well. I think the Jondalar character did not actually look into young Ayla's eyes, speaking his love... seemingly drinking at them like the first tentative brush of a young colt's velvet muzzle against the glassy surface of a clear mountain pool, which had hitherto lay untouched by any other....

...Anyway, I don't think he did this and then asked if he'd been a supportive enough stay-at-cave dad for her and their 1.5 children during her courageous quest to transition to Earth Motherhood.

But, maybe that's not too far a stretch? <G>

-Dean

Popeyesays
10-22-2006, 10:09 AM
I'm female, and I write with MCs from both genders. (This doesn't make me bi-characteral does it? *gasp*)

I'm male, yet the hero(ine) of the book I'm hawking at the moment is transgendered male to female. What does that leave me for a reply.

My first book had a string of main characters of both genders.

Regards,
Scott

writerterri
10-22-2006, 11:19 AM
I go both ways.


I don't like the way that sounded.


I write both.

That's better.

SeanDSchaffer
10-22-2006, 03:16 PM
I could not put down a proper vote, because writing both male and female MC's was not an option.

I'm male, BTW.

Tiger
10-22-2006, 11:44 PM
I go both ways.


I don't like the way that sounded.




Sounded okay to me...

writerterri
10-23-2006, 01:18 AM
Sounded okay to me...


Hello, Tiger!

writerterri
10-23-2006, 03:39 AM
Hello, Tiger!


I've always wanted to say that.

Tiger
10-23-2006, 05:47 AM
I've always wanted to say that.

Good! I, for one, don't hear that nearly enough. Say away...

-D

Simon Woodhouse
10-23-2006, 06:50 AM
I'm two to one on the female MC side. What I mean is, I've written three novels so far and two have female MCs, whilst in the third it's a male. I chose female MCs for a whole host of reason, one of them being I didn't want either of the leading characters in the first two books to be me. By the time it came to starting the third book, I felt my writing had improved enough for me to be able to create a male MC and not have him turn into me.

CBeasy
10-23-2006, 07:26 AM
I'm a male, and I rarely write fiction, but when I do, it's always with a male MC. I've written single chapters from a female character's perspective, but I'd never endeavor to write an entire story with a female protaganist. similar to what Icerose said, I just don't think I understand enough of the female psyche to flesh out a female character that deeply. I can work out how they would interact with the other characters fine, I just can't explain why. In my experiance men usually write male MC's, and and women are more likely to write both male and female. I suspect this is because women understand men better then men do. Thus, they can subvert us to their will.

travelgal
10-24-2006, 12:37 PM
My first three MS's had female MC's. The fourth has a male MC.

To those trashing Jondalar, yeah, he's too perfect. But you know what? I don't care.;)

Tiger
10-24-2006, 09:35 PM
My first three MS's had female MC's. The fourth has a male MC.

To those trashing Jondalar, yeah, he's too perfect. But you know what? I don't care.;)

Hey... I'm laughing with Jondalar--not AT him.

-D