On my days off from my day job, I took the time to read once again Forever, Love. I found a few typo's and a sentence that made no sense whatsoever but all in all it was not a bad editing job. But that is not the reason that I read it. I read it again because it had been so inspired and had flowed like an Artesian well from my fingers and I wanted to see if after reading it again I could somehow catch that same creative spirit and apply it to Poseidon's Daughter. I did not. But I did start a second book continuing the adventures of Amy and Gwen.
But that is not what we were going to talk about. We were going to talk about the use of female or male characters in a story. Obviously it is easier for an author to write from what they know or what they can imagine. Now it is easy to imagine a whole different world. It is after all your world. It conforms to be whatever your imagination can make it. But a person, is not so easy to imagine. Sure starting a character is easy, or simple, but having that character maintain it's image so to speak is not so easy. This is especially true for your main character and even more so it the character is the same gender as the author.
You see it is easy for an author to get so caught up in the story that they forget the parameters of their main character or they simply allow their own personality to bleed through so much that the main character becomes the author. This is all well and good possibly for one book but if an author plans on writing more than one or if they plan on having a different main character then it can get boring.
What does this have to do with genders? Simple, I for example have a lot of female characters, why is that, because being a woman I find it easier to imagine how a woman would react to certain things. I find it more difficult to predict a man's behavior. My exceptions are when I model a character after someone that I know, such as my main male character in my Xena novel.
Certainly it would become boring if an author only ever had one main gender in their books. Which I believe is why authors that are prolific writers challenge their writing ability by penning huge epic adventures like Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones). In the epics there are males and females galore tearing up the pages and that stretches an author thin trying to get all the details without rushing and still keeping up with everyone.
I penned an epic once. It was my first real attempt at novel writing. I know I say that Fallyn's World was but in fact Fallyn's World was the first one that I finished. I did use several characters in Fallyn's World from my first epic and the idea of the Sinarri came from my first novel. It was never completed because I did not like the direction that it took. I will probably have to rewrite it several more times before I like it enough to even consider publishing it. Thinking about it right now, the end didnt pan out right because I rushed the middle.
So you see, it is not as easy as all that to write in the opposite gender. I have in fact read a few books that were written by men that have women acting in a completely un-woman like way. I'm not talking about a woman acting like a 'lady' or like a tomboy. I'm talking about a woman doing something that she simply wouldnt do. I have seen examples of just the opposite written by a woman, where the author has a man reacting to something in a manner that I have never seen any man react. I of course am writing in generalities, there are always exceptions to every rule but on a base level men and women have pretty common ways of reacting to things.
Dont get me wrong I'm not talking about running from fear, or acting bravely... those are different kinds of things. I'm talking about much simpler things like the difference between how a woman would react to a child splashing mud as opposed to how a man would react to the same thing, then make the child their child or have the child deliberately splashing... then have them splashing someone... then deliberately. In all of those situations a woman and a man would react differently. It's genetic. At least I think it's genetic, it sure seems that way.
The bottom line is this, if you are writing something, telling a story, you really have to think about how a gender would respond to everyday occurances or your character may be out of character for all the wrong reasons.
Okay, that was a long one. Be good to each other.