One of the coolest things about writing fiction is writing characters who aren’t you. Writing about aliens, vampires, murderers … unless you are a murderer, of course. Or writing a character of the other gender.
Outside of Chastity Bono, who legally named her/his name and sex to Chaz Bono, very few people have been both genders, so we fiction writers really have to stretch our imagination to try and ‘become’ someone else, especially if it’s the other gender.
Like how can I understand what it’s like to have ‘female’ health issues - what it’s like to be the physically weaker sex - how a guy could actually be attractive - enjoying romance movies - being afraid of spiders - in touch with your emotions?
There’s a tendency to go too far, stretching tendencies out of whack where the guy is too manly or the woman too womanly. Of course, these will still have a basis in reality because there are guys who are too manly and women who are too womanly.
I think that’s why I make my female characters kind of tough. They don’t take guff, they stand up for themselves … though they might still be afraid of spiders.
One of the coolest things has been the feedback I get from females regarding my characters. A girl from Chicago wrote to me that she wants to ‘be Erin,’ the vampire from “Fang Face.” A woman from Oregon identified so strongly with the woman warrior from “The Adventures of Guy” she changed her Myspace name to the warrior’s name. A lot of my reviews have come from female reviewers.
So it’s pretty clear that I’ve nailed the female POV, at least from what I’m hearing.
Try it yourself. Write from the other gender POV, show it to a friend, and see how you did.
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