Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Penning male characters as a female writer

I generally have an easier time writing female character over male character, probably because I’m female myself, but I have never let that fact dictate the types of people who populate my stories (I couldn’t even if I wanted to).

Most of the time I don’t even pay attention to the gender of my characters because to me they are living, breathing people with their own personalities and lives, and I’m simply recording a few brief moments of those lives.

So it came as a surprise to me when I finished writing “Sure-foot Sam in Jeopardy” and realized there were only two female character in the whole adventure.

Interesting, I mumbled aloud, and didn’t give it a second thought until I was preparing to read an excerpt to two fifth-grade classes.

It was then I realized having a story comprised almost exclusively of male characters was hard to read if you’re female because not only do you have to make each character’s voice unique and distinctive, but then you have to drop the tone of your voice a register to make it sound genuine (and not like a female trying to read a male’s part).

Good thing I love a challenge!

Now here’s a challenge for my readers:

Name the two female characters in “Sure-foot Sam in Jeopardy.” (Hint: One of them is not human.) E-mail me your answers at katie.pasek@gmail.com. First reader with the correct answer wins a prize!

Katie Pasek is the author of “Sure-foot Sam in Jeopardy” (available from Echelon Shorts/Quake) and Junior’s New Home (available from Lulu.com). For more information, or to order, please visitwww.katiepasek.com.


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