Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login

Details

Closed to new replies
November 6, 2012
Link

Statistics

Replies: 144

Writing different gender POVs

:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012   Digital Artist
I was reading some bloggies, and I read one saying that women find it easier to write from a man's perspective then men find writing about women. (Something about lots of media being male focussed) But I don't think that's true cos I've read a lot of stories written by girls where the men sound 'female'.

So I was wondering if people do have trouble writing POV characters from a different gender. I know you can't blanket-generalise how someone will talk/behave by their gender, but do you find it tricky, or has anyone ever said that your characters don't sound like their correct gender? Or have you read published books where the gender seems off? :eyes:
Reply

You can no longer comment on this thread as it was closed due to no activity for a month.

Devious Comments

:iconchibilovett:
ChibiLovett Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I've honestly only ever written a story from a male perspective once. And it failed. Epically. lol I just find it hard to try and sound like it's a man/boy while trying to avoid being too stereotypical. It's really rather difficult...
Reply
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012   Digital Artist
Maybe you were overthinking it?
Reply
:iconchibilovett:
ChibiLovett Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Maybe. I tend to do that with things. hehe But it also had to do with the fact the entire story was really difficult. It was an assignment for my creative writing class where we had to use a main character that was the total opposite of our typical ones. So the whole thing was kind of an epic failure...^^;
Reply
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012   Digital Artist
Ah, that does sound extremely difficult!
Reply
:iconchibilovett:
ChibiLovett Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
It was. >.< She also had us do it as a first chapter, climax chapter, and end chapter of a novel instead of just writing a story. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done as far as writing is concerned...lol
Reply
:iconraecreature:
raecreature Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012
I'm female and I always have a hard time writing female characters. I think it's because 90% of my friends are male and always have been, and I seem to understand men better than most women. Also, most of my characters are in heavy metal bands, which has always been a male-dominated thing :shrug:

But then people tell me my stories are sexist because there aren't any "strong female leads" and the gender ratio isn't equal. It bugs me.
Reply
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012   Digital Artist
I don't think that sounds sexist, it would be pretty wierd if there were 2 guys and 2 girls in every one of your bands. =P
Reply
:iconraecreature:
raecreature Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012
Yeah, exactly! Plus it's during the 80s. It would be extremely weird, considering there's only a handful of bands I can think of from that time period that had women in them.
Reply
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012   Digital Artist
Definitely. (I actually had a kind of opposite of that in my story where I was like, is it realistic to have so many girls in my bands? But then I was like, it's in the future so I can do whatever I want. :B)

I find it a bit annoying when there are stories/movies set in the past and they stick in some ass-kicking, feministing, action girl just for girl-power points, even if it's not realistic.
Reply
:iconraecreature:
raecreature Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012
It totally depends on when the story takes place, but yeah, generally girls are a minority in rock and metal music, but would probably still be okay. If it's the future though, go crazy! :)

I always have to ask myself a similar question, is it realistic to have three gay/bisexual guys in one band? The answer is probably no, but....oh well :p

Yeah, me too! It makes absolutely no sense. The same person who told me my story was sexist suggested I have the band's manager be female, and be strong and determined even with all the sexist bullshit she would get from the music industry and the band itself. While that could be an interesting story, it's not MY story. I would have to literally rewrite the entire thing, just to make it "not sexist" anymore :doh:
Reply
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012   Digital Artist
Doesnt sound too far fetched to me. I'm sure it's happened.

Yeah, I know, write your own bloody story, right? :lol: As long as your charas aren't slagging of women all the time, I'm sure it doesn't need political correctness meddling.
Reply
:icondaghrgenzeen:
Daghrgenzeen Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I try to write from all sorts of POVs. :paranoid: Also I try not to rely on stereotypes too much, just write as the character's personality is.
Reply
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012   Digital Artist
:iconepichighfiveplz:
Reply
:icondaghrgenzeen:
Daghrgenzeen Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
It also helps to know all sorts of personalities from both genders... :lol: Heh.
Reply
:iconclaycowboys:
ClayCowboys Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Professional Writer
I usually write more from the male point of view rather than the female. I grew up in a household of men, so I understand them as well as I do my own gender. I'm also lucky to have men in my life who'll let me know if a male character sounds a little too girly. ;)
Reply
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012   Digital Artist
Yep. :la: That's one reason I like to try and find dude crit partners on DA.
Reply
:iconshurely:
Shurely Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Huh. I'm female and I actually find it easier to write in a male perspective. Perhaps it's to do with psychology and mentally associating yourself as male or female (i.e. physically you are female but you think yourself as male). I don't know, it's just easier. I think men are easier to understand than woman. Sorry if I offend anyone here, but that's just how I see it. I know people will disagree, but...yeah.
Reply
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012   Digital Artist
I see what you mean. I personally don't think that women and men are that different, but ease of understanding is in the eye of the... understander. :shifty:
Reply
:iconshurely:
Shurely Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Very true.
Reply
:iconsonamyfan362:
SonAmyFan362 Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012
In my opinion, it is somewhat difficult to write in a female Point of View, as I find it easier to write from a male Point of View. However, I might be starting to write some stories in First Person format, and I wish to try to write some scenes in a female Point of View, such as from Amy Rose's perspective on how she feels when Sonic runs away, or she gets a chili dog. I'll start small, mostly.
Reply
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012   Digital Artist
I think it shouldn't be too hard for you once you get the hang of it if you know the character well enough. :)
Reply
:iconchris000:
Chris000 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I've always found a man easier to write from. Maybe it's because I'm a man so I guess I'm comfortable with that .

My current project, while an FF, true, is a journal that spans five years and serves as a background to all the other books in the series. In all that time, I am writing from a female perspective because I consider this woman a very important character. The story always seemed to focus more on the male character's perspective, so I wanted to mix it up somewhat. Only done one year though, and I find it odd slipping into a female perspective, even though she experiences the same battles, fights, and difficulties the male does.
Reply
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012   Digital Artist
FF = fanfiction?

I think it'll get easier as you get used to it. Mens and womans aren't really that different. :D (Depending on the society/culture of course)
Reply
:iconchris000:
Chris000 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Yes. Just a training phase, mind you. I'm writing original fiction as well.
Reply
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012   Digital Artist
That's cool. :D I don't have any beef with fanfictioners.
Reply
:iconoxfordtweed:
OxfordTweed Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I think this is definitely a product of the media. Women are always portrayed as needing a man, and nothing else will do. So when a female character is written with any other motivation, she's either a shell like Lara Croft, or seen as a complete Mary Sue, which is an incredibly sexist concept.

If you've a character that was tragically orphaned at a young age, has a genius-level intellect, enough money to buy half the city, and is beloved by all, people will hate her.

Until they realise that I've just described Batman.
Reply
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012   Digital Artist
I think Batman gets to break the rules cos he's got such a cool car. ;P
Reply
:iconoxfordtweed:
OxfordTweed Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Way to completely miss the point.
Reply
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012   Digital Artist
Oh sorry, what were you meaning?
Reply
:iconoxfordtweed:
OxfordTweed Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
The point isn't Batman's gadgets, or even that he's Batman. The point is that he's a man. Female characters with the exact same qualities are automatically called a Mary Sue.
Reply
:iconhardhatshetland:
HardHatShetland Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
If i'm honest, I think it has more to do with how iconic and old a character he is. But I see what you're getting at.
Reply
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012   Digital Artist
Ah, true. I've never thought about it like that before. :o
Reply
:iconoxfordtweed:
OxfordTweed Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
A friend of mine posted an Avengers fanfic and got all sorts of guff for having one of the non-hero women react to being mugged by pepper spraying the guy in the face. The reasoning was that she wasn't trained as a hero, so she shouldn't have reacted like that. She should have had a fit of crying and screeching or something, because no-one trained her in how to handle these situations.

But... why can't she react like that? Oh, right. Because she's a woman, and that is not feminine behaviour.
Reply
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012   Digital Artist
I think people tend to be generally more critical of female characters. I reckon if your friend had gone the other way and made her scream and cry, people would complain that she was a 'weak damsel in distress.' :stare: It's really quite annoying because generally, people don't seem to have beef with a male character whether he is macho or sensitive.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconmadoldhag:
MadOldHag Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, I am a woman and find the male POV easier for some reason ...
Reply
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2012   Digital Artist
Seems relatively common, there have been a few on this thread.
Reply
:iconmadoldhag:
MadOldHag Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
When writing in first person, it feels like I am having a very intense relationship with my character. I know all his thoughts and feelings, he can't hide from me ... sometimes he doesn't act like a typical male, but there is a reason for that (profession, personality, past events and so on).
Reply
:iconcarusmm:
carusmm Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
If you make your chicks and fellas sound as thick as possible, you'll sound authentic.
Reply
:iconenuocale:
EnuoCale Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I've seen that, but usually done intentionally. Not that that makes it make sense.

As for me, I know I can't really write long term feminine characters; (who act in ways I'd consider reasonable) so I strike a compromise. Side character females will act female enough that people go "oh yeah." and MAIN characters will have pasts that explain away why most of their actions are a certain way. And the ways override most things that are gender specific.

However, there'll be enough that you can obviously tell what they are. I.E. females look at people's face more when they talk to them, etc.

However, my story is crazy, and sex characteristics are far from the main concern. There's even some sexless characters who appear to be human who I have no clue what sex they're going to appear more as :P.
Reply
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012   Digital Artist
Hmm, from this thread it seems more people here have trouble with females than males. Yep, personal experience and upbringing will definitely override generalisations.

Ooh, sexless characters, interesting. Do they appear as androgynous humans?
Reply
:iconenuocale:
EnuoCale Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Yes. They're half surreal comedic relief in an otherwise forlorn and depressing story. They get introduced without it explicitly stating that they're sexless (it just says that their sex couldn't be determined right then, but never mentions it again :P) or that anything much is wrong with them other than that they talk slightly odd.(And that they have upbeat happy attitudes in a world where literally everyone is outrageously depressed) Then, they devolve to preposterous-ness, and surrealism, and eventually disappear altogether, leaving the main character thinking they were only hallucinations.

Lending to that assumption will be the fact that past then in his incoherent "doesn't quite have both feet on the ground" episodes he'll see things like random pieces of them or their face sticking out of random buildings, attached to things, or talking to him or to the world in general in mad gibberish. :P
Reply
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012   Digital Artist
Wow. That would do your head in. :o
Reply
:iconenuocale:
EnuoCale Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Ans since they're twins and both have the same face, he won't know WHICH of their faces it is either. Just buds of large numbers of... face. :P
Reply
:iconshannor:
shannor Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
It gets complicated defining male or female for me, and thus for defining opposite gender. I consider myself male, but biologically, I am female. Am I writing opposite gender when I write female characters, or when I write male characters?

If we base it on ease of understanding or portrayal, I think it highly likely that when I write a female POV, I'm writing the opposite gender.

Predominantly, I write male characters. My typical male character would be considered a sensitive male by American cultural standards. Often, when I write a female perspective, it is a strong female who challenges conventional gender identity, and would be considered very masculine in outlook (a similar character from popular media would be Starbuck in the reboot of Battlestar Galactica).

Personally, I find it very challenging to write a 'girly' or typical female. I simply do not understand them. I can't get inside their head, and I genuinely struggle to empathize with real women who closely match the stereotype.

One writer who I feel doesn't understand females very well (though I'm not sure how much space I have to criticize, since I don't have a great understanding of women myself) is George R. R. Martin. To the best of my knowledge, women think of their breasts in a non-competitive sexual context about as often as a person of average intellect thinks about calculus, which is to say, not often at all. Viewpoints showing this kind of thought process smack of male fulfillment, rather than characterization. It's an excuse to ramble on about breasts to keep a typically sex-deprived male audience happy.
Reply
:iconmadoldhag:
MadOldHag Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I just realized that I mention/describe breasts when a certain male character encounters a woman ... because he *would* look at her cleavage. I don't do this when writing from the female POV.
Reply
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012   Digital Artist
Yeah, I think it's easier to write what you understand/can identify with. Once for a challenge I thought it would be interesting to write a short story about a girl who was the most popular in school, but then I didn't really know what those kind of girls did, or what they talked about (beyond TV sterotypes of course) so that didn't really go anywhere. ^^;

I haven't read Game of Thrones, but I have heard about the boob thing in reviews I've read. Girls don't really think about them any more than a male character would think "I pulled my shirt over my delightful abs." :giggle:
Reply
:iconshannor:
shannor Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't know how I'd even start a 'most popular girl in high school' viewpoint. The best I've got is: "Like, OMG, my XBFF was like totally dissing my outfit today! It was like... the worst day ever! But I don't care, cuz like, as if her thoughts are worth NEthing! She is so totally worthless bcuz her fashion sense is like, so out of date!"

Now I'm going to go remove that diseased part of my brain with a rusty spoon. I don't want to contaminate a perfectly good spoon with that.
Reply
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2012   Digital Artist
:rofl:
Reply
:iconshannor:
shannor Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
lol, that emoticon cracks me up more than a good joke does.
Reply
:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Professional General Artist
I've actually heard that about George R.R. Martin. Kind of another reason I've been reticent to read his work.
Reply
Add a Comment: