Writing is already tough as it is, but the thought of character development or simple character creation makes it all the more harder. What happens if you, the writer, want to create and develop a main character who is of the opposite sex or gender?
As humans raised in a society where the social construct revolves around binary gender identification (so, male or female), we tend to think we have the other side figured out. Writing the opposite gender can bump the difficulty of your novel-writing up to 100. Personally, I applaud trans or androgynous characters because although I said our society currently revolves around binary gender IDing, the world is slowly changing and becoming more accepting of such. Why do we have to choose to be one gender, Social Construct? HUH?
Instead of going on about gender identity for a whole blog post, I’m here to try and help you writers out there understand the gender identity of your characters and how to portray them properly without offending anyone. I’m only focusing on men writing female characters and women writing male characters today!
Dudes writing dudettes? Always remember, if diving into the female POV, make sure she has a personality. Girls are people, too. People who have personalities as well experiences which shape them into who they are.
Beyond her INSANEly average looks is a deeply complex and developed being, she’s starts to become a person. Not that cardboard cut-out character who is tasteless and has no real meaning to the story.
A few key points about writing a girl:
- Girls are empathetic, which is what heightens their emotions.
- A girl usually wants to know that someone cares for her, which is why she wants to hang out with her SO all of the time or it seems like she’s always with her friends.
- Looking into things is a girl’s MO. Girls do ask each other what they should wear to go out on a date, or what to say to someone.
For a bit more detail into those things I mentioned and a bit more, see this blog. The author of this blog really describes the nitty gritty details of the points she finds most noticeable in a female character, particularly in their POV.
Moving on! Dudettes who are writing their hunk of burning love…remember, he’s not real. He can’t be Mr. Perfect. If dudes can’t write women up to be super warriors with gigantic breasts and long legs, there should be no reason to write up a six pack with bulging muscles. Not every guy is tall, dark, and handsome.
Following the same rule earlier, give this guy his own unique personality. After that, you can add some good looking qualities, then the flaws. Make sure the guy is as realistic as possible because if you’re trying to reel in male readers…you’re not going to get it by stabbing his ego (just like a guy could do to a female reader’s self-confidence).
Want some key points here, too?
- Feelings. Women tend to think men don’t have them but they’re most certainly wrong. Men have feelings. They’re just bottled up, until they’re ready to blow.
- Want to evoke raw emotion? Mess with his brain.
- If you’re main character is talking to his friends or his love interest, make sure he’s blunt and to the point. He’s not beating around the bush. He wants what he wants, so he’s going to get it.
That same blog from earlier also did a peek into how to write a guy’s POV, featuring a friend. It’s pretty interesting and worth the read!