Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gender in fiction

Some interesting comments out there in the blogosphere about the genders of your fictional characters.

For instance, BookEnds on male protags. And Fangs, Fur, and Fey blog on females (which includes more links).

So it seems it is hard to write the opposite sex than you are. Really? In general, making the gender believable in fiction isn't the hardest thing; it's making the characters work, period. If the character works, then gender isn't a problem any more, is it? Because gender is just one part of the character. Because you know, if you worry too much about believableness of your character's gender, then you run the risk of writing a stereotype. Because I believe characters in fiction, just like dialogue, just like any part of fiction, is about exaggeration. It may be slight or it may be great, but fiction isn't about how people in real life act. It's about characters acting better or worse than us, different than us. That is why fictional characters can never be like real people: it'd be too boring. Fictional characters, instead, are here to entertain us, not be a mirror to our own lives. Thus, they can't be just like us.

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