Monday, December 27, 2010

9 Bad Excuses to Not Write Women: Excuse #7

Sorry this post is late. For Christmas I got insomnia, a burst pipe and a sick fiance. But better late, right?

7) I don't think a female POV would add anything to my story.

This makes no sense to me. All characters are made up of their experiences, and a woman's experience is often different than a man's, simply because (for good or ill) she is viewed differently by society. Female characters provide a viewpoint that the men in your story can't. They will see things through the lens of their gender, and through society's views of their gender, as well as the lens of their social class and occupation.

Isn't it illuminating to see an arranged marriage through the eyes of the bride-to-be? Isn't it helpful to know why she goes through with it, or why she won't? Doesn't having a female perspective on life on the streets of your gritty industrial city provide you with a different view of things? Doesn't it give you the opportunity to show things in a different light? And isn't it interesting to consider how a priestess sees a religion differently than a priest?

Your characters are an extension of your setting. The types of characters (male and female) that your society produces are relevant to the setting, to the depth of the read itself, and to story. You ruin your world's credibility when there are few or no women in it.

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