Monday, January 3, 2011

9 Bad Excuses to Not Write Women: Excuse #8

8) I don't know if I can write women believably.

If you can write dragons, aliens, dwarves and men from a myriad of different cultures/planets, you can write women. The problem, I think, is that the definition of “woman” is somewhat in question. By that, I mean that there are a lot of different definitions out there, and we're very aware of that, whereas the varying definitions of “man” are quieter at the moment. (Though, there are just as many of them.)

To write women, just stop worrying about it and write a character, like any other. Step into her shoes the way you would step into any of your male characters. What are her concerns? What are her goals? How does society view her? How does she view society? These are the same questions you should ask all your characters. If you stop thinking about her as “a woman” and start thinking about her like any other character, her personality will start to show through.

And remember that you're writing the women of your society. These are not today's women, they are not--unless you want them to be--your sisters, mothers, aunts or daughters. They should be shaped by the culture in which they live, they may agree or disagree with that culture, but who they are will revolve around their experience in your culture.

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