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Jade DragonSpectre
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PostSubject: Male vs. Female characters   Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:53 am

I was talking to Teele and SD about this in the chatbox yesterday and I was looking to get some opinions and advice.

Basically, I am having a problem creating a decent/likeable female character for the novel I am currently writing. There is a void in the story which must be filled by a woman but I cannot find a character to play the part. Most of the female characters I create I cannot empathize or understand properly and they are then discarded. They just don’t seem as vivid or strong as the two male characters I have.

So, I have a few questions and I would appreciate it if you could give me your opinions.

In a book, do you prefer male or female characters?

Why do you think this is? (what sort of traits/qualities do they have which appeals to you)

What can really annoy you about female characters in stories? e.g too whiney, emotional etc?

When writing, do you create mainly male or female characters? Do you find one gender to be easier to write than the other?
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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:03 am

Quote :
In a book, do you prefer male or female characters?
No preference, really. My love of a particular character depends very much on personality, drive, and depth. Whether or not the character is male or female doesn't sway me in a particular direction; I can say that there are about as many male characters that I've really liked as female characters. That said, I always enjoy seeing a pretty face in a book.

Quote :
Why do you think this is? (what sort of traits/qualities do they have which appeals to you)
You know, it really depends on the character for me. I can respect a male character who is filled with inner strength and confidence and has a heart of gold, but I can also be interested in a male character who is frail, not confident, and maybe a little abrasive. As long as there's a motive for them being how they are, and as long as they are willing to grow, I'll generally appreciate them. Same story with female characters. I tend to like fictional women who are stable with good heads on their shoulders; even if they do end up being defenseless now and then by the heroes.

Quote :
What can really annoy you about female characters in stories? e.g too whiney, emotional etc?
Shallowness annoys me. The female who has no respect for anything beyond fashion and her next boyfriend will get very little respect from me. Shallowness is Evil. Depth is Good. Smile

Quote :
When writing, do you create mainly male or female characters? Do you find one gender to be easier to write than the other?
Mostly male. While writing, I rarely have a difficult time writing females, though I always check my work over with my sister to make sure I've done a credible job. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:34 am

Quote :
In a book, do you prefer male or female characters?
Depends on how it's written and what it is about. Personally I don't care whether the MC is male or female. Good example are the books wriiten by Hobbs; first three books has a male MC, book four to six have a female MC, seven to nine have a male MC.

Quote :
Why do you think this is? (what sort of traits/qualities do they have which appeals to you)
Really, I don't know. I like reading about flawed characters, which is why I hate (and I mean hate) about fifty percent of the superhero stories; perfect characters make for perfect stories. And those are just plain boring.

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What can really annoy you about female characters in stories? e.g too whiney, emotional etc?
Stereotypes. I hate stereotypes, and women are more easily/more often stereotyped then male characters. I don't care about whiney (Joshua was whiney), but keep it in line with the story; why would your group keep a women around who does nothing but cry about... well, everything.

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When writing, do you create mainly male or female characters? Do you find one gender to be easier to write than the other?
Male. Because I'm a guy. I only recently began writing about women(in fact, Mydia was the first woman on who I spended more then two pages trying to figure out who she was and why she did what she did). Now I try to mix things up a little, although the MC's are primarily male.
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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:50 am

I agree with CommonGoods on everything, except the last question. I try to write as divers as possible, and find it interesting to write from a male point of view because it's harder. However, for RPG's I usually take female characters because they are indeed easier to relate to.
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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:08 pm

In a book, do you prefer male or female characters?
It generally doesn't matter to me if the mc is male or female.

Why do you think this is? (what sort of traits/qualities do they have which appeals to you)
Basically what Teele said.

What can really annoy you about female characters in stories? e.g too whiney, emotional etc?
Besides the normal stereotypes (i.e. too whiney, over-emotional, obssesed with fashion, etc), I hate it in a story when a woman stays in an abusive relationship for no other reason than, "But he loves me..."

When writing, do you create mainly male or female characters? Do you find one gender to be easier to write than the other?
I try to keep it about even, though I think I write better female characters.
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Blossom
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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:31 pm

Quote :
In a book, do you prefer male or female characters?
Hmm, it depends on the characters in question and the skill of the writer. My favourite writers create both male and female characters I love and hate. However, I do find with a lot of stories, films and even video games I really like the hero but get intensely annoyed by the heroine.

Quote :
Why do you think this is? (what sort of traits/qualities do they have which appeals to you)

I like strong characters. I don't necessarily mean physicial or even emotional strength, but characters that have a strong, distinct personality, and that are human. The best characters have redeeming qualities but also flaws and foibles. When I really believe a character's real and I'm not questioning their motives or actions I know I'm reading great writing.

Quote :
What can really annoy you about female characters in stories? e.g too whiney, emotional etc?

Stereotypes. For numerous examples of bad female characterisation read Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. The male characters are great but the females are not. They're all carbon copies of one another, all trumped up, bossy bitches really.

What really gets me with females is feebleness. Not even defencelessness, that they're vulnerable or need help, but when they're feeble, that they can't even try to help themselves but are reliant on the males. The other thing that gets me is when people try to write strong, confident females but they just come across as selfish, bitchy and unpleasant.

Quote :
When writing, do you create mainly male or female characters? Do you find one gender to be easier to write than the other?
I think I have a fairly even number of male and female characters, possibly one or two more girls. I don't necessarily find one gender easier, though I'm more comfortable writing women as I am a female myself. I like writing men, but I do wonder if I'm getting the mindset right or if they come across as unreal.

I think you know when a character's right, male or female, because they'll be a strong, vivid presence in your mind, even if they're a quiet and shy character.



.... that probably didn't help at all, but I tried ^___^
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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:24 pm

Shadow Dragon wrote:


What can really annoy you about female characters in stories? e.g too whiney, emotional etc?
Besides the normal stereotypes (i.e. too whiney, over-emotional, obssesed with fashion, etc), I hate it in a story when a woman stays in an abusive relationship for no other reason than, "But he loves me..."
Buggers to yer Twisted Evil

As to me, I also go with the MC's persoanlity as opposed to gender. In being honest though, I think I read a lot of Male MCs, but that just might be coincidence.

As I am not male, I find it hard to create a male I don't want to kill. That is why I don't usually RP male characters, I have done it once and will never do it a gain, until i think I can handle one properly.

My writing in general is also from female perspective, not that I don't write males. I can write, or hope I can, a dynamic male, but he is still often a second-tier character. my only exception so far is Enardo, and he hasn't gotten farther than conception eventhough he's the MC.
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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:57 pm

Quote :
In a book, do you prefer male or female characters?

It really makes no difference to me. Much like Teele, as long as the character is someone I can become interested in and it is written in a way that holds my attention, then I have no problem with what gender the character is. Plus I have to respect any man that is able to effectively write a woman.
Quote :

Why do you think this is? (what sort of traits/qualities do they have which appeals to you)

As a writer, I know how difficult it can be to come up with an effective character. So what gender that character is really has no place in my mind. I tend to break characters down to their base mechanics and if everything is in working order then I have no qualms.

Quote :
What can really annoy you about female characters in stories? e.g too whiney, emotional etc?

What annoys me about any character is repetitive actions used over and over again in a vain attempt to give them some sort a personality. If you have ever read Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series then you know what I am talking about. While I dearly love those books, every other page is filled with "she tugged her braid" or "she smoothed her skirts". I could understand this every once in a while but after a time the reader tends to get the point.

Quote :
When writing, do you create mainly male or female characters? Do you find one gender to be easier to write than the other?

I definitely create mainly male characters and I do find males to be easier to write. Why? Well because it is my firm belief that it is far safer to sail into the sun than try and figure out the innermost workings of the female mind. Now that is not to say that I have not ever created female characters. Indeed my novel partly centers around events relating to a woman.
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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:02 pm

In a book, do you prefer male or female characters?

Either, I like depth so if I feel for the character you’ve won me over instantly.

Why do you think this is? (what sort of traits/qualities do they have which appeals to you)

Pretty much as I said above, I need to connect with my characters if I feel detached from them they I will instantly not enjoy them as much. I like to know why characters do what they do.

What can really annoy you about female characters in stories? e.g too whiney, emotional etc?

The types that seem unable to help themselves, they whine to much and need to boys to do all the hard work…

When writing, do you create mainly male or female characters? Do you find one gender to be easier to write than the other?

Both sexes, I tend to like having a male and female lead even if they aren’t romantically entwined. I struggle sometimes with writing male characters but I still enjoy doing it.
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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:19 pm

Jade wrote:
I was talking to Teele and SD about this in the chatbox yesterday and I was looking to get some opinions and advice.

Basically, I am having a problem creating a decent/likeable female character for the novel I am currently writing. There is a void in the story which must be filled by a woman but I cannot find a character to play the part. Most of the female characters I create I cannot empathize or understand properly and they are then discarded. They just don’t seem as vivid or strong as the two male characters I have.

So, I have a few questions and I would appreciate it if you could give me your opinions.

I would be GLAD to answer these questions, but how will these questions help you develop your MC or even supporting cast?


Last edited by Ungood on Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:20 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Too much Junk)
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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:19 am

Jade wrote:
I was talking to Teele and SD about this in the chatbox yesterday and I was looking to get some opinions and advice.

Basically, I am having a problem creating a decent/likeable female character for the novel I am currently writing. There is a void in the story which must be filled by a woman but I cannot find a character to play the part. Most of the female characters I create I cannot empathize or understand properly and they are then discarded. They just don’t seem as vivid or strong as the two male characters I have.

So, I have a few questions and I would appreciate it if you could give me your opinions.

In a book, do you prefer male or female characters?

Female.

Why do you think this is? (what sort of traits/qualities do they have which appeals to you)

I think that's just because I am female. I don't mind the odd male character, but I am drawn to tough female characters.

What can really annoy you about female characters in stories? e.g too whiney, emotional etc?

Ugh. Winy weak simpering characters. it depends the sort of Character and the role they play but I expect my lead female character to be stronger, ok, SOME weakness but not a simpering tool!

When writing, do you create mainly male or female characters? Do you find one gender to be easier to write than the other?

Female. Female because I understand the perspecitve I suppose. Male.. eh... im edging into it.
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Jade DragonSpectre
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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:37 am

Ungood wrote:


I would be GLAD to answer these questions, but how will these questions help you develop your MC or even supporting cast?

It probably won't - I don't dish out characteristics for my characters they usually decide themselves. I now have several suitable characters in mind I was just looking for views to help me choose between them. Having a vague idea of the characteristics of a likable protagonist will save me time/effort of writing about them and then the reader doesn't like them anyway. Sort of like gathering criteria for an audition. Getting the opinions of others can't hurt and I was curious.
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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:18 pm

Jade wrote:
Ungood wrote:


I would be GLAD to answer these questions, but how will these questions help you develop your MC or even supporting cast?

It probably won't - I don't dish out characteristics for my characters they usually decide themselves. I now have several suitable characters in mind I was just looking for views to help me choose between them. Having a vague idea of the characteristics of a likable protagonist will save me time/effort of writing about them and then the reader doesn't like them anyway. Sort of like gathering criteria for an audition. Getting the opinions of others can't hurt and I was curious.

Well, what have you learned from the answers you have gotten?
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Jade DragonSpectre
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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:15 pm

Ungood wrote:
Jade wrote:
Ungood wrote:


I would be GLAD to answer these questions, but how will these questions help you develop your MC or even supporting cast?

It probably won't - I don't dish out characteristics for my characters they usually decide themselves. I now have several suitable characters in mind I was just looking for views to help me choose between them. Having a vague idea of the characteristics of a likable protagonist will save me time/effort of writing about them and then the reader doesn't like them anyway. Sort of like gathering criteria for an audition. Getting the opinions of others can't hurt and I was curious.

Well, what have you learned from the answers you have gotten?

That most people don't have a gender preference for main characters and that tougher female characters are preferred over more emotional ones. That helped to narrow down my potential characters by eliminating the more needy ones. The replies have also helped me to realize that I shouldn’t worry about it so much - personalities between genders don’t have to be too different.

Thank you for your replies everyone.
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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:03 pm

Jade wrote:
That most people don't have a gender preference for main characters and that tougher female characters are preferred over more emotional ones. That helped to narrow down my potential characters by eliminating the more needy ones. The replies have also helped me to realize that I shouldn’t worry about it so much - personalities between genders don’t have to be too different.

Thank you for your replies everyone.

I hate to ask, but did you expect this kind of answer?
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Jade DragonSpectre
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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:16 pm

What kind of answer?
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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:25 pm

Did you expect the answers you got?
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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:35 pm

I can't write from a females veiw point. Mainly because I have no idea what goes on inside their heads. LOL No man truely does. Female the strangest creature on the face of the earth. LOL, but I don't mind female leads in books I'm reading, as long as she's not overly feminine. Tom boys make good female leads. A bit tough, not afraid to get dirty or fight like a man (Excuse the phrase). Though as a secondary charicter I kind of enjoy females that are more feminine, though still not pathetically so.
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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:04 am

Ungood wrote:
Did you expect the answers you got?

Some of them. Others were more matter of opinion/personal preference, so I couldn't predict the answers.
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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:27 am

Quote:
In a book, do you prefer male or female characters?

Usually I put them in my stories just so I'm not considered sexist.

Quote:
Why do you think this is? (what sort of traits/qualities do they have which appeals to you)

Femal characters bring out life in the game and a different side of the male character. This is a huge role in plot developement. They just have this mysterious aura that makes them so unique.

Quote:
What can really annoy you about female characters in stories? e.g too whiney, emotional etc?

Overly emotional women I can't stand, then again if it was some action story they don't cry all the time and that one time where they feel the world is going to crash on them is quite fine.

Quote:
When writing, do you create mainly male or female characters? Do you find one gender to be easier to write than the other?

There is just a difference in personality, normally I have to look at some sort of reference so that I can make it sound good. The only thing I have trouble with the two genders is trying to draw them.

Finally something else. I'm sure that a good ammount of you has played final fantasy before. The purpose, to me, of a female character with a male character is to have some sort of romantic relationship in the end. Honestly that never gets old.
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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:35 pm

So here I am answering after the discussion's basically over...but I finally have a chance to! So I will. Very Happy

In a book, do you prefer male or female characters?
Slightly prefer males MC's although a really well-written female character is great, too. Not a huge preference as long as either is well written and has depth.

Why do you think this is? (what sort of traits/qualities do they have which appeals to you)
My perception is that guys are tougher (physically) so they can take some of the thriller-type abuse that the writer hands out to a further extreme than a female might. (eg. Riddick, Jack Bauer, James Bond) It is also kind of cool to watch males in such roles...more interesting to me than having a tough-as-nails female MC in the same story.

Add to that the (in very general terms) masculine knack of getting straight to the point. Males tend to have an economy of words that is appealing to me in print.

What can really annoy you about female characters in stories? e.g too whiney, emotional etc?
When a writer tries to make them more than what they are. In my opinion you can have an intelligent, tough, appealing female character without having to go to extremes. One of my biggest annoyances in writing ANY char - regardless of gender - is overstating their abilities and negating their flaws (or just not giving them any). An admirable character with deep flaws will always appeal to me as being the most 'real.'

When writing, do you create mainly male or female characters? Do you find one gender to be easier to write than the other?
Good question. In my own writing I tend to write male chars simply because I think a masculine MC fits my stories best. I enjoy the exercise of getting inside their heads and the challenge of making them real. However, I find women easier to write (say in an RPG) because I am female so I have to think less when writing that char.

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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:25 pm

this is hella late... yea i said hella... anyway...

In a book, do you prefer male or female characters?
male...

Why do you think this is? (what sort of traits/qualities do they have which appeals to you)
because in most books i read, the male is blunt without having an attitude... even when they have a bit of an attitude, it's usually funny...

What can really annoy you about female characters in stories? e.g too whiney, emotional etc?
when the female character is a bitch or way too helpless... try making up something else...

When writing, do you create mainly male or female characters? Do you find one gender to be easier to write than the other?
in my own writing, i like to mix it up... i paint a real world, and in the real world both genders exist... can't say i'm not happy about it Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:21 am

In a book, do you prefer male or female characters?

Usually male

Why do you think this is? (what sort of traits/qualities do they have which appeals to you)
Because I can relate more to men because I am one

What can really annoy you about female characters in stories? e.g too whiney, emotional etc?

Yeah, those cliches would turn me off, but I have yet to read a book with those.

When writing, do you create mainly male or female characters? Do you find one gender to be easier to write than the other?

My lead or mains are usually males, but i do plan to write at least two female lead characters down the road.
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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:41 am

In a book, do you prefer male or female characters?

My main character is usually male, but I do do have an idea of a book with a female main character.

Why do you think this is? (what sort of traits/qualities do they have which appeals to you)

Because I'm a male, I guess. No good reason (Although my mom would think I was weird if all my main characters were girls).

What can really annoy you about female characters in stories? e.g too whiney, emotional etc?

Unfortunatly female characters are often whiney and emotional in most of those things, so that is a turn-off. Luckily my female characters are not like that (I guess one of them could be considered whiney but she's really funny so it doesn't mater)

When writing, do you create mainly male or female characters? Do you find one gender to be easier to write than the other?

I create mainly male characters but I have plenty of female characters too (I even have a group made up entirely of women that can kick peoples buts). As of which gender is easier to write about, they are both about the same.
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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:12 pm

In a book, do you prefer male or female characters?

I swing both ways

Why do you think this is? (what sort of traits/qualities do they have which appeals to you)

Cuz if a character is written well, then it doesn't matter what sex it is. unless your demographic is a bunch of sexist third world women beaters.

What can really annoy you about female characters in stories? e.g too whiney, emotional etc?

You pretty much said it. the drama queen types piss me off, there's more than one way to write a woman, even when this type of thing is done to contrast a strong female lead, i still find it annoying.

When writing, do you create mainly male or female characters? Do you find one gender to be easier to write than the other?

I create mainly male characters simply because the female thought process is friggin... well lets just say difficult for any man to wrap his head around. most of my women are mannish, tom-boyish, lesbians. Hopefully that will change as i get better at writing... still fairly new to the whole thing.
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PostSubject: Re: Male vs. Female characters   

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Male vs. Female characters
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