Thursday, July 17, 2014

How To Write Girls: For Guys

     I've seen a lot of blog posts and stuff with advice for female authors on how to write male characters (which, don't get me wrong, is really useful, considering I am a girl writer and the majority of POV's that I write are male), but I've never really seen any posts helping out our male writer friends.

     Male writers do sometimes write in a girl's head. Even though I've never read any of his books, I know that John Green has done it. Rick Riordan has and continues to alternate between chapters that switch between a guy's and a girl's mind. Eoin Colfer briefly inserted a few chapters in each book of the Artemis Fowl series that changed to one of the female characters' perspective. C.S. Lewis was somewhat of an omniscient narrator, but he still wrote about Susan, Lucy, the White Witch, and other female characters from their point of views. Even if your whole book isn't through the eyes of a girl, you're still bound to meet up with some female characters, and it's important that you portray them correctly.

     Maybe there haven't really been any blog posts discussing this topic because girls automatically assume that guys should be able to understand us. Well, here's a news flash, girls: we're confusing, especially to the male mind. For goodness' sake, I myself am a girl, and I don't even understand us sometimes!

     So, male writer friends, I have decided to put this blog post together especially for you guys. You deserve a little help understanding how girls think, and since I am one, maybe I can help you out.

     - Girls are emotional beings. Some of us, more than others. It's perfectly okay for your female character to cry -- just please don't reduce them into melting into a sobbing puddle at every other word your other characters say. We may cry, but we're not that pathetic.
     - My dad tells me, and I've heard this from other places too, that guys usually think about one thing at a time. I can honestly say that has almost never happened to me. Like, ever. I don't just have 'thoughts'. I have thoughts that turn into other thoughts that remotely connect to another thought that then reminds me of another thought until finally I stop and go, "Wait...what was I originally thinking about?" This may just be me, but from what my friends have told me, that happens to pretty much all girls.
     - Guys, I know that you can somehow think of nothing. I have no fathomable idea of how in the world you can do it, but I know that you can. Girls can't. I have never met a single girl who can completely clear her mind and think of absolutely nothing. We are physically incapable of doing that. Believe me, I have tried. I end up thinking about not thinking. Like this: "Okay, think of nothing. Am I doing it right? Nothing, nothing....wait, I'm still thinking. UGH! I'm not thinking of anything. But I just thought about that. Aw, man!" Even just thinking about not thinking is stressing me out as I write this. Long story short: girls' minds are always moving. We never stop, we never go blank.
     - Girls usually don't act differently around guys. Some do. Some flirt with like, every single guy they see. As for the girls that are my friends, we don't. We act ourselves around boys. If a girl just wants to be your friend (or an acquaintance), she's probably going to act like 'one of the guys'. That's basically what I do with the guys at my youth group. Unless you're trying to make a point with an exceptionally flirty girl character, please tone all that down. Please and thank you.
     - All girls are different, but some can be interested in things that guys are without being tomboys. I personally love Marvel movies and the Lord of the Rings. Those things are like epic action movies/books, so most times they aren't considered something a girl would like. Would you think that I, being a girl, would get grossed out by seeing Orcs being skewered and beheaded on the big screen? I don't. My sister accidentally found some bones of an animal while she was digging up her garden. I promptly went out and examined them, even to the point of where I wanted to pick them up.

     To give you more specific advice, I'd actually need to know what your questions are and what you want to learn. Please remember that all girls are different! Some girls get grossed out by things that I don't. Some girls hate Lord of The Rings and think it's too violent. Some girls aren't as sensitive as others. We're all different, so remember that the points I have made are mainly from my own experience and what I have seen of others. A particular female character of yours may be the opposite of me - that's okay; these aren't definite molds that all girls fit into.

     So, guys: what do you want to know about writing female characters? Feel free to ask away, and I would love to give you more specified answers. Hey girls writers, do you have any other advice for our male writers? Do tell!

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