1 mo

Telltale signs that female characters were written by a man and male characters were written by a woman

kaylaS91

What's one giveaway that the story you're reading is probably the product of a female character being written from a male author's perspective?

Boobs.

Im typically all for a fun play on words but.. really now?
I'm typically all for a fun play on words but.. really now?

Men tend to describe their female characters as overly-aware of their bodies and how they move. There is a lot of talk about breasts, how 'full' they are, weighty, and sensitive. The women are usually described as 'lush' and 'voluptuous' as opposed to women written by women, who are often described as thinner and frailer.

It's funny how many male authors think a woman’s nipples are able to express emotions. I have seen an awful lot of 'hardening in anger' as well as 'hardening in fear.' Hell, even just hardening because she saw someone attractive.

Like a couple of tiny twin boners.

Who needs a mood ring when you can just check in with your nips?
Who needs a mood ring when you can just check in with your nips?

Women written by men also tend to be more aware of their effect on men, and more confident, and yet also completely unaware that they are stunningly beautiful. A classmate once actually told me: ‘a girl who knows her value will never give assholes a chance’.

Telltale signs that female characters were written by a man and male characters were written by a woman

Maybe he was onto something...

WOMEN WRITING MEN

Men written by women are usually brooding and withdrawn. They often have a mysterious, painful past that makes it difficult to trust the heroine as they go through many layers of emotional turmoil.. The physical descriptions of men seem focused on eyes, jawlines, and torso-muscles, in that order. There is almost always a scene where the man changes his clothing/armor in front of the girl, and she blushes when she notices his “sinewy, muscled back.”

Despite their withdrawn personalities, the men usually light up around children, and get along wonderfully with them. The children almost never show any inherent knowledge of ‘stranger danger’ and tend to love and trust the men instantly.

Telltale signs that female characters were written by a man and male characters were written by a woman

The men almost NEVER flirt with other women, or even look at them. Usually a very traditionally sexy woman shows up at some point to seduce him, and he publicly rejects her in some way, showing his devotion to the “plain, scrawny” heroine. Sexual encounters are more tentative and emotional…

Think of a man who nervous, shy, and gentle. He usually has to reassure the heroine that she is, indeed, beautiful- especially the first time he sees her naked.

Even if it’s his first time, a female author will typically depict him as being amazing in bed by providing a detailed description of him trying to pleasure the lady first. Rather than thrusting a few times, coming, and then going to sleep.

Telltale signs that female characters were written by a man and male characters were written by a woman

I remember a scene in a Mercedes Lackey book where this couple is about to have sex (which guy has a lot of experience with), while it's her first time. He goes down on her and brings her to orgasm before any PIV happens.

When he comes up, he grins and says that a previous partner of his had advised him to do that with his ‘next sexual partner’ so that their first experience of sexual contact would be one of pleasure, rather than discomfort. What a lovely relief from all of the ‘bLoOd oN tHe ShEeTs’ nonsense that usually characterizes sex in fantasy/history books.

Telltale signs that female characters were written by a man and male characters were written by a woman
Telltale signs that female characters were written by a man and male characters were written by a woman
25
8
Add Opinion

Most Helpful Girls

  • btbc92
    In my experiences I don't think any of that is true at all. Any one of those examples can be written by anyone. I don't read any of that erotica garbage. For one thing I can say with some books I have read, especially by an experienced writer still definitely write something that ridiculous. What really matters is actually weather not if you're going to have it from the point of view of the main character, the deuteronomists, side characters, or is it from a third-person perspective?

    Also to add. While the 1st description is almost accurate, you can tell it's basically porn right off the bat.

    The truth is anybody with self awareness can fit that description. It's a simple matter ofnhow much you actually care about it. Usually an insecure person. The point of what is being said here is that these are poorly written books no matter who writes them. They are not meant to make since. They are meant to be porn you can read to masturbate to. That's it nothing more. Ibdont call that romance. It isn't. They're porn books and called Romance.
    Is this still revelant?
  • I really enjoyed reading this. It was especially interesting to me because I'm a writer myself. So I liked trying to figure out whether I've been doing these stereotypical things that you wrote about.

    And it is true that my male characters had mysterious and painful pasts. They are 100% faithful and never flirt with any other women outside of their relationship. They reject all other women who approach them. I don't write sex scenes, so the rest didn't apply. But everything else was spot-on for the way that I wrote the characters.
    Is this still revelant?

Most Helpful Guys

  • MrOracle
    Reminds me of 50 Shades - Christian Grey was every single male romance novel trope: young, handsome, confident, billionaire, in love with the mousy, plain girl and chooses her over the hot/rich girls. And, of course, he's flawed, but she can help fix him.

    Stuff like that happens every day... Lol.
    Is this still revelant?
    • kaylaS91

      lol yesss, 50 shades (and other novels it might've inspired after gaining so much popularity) is a great example of how inaccurate a female author's perspective of men is. I mean.. let's be real- he already strikes me as a major psychopath who uses BDSM as a way to normalize his behaviour.

      Take away his fame & fortune and he'd basically be a lead suspect on criminal minds. 🤣

    • MrOracle

      And yet women ate it up. Lol. Of course men are no less guilty, but women are also no better.

      I think everyone enjoys their fantasies, and are entitled to have them, but we all need to realize that they aren't reality either, and those standards cannot be applied to real life.

    • An excellent observation. She wouldn't have looked twice if the guy wasn't rich. As Cyndi Lauper says: "Money changes everything".

  • AmeerX
    U. S perspective probably is like that but other cultures depict man and women differently even when written by male authors and female authors.

    Though I liked the part of hero liking the plain jane type of girl. I do too. Why is it hard to digest😂?
    Is this still revelant?
    • kaylaS91

      yeah, maybe. Though tfb, most novels that were written in other languages and by people from non-American cultures have since been translated. I've read plenty of books that were originally written in Mandarin, Russian, German, or even Nigerian then translated into English. 🤓

    • AmeerX

      Oh yeah can you suggest a good read in Russian :)

Scroll Down to Read Other Opinions

What Girls & Guys Said

623
  • Nalix
    These are all highly sexualized examples. It would be interesting to see how characters are portrayed in non-sexual situations, though I'm sure the differences there are less pronounced, but I'm sure they're still there. I like how Robert Jordan portrays the way both men and women in the Wheel of Time.
    • Gwenhwyfar

      Agreed. There’s a sex scene in Wheel of Time. Rand and Aviendha.

  • SomeGuyCalledTom
    Sounds like you're describing what *BAD* writers do. There are many novelists both male and female who excel in writing well rounded male AND female characters. Poor writers use these cheap gender crutches to avoid having to render a nuanced portrait of a perspective they don't embody.
  • AdithyaR
    That's pretty true
    I'm an aspiring writer myself and I've never really cared to describe my characters like that. I generally stuck to describing their face shape, eye color and hair then just switch to personality. To avoid stereotypes I always base my characters on people I personally know so that I get a variety of character types.
  • ronaldo75
    Sorry but women do this shit more than men. In all my writing classes women write some sort of iteration of "the strong take-no-shit bitch who destroys the weak male" in EVERYTHING they write. Over and over and over and over and over again to the point of nausea. Yet the second they detect any hint of "misogynies" in anything a male writes, imagined or not and they make a stink of it to the professor.
  • BurnHollywoodBurn
    There is no way to tell. Every writer is different. Sure you might think a guy is gonna write a female different than he would a guy but a conservative might write a woman as their version and a liberal might write a woman as being more powerful than guys. It all depends on the writer.
  • Whether you wanna believe that gender differences are biological or cultural, the fact remains that they exist and affect the way the think and behave, and because of that, it's often difficult to write characters (especially POV characters) of the opposite gender and make them realistic.
    Luckily, fiction is not SUPPOSED to be realistic! The concept of "willing suspension of disbelief" is necessary within any media, no matter how realistic it's supposed to be.
  • ZackBan
    It's hard to put into words but somehow you can always tell.
    The difference is more obvious in mangas if you ever read any. Woman litterally draw diffently than men especially male characters
  • cush_ebo
    Damn... real... that's good point it... especially Nipples having emotions 😂. More than script, I wish I can put a girl behind a Camera to know what she's about when it comes to relationship of characters. Can you typically give me an example on how a woman will describe a woman character in one of your previous example? 👸
  • zagor
    The difference can be obvious; I was reading a western novel and the sex scene was something like "He made love to her passionately and gently, leaving her fulfilled and satisfied to her core".

    No guy would write that...
    • Gwenhwyfar

      Totally 😂

      Just like no girl would name herself after the Warlock of Firetop Mountain...

  • TJFreshman22
    Very interesting dialogue! I was not aware of this concept occurring and the gender differences in writing styles before!
  • FakeName123
    There are only telltale signs, if the writers were bad. Good writers are capable of writing good characters for both genders.
  • modelUN242
    Both of them are unrealistic and you have that feeling that this person is "too good to be true."
  • angeliquedevereux2
    Love this analysis, really interesting to read as I love writing 😊
  • jgokgotit
    Writing an opposite gender character is one of the greatest tests of an author's writing skill level. Take J. K. Rowling and Christopher Paolini for example. Rowling has developed her writing skills over the course of her books. You can see the difference in how she describes her male characters. Paolini was very inexperienced when he wrote Eragon, yet he actually did research to make his characters realistic. Writing skill is about more than penmanship and imagination. It is a lot of research as well in order to make your characters credible. If you see the tale tale signs you discussed, it indicates that writer might not have his/her skills polished yet.
  • Oram52
    I'm not sure if it was meant to be light humour :)

    I was going to write longer answer before I read telltale signs. Suppose it can be true but it is smaller proportion in terms of fiction as a whole. Male written can have depth while written by women can lack any substance look at 50 shades of grey.

    I skimmed through few pages of a book once, it was romance novel. From what I remember. The geeky professor she had crush on was sitting on opposite bench while they were having lunch. I think she knew professor likes her. So she imagines maybe he is thinking about her vagina, how moist it is basically different scenarios.

    From that I knew it was clearly written by a woman, men would know he was staring at her chest 😁
  • Thatsamazing
    There is a lot of truth to this but I think you could have expounded it in far greater detail. Great idea though. Clearly though, we need to discuss that all writing is not created equal-- some writing is serious literature, or at least is trying to be, whereas other writing is clearly fluff, like ^ really all of the examples you gave. It's more an attempt at humor or bodice-ripper romance (which is very one-dimensional nonsense) rather than substance. So I don't think we can really hold examples like that up as content that really speaks for writing as a whole, and especially not writing that... really matters.
  • BoobMan
    An amazingly entertaining read! Thank you for writing this!
  • orangecherry
    Guys always write the girl character as being obsessed with her own boobs
  • COMMODOREII
    I can't wait to see if people can figure out my book.
  • LogicBomber
    It’s quite funny how the female description of a man is literally me to the letter but it’s not what women want in reality.

    “brooding and withdrawn. They often have a mysterious, painful past that makes it difficult to trust the heroine as they go through many layers of emotional turmoil”

    “Despite their withdrawn personalities, the men usually light up around children, and get along wonderfully with them.”

    “Think of a man who nervous, shy, and gentle. He usually has to reassure the heroine that she is, indeed, beautiful- especially the first time he sees her naked“.

    “a female author will typically depict him as being amazing in bed by providing a detailed description of him trying to pleasure the lady first. Rather than thrusting a few times, coming, and then going to sleep.”

    Honestly it’s weird how this is so closely the description of who I am in reality
  • Levin
    Fucking hell you read too many romance novels.
    • kaylaS91

      no, I really don't read all that many tbqh. If I did read a few, they were mostly just due to the book club I'm part of. The book doesn't even need to contain romance or sexual scenes to realize how much male authors and female authors differ in not only their writing styles, but also their character descriptions/development.

  • BillieJean1070
    Great "My Take"
  • Gwenhwyfar
    Great Take!
  • NYCQuestions1976
    Fascinating.
  • DiegoO
    Very informative.
  • Naydyonov
    logical stuff
  • wellendowedwonder
    I like this a lot of truth
  • Anonymous
    I agree. That's probably why I don't read any romance book at all.
  • Anonymous
    1. Women writers tend to overcompsate for being a an and make them manly.
    2. women writers love to queer bate
    3. They love to write about the unapologetic whore.
    4. They love to write about docile helpless sexy average girl the save me girl.
    Also women sex scene are often written badly.
Loading...