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Suggestions For Writing In the Perspective of a Woman (1 Viewer)

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LoveofWriting

Senior Member
How do I do that? I am writing a story that has a woman in it and I need answers to how I can write like one? I am a male writer who has a main character as woman. Does anyone have any novels where a woman is the main character? Or self-help books to help me with this challenge?
 

KeganThompson

Senior Member
How do I do that? I am writing a story that has a woman in it and I need answers to how I can write like one? I am a male writer who has a main character as woman. Does anyone have any novels where a woman is the main character? Or self-help books to help me with this challenge?
What, in particular, are you struggling with? Is there certain areas you feel you need perspective on more than others? Is it in the first or third person? What genre is the story?
Breaking it down into smaller bits and looking at it that way may help. I recommend you read books with the genre you are writing with a female lead. That may help
 

PiP

Staff member
Co-Owner
This discussion might help with your conundrum

Try eavesdropping on women's conversations.
 

Non Serviam

WF Veterans
How do I do that?

Don't try to write from a woman's point of view, or your attempt will ring false.

Write from the point of view of a unique and interesting person who happens to be female. That will work fine.

And... err, how to phrase this. There's a scene that some writers produce, when they're writing about someone of the opposite gender. I call it the Mirror Scene, although it can also be a pool of water or seeing themselves through a camera or something. Anyway, it's the scene where the protagonist looks in a mirror and notices her voluptuous curves and amazing cheekbones (or when women writers write about men, his slim hips, manly chest and cruel but sensual mouth). Please don't do that scene in any form!

If your character is startlingly attractive and this actually matters to the plot, then the best way to convey this to the reader is through dialogue, such as a scene in which an antagonist expresses jealousy of them.
 

PiP

Staff member
Co-Owner
Yes, I can see that going well.
Cabin Fever Reaction GIF


I people watch and often listen to men gabbing away. Football, Golf, Fishing Sex. Sex, Football, Fishing Golf. Brexit. Cars. DIY. Food, Motorbikes. Rugby... Job List
 

PiP

Staff member
Co-Owner
And... err, how to phrase this. There's a scene that some writers produce, when they're writing about someone of the opposite gender. I call it the Mirror Scene, although it can also be a pool of water or seeing themselves through a camera or something. Anyway, it's the scene where the protagonist looks in a mirror and notices her voluptuous curves and amazing cheekbones (or when women writers write about men, his slim hips, manly chest and cruel but sensual mouth). Please don't do that scene in any form!

If your character is startlingly attractive and this actually matters to the plot, then the best way to convey this to the reader is through dialogue, such as a scene in which an antagonist expresses jealousy of them.
Helpful advice. I am a woman and one of the chapters I need to write is from a man's perspective.
 

LoveofWriting

Senior Member
What, in particular, are you struggling with? Is there certain areas you feel you need perspective on more than others? Is it in the first or third person? What genre is the story?
Breaking it down into smaller bits and looking at it that way may help. I recommend you read books with the genre you are writing with a female lead. That may help

Can you recommended me books that have a female lead? Though I'm thinking Twilight or Divergent.

I need to mention that the story is in first person and the genre is literary fiction with some sci fi and fantasy, I am experimenting with genre.
 
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KeganThompson

Senior Member
Can you recommended me books that have a female lead? Though I'm thinking Twilight or Divergent.

I need to mention that the story is in first person and the genre is literary fiction with some sci fi and fantasy, I am experimenting with genre.
I just finished the hunger games and am about to start in the second book in the serious. The female lead has a different perspective than what I'm use to reading. That might be due to the genre shift from the other books I've read tho.
I recommend checking it out.
 

Llyralen

Senior Member
1. I wish MANY MANY MANY men were asking the same thing. Because there are many men who need to realize they aren't writing women well. Realizing that you need help is the first step.
2. Women's brains aren't very different from men's. This info from a neuroscientist I follow: once you get past the reproductive years you can't tell the difference between a man or woman's brain. Notice that sometimes online if the tag is androgynous, you can't tell the sex of the person you are talking to. There is a reason for that... it's that women and men don't think very differently. We are treated very differently in society, though. Sometimes our situations and the expectations placed on us are different, but the brain there is not really different.
3. Given #2, I'd just write like the person is a person. If usually person means "man" for you, then write for a man and give her a woman's name. That would be so much better than what so many men do.

The Big Mistakes I See Made All the TIme:
The sexual aspect of the woman is ALL she is. There isn't even a human there. It's all about the author interacting with her like she is a talking ice cream sunday that he is allowed to decorate with sprinkles and create exactly how he dreams the most tempting sunday would be-- but the sunday has no intentions outside of being available and lucious. She doesn't get mad for non-sexual reasons, she doesn't get disappointed for non-sexual reasons, she doesn't get excited for non-sexual reasons, she doesn't have hobbies for non-sexual reasons, she doesn't have pursuits for non-sexual reasons, she doesn't have a back-story for non-sexual reasons. She doesn't walk non-sexually, she doesn't talk non-sexually, etc. etc ad nauseum. Humans have all sorts of non-sexual thinking and reasons. A man's sexuality is only a part of him. A woman's sexuality is only a part of her. If you can replace your woman character with a talking ice cream sunday then.... just do what I said in #3. The other thing you see is maybe just 1-2 things about the woman might be non-sexual and endearing and played up, but it's still all about whether the male MC "wins" her or not. Make sure your female character has something she wants that has nothing to do with sex.

Anyway, I think it's great that you asked. Books with women MCs are plentiful, but it's amazing how many men have chosen to read few of them. The more you read them, probably the more you will realize that each woman is as different as each man and think pretty much like anyone would given the situation and the brain, experience, and skills that they have.

A few questions for you:
Can we ask why you're choosing a woman as MC? (I want to encourage you fully, but it sounds like this is a stretch for you? Stretch away, I'm encouraging but curious.)
Are you going to attempt to write realistically about adolescence, first love or emerging sexuality, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or motherhood or grandmotherhood? Has she experienced discrimination (actually most women probably have against women, but.. is it key in your story?), something horrific like rape, or some other compromising situation? Those might be more advanced subject situations that you might need to ask a lot of questions about before embarking... a LOT.
 
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Lawless

Senior Member
writing a story that has a woman in it and I need answers to how I can write like one?

I could give you a pleasant answer and an unpleasant answer.

The pleasant answer is: if you give her just any old personality and a woman's body, then the majority of male readers will buy it. Women will roll their eyes a little bit but read on anyway, because firstly, they have long given up expecting men to understand women, and secondly, it's interesting to see how a man sees women.

The beautiful thing is, even if you happen to get one or another thing wrong, that is, make her act or think or feel very differently from the vast majority of real-world women, many will praise you for "boldly defying the gender stereotypes".

Mind you, I'm not being sarcastic here. I really believe you have good chances to get away with it.

To cut the long story short, I dare to suggest you don't have much to worry about. Just go on writing the way that feels right to you.
 

LoveofWriting

Senior Member
I could give you a pleasant answer and an unpleasant answer.

The pleasant answer is: if you give her just any old personality and a woman's body, then the majority of male readers will buy it. Women will roll their eyes a little bit but read on anyway, because firstly, they have long given up expecting men to understand women, and secondly, it's interesting to see how a man sees women.

The beautiful thing is, even if you happen to get one or another thing wrong, that is, make her act or think or feel very differently from the vast majority of real-world women, many will praise you for "boldly defying the gender stereotypes".

Mind you, I'm not being sarcastic here. I really believe you have good chances to get away with it.

To cut the long story short, I dare to suggest you don't have much to worry about. Just go on writing the way that feels right to you.

That seems like good advice, thank you.
 

Phil Istine

WF Veterans
Cabin Fever Reaction GIF


I people watch and often listen to men gabbing away. Football, Golf, Fishing Sex. Sex, Football, Fishing Golf. Brexit. Cars. DIY. Food, Motorbikes. Rugby... Job List
I don't often converse about those things with other guys. Football sometimes maybe, and I try to avoid Brexit now, but politics and conservation (not conversation :) ). When I do chat it's usually with women as I'm not really into blokey things apart from football. Come to think of it, I don't converse much at all as I live and work on my own. If I don't go out, I can easily go several days without uttering a single word. Now I've written that, something about it seems a bit weird.
 

Llyralen

Senior Member
The pleasant answer is: if you give her just any old personality and a woman's body, then the majority of male readers will buy it. Women will roll their eyes a little bit but read on anyway, because firstly, they have long given up expecting men to understand women, and secondly, it's interesting to see how a man sees women.
This is my problem. I haven't given up and I set myself up for disappointment. Still, it feels like if I gave up then I wouldn't be optimistic me and would just be accepting that many men will only see me as alien and inferior or only interesting if they think I'm interesting-looking. I keep thinking "I am obviously knowledgeable and capable and funny and my brain is interesting. There is no denying this... right?" Meh...? Oh Ugg....

Ugg. I guess I can't reprogram thousands of years of suppression in a day. It might take 2 days.
 

PiP

Staff member
Co-Owner
I don't often converse about those things with other guys. Football sometimes maybe, and I try to avoid Brexit now, but politics and conservation (not conversation :) ). When I do chat it's usually with women as I'm not really into blokey things apart from football. Come to think of it, I don't converse much at all as I live and work on my own. If I don't go out, I can easily go several days without uttering a single word. Now I've written that, something about it seems a bit weird.
I hear you, Phil. While I don't live alone I have found since COVID I genuinely prefer my own company and struggle with girlie conversations with other women. When I was back in the UK I listened to the girlie conversations between my daughter-in-laws and yawned out after a while. In hindsight, it was wrong of me to generalise about men any more than we can generalise women

I think it would be fair to suggest that the OP should profile his main character first.

According to a dating site there are twelve types of women


Even though I am a woman your question made me reconsider the overall personality and type of woman I want to project for my MC and her friends


This site made me laugh according to surfers there are only four (topless women alert)
.
 

Phil Istine

WF Veterans
I hear you, Phil. While I don't live alone I have found since COVID I genuinely prefer my own company and struggle with girlie conversations with other women. When I was back in the UK I listened to the girlie conversations between my daughter-in-laws and yawned out after a while. In hindsight, it was wrong of me to generalise about men any more than we can generalise women

I think it would be fair to suggest that the OP should profile his main character first.

According to a dating site there are twelve types of women


Even though I am a woman your question made me reconsider the overall personality and type of woman I want to project for my MC and her friends


This site made me laugh according to surfers there are only four (topless women alert)
.
There are three types of men: those who can count and those who can't.
 

bdcharles

Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9
Staff member
Media Manager
Can you recommended me books that have a female lead? Though I'm thinking Twilight or Divergent.

I need to mention that the story is in first person and the genre is literary fiction with some sci fi and fantasy, I am experimenting with genre.
My novel is written from a female perspective (3rd though, not 1st) and of a similar genre to yours. So therefore I shall recommend my own book (See sig) :)

I tend to default to female protagonists even though I am male. I am not sure it's because I am unmanly or I obsess over the opposite gender, but I just find women more interesting. Whenever I try and write a man it comes off really crummy unless it happens naturally.
 
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