Thanks for the invite, Charles, and thanks for the idea. I checked back on my blog tour list and a writing lesson is one of the topics. Before I get into it, I want to tell everyone what I’m promoting today.
The Enhanced League is a collection of short stories that tell an overarching story. This is something new for me, because my previous collections were all stand alone stories. It’s the story of a fictional professional baseball league where performance enhancements are left up to the players. It has a science fiction basis, but the stories are human ones.
The individual stories include a lot of female characters. They aren’t players, but business women, scientists, umpires, stadium performers, and one high school girl with bigger dreams.
I’ve gotten compliments before on how well I write female characters, but I never focused on the differences until recently. I guess the first lesson is not to focus on the differences… yet.
I can only present this as a male author writing female characters. I can’t help but think the lessons are applicable either direction. If you have perspective on the flip side, weigh in.
Quite frankly, I usually develop a character before I assign a gender. Which gender will help me make the impact I’m going for? You might want to try that approach yourself.
Women are all humans first. Humans all have strengths and weaknesses, faults, hopes, and dreams. I’ll add in that if you’re writing a main character, they should absolutely want something. None of this has anything to do with their sex, even if they want sex.
If you write your characters this way, you’re going to make your readers happy. We’re all different, and your female characters can be different too. Some are extroverts, others are introverts. Some are forceful, others are more passive in their gyrations. They might be blunt, or passive aggressive.
I think this is really all you need to keep in mind, but I have a little perspective if you want to take it further.
My original character, Lisa Burton the robot girl, is a strong character. When her novel ended, I got tired of her moping around and put her to work. This all started as occasional blog posts where she served as my personal assistant. I commissioned a couple of new art pieces and forged ahead. The posters were very popular, so I promoted her to spokesmodel, and she helps promote my new books. More posters, this time book themed, and her popularity grew.
This led me to opening a Facebook site for her, and that opened my eyes. One of the first things that happened was some man sending her pictures of his genitalia. Recently, another man followed her and started sending stickers, poking, and sending direct messages. I backed him off.
Lisa is an electronic version of ink and paint, plus my own imagination. Keep it in your pants dudes.
This tells us something about men and about women. Men will do some things that are completely disgusting. Women have to be more careful, lest they become victims. Even then there are cross over issues.
Women are not unique when it comes to rape. While it is less common, male rape happens. Electronic stalkers are out there for all of us. Muggers and hackers are pretty indiscriminate about their victims. Still, women are more at risk for this kind of behavior and they might do things differently that a man because of it.
This proves to me there are differences. Not just physical differences, like female NFL players. Under certain circumstances, we act different. Men are more likely to blow off an important date. We forget six month anniversaries, Valentines Day, and birthdays. Women are less likely to do this.
Men are more likely to pull on a mismatched outfit and run out the door. Women tend to think an outfit through, and to clean up.
My original character, Clovis from The Playground, would walk down a dark alley and not even look over his shoulder. He would be the most dangerous thing in that alley. Most women, and some men, might think twice and go around.
Maybe there is a reason why women go to the bathroom in groups. They are also less likely to scratch themselves, or pick their noses in public.
Your female character can be a complete slob and do all of these things. She might still go around the dark alley. Your male character might prefer the tropical drink with the little umbrella, but he may still lean sideways and fart as he drinks it.
I suggest making all of your characters into humans first. (Yes even the aliens and mythical ones, but that’s a different topic.) If you want to demonstrate some differences, make sure they’re in character, and try them out, just make them subtle.
I’d appreciate you checking out The Enhanced League. It’s a 99¢ book and if you even like one story it’s worth the money.
***Blurb: The Enhanced league is a collection of short stories and anthems centered around a year in a fictional baseball league. It has a slight science fiction background. This league has a lot more pomp than you might be used to, and nobody seems to care if the players use performance enhancing drugs.
Stories involve existing heroes, up and comers, and falling stars. While there are the obvious stories that take place on the field of play, there are also human interest stories that take place around the baseball gyrations. These stories involve scouting, trades, ruthless business decisions, and even relationships.
I enjoyed researching and bringing you The Enhanced League, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. — CB
I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.
I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.
I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.