Monday, July 29, 2019
Writing MCs of Various Genders
This is apropos for me, having just returned from the RWA Conference, as the topic of language and how we reference the "hero and heroine" came up. People pointed out that referring to the hero and heroine reflects a cis-het bias. They suggested "main character(s)" (MC) or "protagonists." In Romance stories we could say "love interest(s)" or LI. Even this question implies the binary, that there are heroes and heroines, and that's it.
I'm going to try to make this change.
Otherwise, my answer to the question of how I differentiate when writing various genders is short: I don't.
At least, I really try not to.
Whenever I get asked for advice on writing "strong female characters" - which, I'm not even all that sure what that means, as opposed to writing doormats? - I say to write strong characters, full stop. Gender, etc., should matter FAR less than everything else about a character. When writing females, maybe remember that they have menstrual cycles and have to deal with getting pregnant. Though I'd love to see males written who worry about dealing with getting someone ELSE pregnant.
Otherwise... Yeah. I don't write them differently. Still trying.
Labels: gender, heroes, heroines, Jeffe Kennedy, LI, love interest, main characters, MCs, RWA National Conference
Jeffe Kennedy is a multi-award-winning and best-selling author of romantic fantasy. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) and is a member of Novelists, Inc. (NINC). She is best known for her RITA® Award-winning novel, The Pages of the Mind, the recent trilogy, The Forgotten Empires, and the wildly popular, Dark Wizard. Jeffe lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is represented by Sarah Younger of Nancy Yost Literary Agency.