Monday, July 29, 2019

Writing MCs of Various Genders

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is: "Heroes and heroines – how do you write them differently."

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.