Write well. Write often. Edit wisely.
I’m sure I’ll catch flak for this one, but I have to tell the truth—men and women write differently.
Their approaches are different. Their styles are different. Their tones, their words, their sentence construction is different.
I often prefer a man’s stylings.
I read a lot of books, and in the past few years I’ve delved into a lot of manuscripts. By far—and not always, but most often—the male writers get to the point sooner. They jump into action and begin the story without hesitation.
Their characters are people with character. The people in stories written by men don’t hold back. They speak plainly—often boldly and crudely, but not always—and they leave the reader in no doubt about who they are and what they want.
These characters have clear goals, strong motivations, and few hesitations. They act, they act out, and they press forward.
Stories written by men tend to have exciting action, action that draws the reader deep. The emotion is up front, the goals plain, the trip to the finish filled with fun or terror or disbelief.
Do women write this way? Of course some do.
Does everyone need to write this way? Of course they don’t.
I find myself wishing that more women would give their characters the frankness that male authors do. That female writers would pour it on, turn it up, go for the gusto more often. I wish they’d come out and write some of the outrageous declarations that men put into the mouths of their characters.
I know there are different styles of presentation and countless ways to introduce characters and plot and tone. But I suggest to female writers that it may be worth your time to take the restraints off when you write your next character. Give him a voice you’ve not used before. One that grabs the reader’s attention. You might be shocked at what your story turns into. You may be surprised at the readers you gain. You may discover you’ve pushed yourself into a stronger style.
I can hear some wondering if I even enjoy female authors. You bet. I love their stylings and the myriad approaches they bring to the craft. And yes, I’d love to see male writers take on some of the strengths of the females. But that article’s for another day.
I’m certain this one’s stirred up enough trouble.