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Dinwar
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PostSubject: Re: Female Characters   Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:19 pm

You've been in online discussions before, right? Razz
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Sister of Darkness
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PostSubject: Re: Female Characters   Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:43 am

-sits and read interested-
Dinwar wrote:
Never trust someone who bleeds for a week and doesn't die. Wink
Hey!
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Dinwar
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PostSubject: Re: Female Characters   Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:58 pm

No offense intended, Sister of Darkness. It was a quote from something I'd heard in college.
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BrassButtons
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PostSubject: Re: Female Characters   Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:15 pm

Someone at the Escapist brought up an interesting point. That thread has gone for multiple pages discussing how men have trouble writing female characters because the genders have differences--but isn't that argument true for any character that's different from the writer? Religious beliefs, ethnicity, income, age, education level, and so on all affect people differently. The same reasoning that says "men and women are different, so men have trouble writing women" should also lead us to say "white people and black people are different, so a white author will have trouble writing a black character".

Basically, if a writer can't handle writing someone of a different gender, can they handle writing any character that isn't simply an author avatar?
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Dinwar
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PostSubject: Re: Female Characters   Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:29 pm

Has anyone ever argued that women can't write male characters? That's the most logical correlary to "Men can't write female characters", but I've never, to my recollection, heard it expressed. No one's ever objected to the male characters offered by the female authors I'm familiar with.

If females CAN write male characters, there are only two conclusions: that males can write female characters, or that men are simply so vastly more simplistic than women that anyone can write about them. Which is wrong and sexist as hell.
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Calwyn
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PostSubject: Re: Female Characters   Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:12 pm

Well, to answer that question I would say that most fantasy fans can't think of a good female fantasy author. Though I have two things to say about that:

1) There ARE good female authors within fantasy. N.K. Jemisin, Elizabeth Bear, Elspeth Cooper are three newer authors that I love, then there's Weis and Hichman, Robin Hobb, Ann McCaffrey who have had good sales in their careers, though I've never really gotten into them. They tend to write characters, male or female, quite well from those I have read.

2) Outside of fantasy, there have been plenty of extremely talented and successful female authors for a long, long time. They've been writing characters of both genders, so it seems to me that it's an open and shut case that women can write about male characters just fine and therefore the opposite should be (and is) true as well.

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Calwyn
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PostSubject: Re: Female Characters   Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:12 am

I was at a Patrick Rothfuss reading, Q&A and book signing last night, and he dropped a couple of tidbits related to this topic:

1) There was an article on a website called, I believe, Jezebel, where Rothfuss was accused of being sexist in how he writes his female characters.

2) He is currently working on a novella where the heroine is a woman whose children have grown up and made lives for themselves. While telling us about it, he mentioned "When can a mother be a hero? Protecting or avenging her family, traditionally. That doesn't make much sense does it?" He said he went out of his way to create a heroine that does not fit into traditional fantasy female cliches. He also mentioned that he's extremely worried of being presumptuous in how he writes a woman and a mother, so he uses a lot of beta readers to let him know when he's way off.

During both topics, he mentioned that he too is not as comfortable writing about female characters as he is about male. To me, that's probably mostly because people as writers will always be more comfortable writing what they know most about - themselves (gender, race, social status, beliefs, culture, etc), where many characters will exhibit some element of the author. But that is likely why fantasy is so traditional and prone to repetition rather than originality.

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rainshadow
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PostSubject: Re: Female Characters   Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:31 am

Sister of Darkness wrote:
-sits and read interested-
Dinwar wrote:
Never trust someone who bleeds for a week and doesn't die. Wink
Hey!

SOUTH PARK!

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We should create a loop. That way when he gets back he can feel jealous that he's been out of it.
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Sister of Darkness
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PostSubject: Re: Female Characters   Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:56 am

I really dislike that sentence.. damn you cartman
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Calwyn
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PostSubject: Re: Female Characters   Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:28 pm

That was Mr Guerrison (sp?), not Cartman. Razz

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Sister of Darkness
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PostSubject: Re: Female Characters   Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:41 am

Really? hmm then why do people say its cartman silent lying bastards....
Well it's from south park atleast! Razz
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Calwyn
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PostSubject: Re: Female Characters   Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:00 pm

Because in the whole history of South Park, that's something that Cartman would be more likely to say Wink

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