Four Tips for Writing across Genders


Can I write a young, smart, resourceful female character that does justice to a whole suite of gender concerns that aren’t “natural” to me by birth and upbringing?

Eithne of Dolgallu, from The Romance of Eowain by Michael E. DellertThe “golden rule” of writing is: write what you know. The relative merit of that tenet is open for debate, but at face value, the one thing I surely know is “being male.” I was born male, with all the accoutrements one would expect, and I was raised “male,” in the heterosexual gender paradigm. So when I write, I “naturally” write from a male perspective. It’s what I know, it’s the skin I feel most comfortable in. But can I also write from a female perspective? Does writing from a woman’s point of view require shedding my own personality and approaches to the world, rather than just changing personalities?

This was one of the stretch goals I set for myself when…

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