1. pinelopikappa
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    pinelopikappa Senior Member

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    boys and girls

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by pinelopikappa, Oct 2, 2009.

    Reading about Chick-Lit made me remember a question that keeps popping in my head.
    Different writers treat the exact same subject differently (of course:rolleyes:) but how does this work with gender. For instance can one tell if a man or a woman wrote a love scene (or love story)? Or everything else for that matter?


    This is a litterary question and absolutely nothing more!Nothing to do with quality of writing ok?
     
  2. baillie
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    baillie Member

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    I think this is a good topic. I personally avoid fiction written by a woman. (Sexist I know, but I have my reasons).

    I've had some bad experiences with books written by women, in that I feel the character development and feelings/ emotions of the characters override the story or plot. I know many people will disagree with this, but its just the way I feel.

    I think I could tell the difference between whats been written by a man and whats been written by a woman.
     
  3. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    Good literature is good literature. When I first read Atlas Shrugged in 10th Grade I figured the writer was a man because of how it was written. Come to find out Ayn Rand is a woman, if not a bit unfeminine. Nevertheless, I loved the book and found out I can't always go on my assumptions.

    To each his own.
     
  4. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it's time for you to read some Mary Shelley.
     
  5. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    You should read about l'ecriture feminin and the works of second-wave Feminists. They have a lot to say about the differences between writing by woman and men. Virginia Woolf and Clarice Lespector are also important with regards to this kind of theorising.
     
  6. Sillraaia
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    Sillraaia Senior Member

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    I have been told I write like a guy. All people are different, men and women can be very similar at times. All a matter of personality x life experiences. Don't judge a book by its' cover. :)
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    though i was always as hetero as anyone could be, in my old fiction-writing life, i wrote like a guy... especially in the triple-x-rated series of short stories i turned out back then, but also in all my works that contained any sex scenes and/or any male pov narrative...

    the reason being that i first of all, couldn't stand most novels written by women and second, because being in my early 40s before i started writing fiction i had [and was having] such a shall we say 'active' and 'varied' love life, that i knew men as well as any woman could and was therefore able to write from inside their heads... the upper ones, that is...

    and yes, i can usually tell is something was written by a woman... don't ask me how, it's just a thing i can do... which probably comes from having been a voracious and non-stop reader of anything i could lay my hands on, from earliest childhood...
     
  8. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    For old books, it's fairly easy to tell if a woman wrote it just based on the message the book is trying to convey. A lot of older novels have feminist themes or are about young rils growing up. But since women have equal rights today, women have been writing about various things and have expanded into different genres. So, it's a lot harder to guess the gender of the author now.
     
  9. jonathan hernandez13
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    jonathan hernandez13 Contributing Member Contributor

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    other than women being discriminated against in the field by sexists and male chauvanists, it makes absolutely no difference. My fav genre is SF, and some of the best in the field were women;Ursula K LeGuin, Octavia Butler, James Triptree Jr (Yes, James Triptree was a woman, she deliberately chose to write under a male name beacuse she had the sneaky suspicion that some men wouldnt read fiction by a woman, and she was right!)

    you cant distinguish between fiction written by a man or a woman (unless maybe its hand-written?), just like you cant tell what color they are, what their religion is, and what sex they prefer. The only thing you know about them is what they tell you, and unless theyre writing autobiographies, theyre probably not telling you very much:cool:
     
  10. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was just about to break a forum rule by linking here, so instead I'll ask you to google "Gender Genie". It brings up a website where you can submit a piece of text and it will try to tell if the author is male or female. Kinda funny when it works.
     
  11. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thats interesting. I wrote a quick little thing and it said I was male(true) but I decided to get a larger piece and it said I was female. lol
     
  12. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know, it's not perfect. But I find the algorithm it uses interesting - that certain words are used more often by one gender than the other. The algorithm is generated by analyzing huge amounts of texts written by each gender. I guess it supports the idea that men generally talk in exterior terms and women more often through interior ones.
     
  13. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    A lot of romances are written by males under female names.

    When in chat rooms, people often mistake me for a female, even if I have a masculine nick name.
     
  14. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    I never gave this much thought before. Now, as I glance over my collection, it's obvious I prefer male writers. All of my favourite contemporary authors are men. I don't judge a book by the cover; those are just the books I liked best.

    It just so happens that most of the books I don't like or can't remember well were written by women. I think it's because too much focus on emotion and relationships actually drain the text of reality. Everything gets over-dramatised, like Edward, the century-old vampire becoming suicidal over a girl he'd known for a few weeks or months. When I read that stuff, all I can think is "WTF". I do the facepalm and stop reading for a while (or completely).

    I just can't stand the characters.

    I don't think I've ever experienced that kind of exaggerated drama in male writing, though.

    That said, there are obviously multitudes who enjoy that stuff. . . so it's not inherently bad. I just don't relate.
     
  15. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    You should check out Octavia Butler, a female sci-fi writer.
     
  16. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    I've actually been meaning to. I've heard a lot of good things about her.:)

    Which book(s) would you recommend? I was going to pick up Lilith's Brood.
     
  17. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Lilith's Brood is what I'd recommend. It's awsome.
     
  18. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, I think you hit the nail on the head. Women are much more into internal monologuing about their feelings, their memories, their observations. I like books that have that aspect to them, but not overdone.
     
  19. MumblingSage
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    MumblingSage Contributing Member

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    Most of the books I've hated have been written by women (Stephanie Meyer, Bertrice Small, Diana Palmer in her one science fiction novel). On the other hand, my favorite books have been written by C.J. Cherryh, C.S. Friedman (both women, though it might be hard to tell with initials) and Lois McMaster Bujold, whose name I kept reading as Louis for a bit. :p Bujold does not write like a girl. That is to say, a whiny emotion-oriented female, as opposed to a woman, who just writes. Yes, that is the distinction I make. I have a similar one for boys and men, depending on the level of fascination with action and female character's boobies.
     
  20. pinelopikappa
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    pinelopikappa Senior Member

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    Interesting. That's very close to my thoughts.
     

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