1. monkey_business
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    monkey_business New Member

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    Help with female POV

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by monkey_business, Jan 22, 2011.

    I've wanted to write novels for a while now. I finally got around to it couple of days ago. I want to write a romance book (teen romance like 'Twilight'). The thing is my book would be best narrated from a girls POV, but I'm a guy. Any help?
     
  2. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just don't write Twilight and you should be fine. :p

    When writing a female point of view it should be pretty straightforwardly like any narrative, depending on character and personality traits. If she's a weird, skittish person, so would the writing be. And so on. Girls tend to think more emotionally about stuff, and hold a lot of significance to those emotions. So as long as you don't sideline emotions it should read okay. :)
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Hi,

    As a woman, let me say please please PLEASE do NOT make your female MC like Twilight's Bella.. I personally hate to see female characters who have no spine or independence and who cling to their man in the hopes that he will make every decision for her and take care of all her problems for her.

    I, and most other women, prefer strong female characters. Keep that in mind.

    If you need help writing a female POV I'm happy to pitch in, just give me some specifics on what you're looking for.
     
  4. Pen
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    Pen Member

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    I'd say that it depends, really. If you're going for a popular piece, then Bella from Twilight has to be an archetype- while a vocal few women loathe Bella for her characterisation, it's a bestselling series and movie for a reason.

    She is notably lacking in defining character traits that present any impediment to readers imagining themselves as her, and she is swept off her feet by a singularly attractive vampire. Hollow characters have the most space inside for readers to insert themselves.

    If you're aiming a little higher in literary terms than that then it bears mentioning that a lot of titles have female protags who are victims or feel themselves victimised in some way.

    Who is the intended audience? I'm assuming young women, so Bella and other comparable characters might be a good choice, and will of course be fairly easy to write. Internal monologues and how other characters make her feel- tending to the passive.
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just come up with your character and then let her tell the story it will shape her.


    I told my first story from the POV of a 17 year old boy (I am neither a teenager nor a boy), I started witha bit of a stereotype (arguing with his dad, his clothes were smelly, his hair greasy, spots, he adores his big brother, nervous of his body shape etc) - then the story helped him grow into a rounded character.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if, as i suspect, you're a fairly young male who's had little experience with gals, you'd better start out by reading lots of teen romances written by females... absorb how it's done, before trying to fake it...
     
  7. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    ^ This.

    If you haven't read Twilight, read that. It would be a mistake to avoid the single most successful work in the market you are aiming for.

    I would also branch out to other books written from the point of view of teen girls, whether romance or not. Alyson Noel is good, and I recommend "Saving Zoe," above her paranormal "immortals" books.

    PC Cast is successful. Never read her, but that might not be a bad idea.

    Pretty Little Liars books by Sara Shepard may be helpful (again a remarkably successful series).
     
  8. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't worry about giving your character feminine traits at first. Just try to make a good character, and your readers will be much more likely to believe in it, whether you make it typically feminine or not.

    To make the character seem feminine, I wouldn't try to give her a "feminine personality", because, frankly, I'm not sure such a thing exists. Instead I would try to learn about the things girls have to deal with in real life (being judged by your looks, struggling to be treated like a woman, fear of becoming pregnant, creepy guys, etc), and insert them into the character's life.

    About reading teen romances, Twilight and other currently popular books... if you want commercial appeal, I guess looking at how they're written will help, but I don't think it can replace actually knowing the thing you write about. Try to talk to female friends and relatives about their thoughts, their daily lives, their hopes and fears, etc.
     
  9. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree that such a thing probably doesn't exist, but there are some trends. One example is that about 60% of men are primarily motivated at work by extrinsic factors such as money, status and power, and only 40% primarily by intrinsic factors like the feeling that the job is doing something worthwhile for society. For women the numbers are about 20% and 80% respectively. If you write a female Gordon Gecko character then fine: 20% of women is still an awful lot of women, so it's believable. But if women are your target audience, remember that four out of five of them are going to struggle to identify with that character. Make her the dragon that the heroine has to overcome, have her change her ways and realise the importance of relationships, or pitch to that 20% of women (although I bet they're not the ones reading the most chick-lit). An excellent book on this is Susan Pinker's The Sexual Paradox.
     

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