1. Gloria Sythe
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    Gloria Sythe Member

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    Male vrs. Female Authors

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Gloria Sythe, Oct 5, 2014.

    My father, who writes westerns, and I had a bit of a good humoured argument/discussion yesterday about how women seem to over-write a scene or a dialogue where a man will get to the point and convey the same scene by using fewer, if not by half, words to keep the story moving. He pointed out several excerpts from Danielle Steele's books where she elaborates for two pages on the same scene. He then re-wrote one lengthy scene in a manner that a male would write it.

    I had to agree that his -male- style of writing did lose half the wording of Steele's work, but said the same thing. To my female mind however, I found Danielle Steele's version more comfortable and connective to my female brain.

    Do female writers over-write scenes or dialogues to the point where they are needlessly wordy?
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2014
  2. Delise
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    Delise Member

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    It depends on the person , genre and culture they're raised in I would think. I've read a lot of stories by women who were very to the point and men who rambled on about the same issue for pages.
    I think older style writings tend to be like that. A lot of 19th century books feel like that sometimes, whether it be written by a man or woman.

    Danielle Steele I would imagine, is writing for women. She's also writing soft core porn romance. I would expect some details. If it comes to sex I think she is thinking about her audience. I think a lot of men want straight and to the point and women might want something more to connect to.
    I haven't read her books since I was 13 but I can remember just how shocked I was at the details.
     
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  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think you can generalize entire genders based on just Danielle Steele and your dad. ;) There are verbose male writers and terse females.
     
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  4. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Dickens was quote verbose when it came to Oliver Twist's suffering in Oliver Twist. It was like he assumed we wouldn't know how badly it must suck to be poor unless he spent a page or two beating us over the head with it. Dickens was also male.

    I'm just saying it depends on the author and what they're writing. Some authors prefer direct stories while others prefer a more long-winded stories.
     
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  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    If you read Marguerite Young then I'd say absolutely. ( She's very stream of conscious. One outfit described in Miss MacIntosh My Darling goes on for like three pages - but it is amazing. )
    It's an interesting idea. Especially when I compare it to my own writing. I'm a bit of a tomboy. My writing style started out very brief almost terse. I got wordy and flowery but it never satisfied me. I went back to being quiet brief and I'm now stuck between being knocked for being too brief or too wordy - lol.

    I think it depends on the person, genre and book because effect is key. There are plenty of male written fantasies ( the Hobbit ) that could give Danielle Steel a run for her money. And Francesca Lia Block is brief but powerful. A lot of gothic romances from the 70s all blended a kind of breezy overwrought style and were written by men and woman and it's virtually impossible to tell the difference - though I have to admit when Andrew Neiderman took over for V.C. Andrews he wasn't half as introspective. And a little on the dry side.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2014
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  6. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, I'd go with the genre/individual over gender. Otherwise you're going to find nothing but exceptions.
     
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  7. Ossian
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    Ossian Member

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    The male mind report and make statements. Its also boring/intellectual, more distanced/less personal, also 'poetic' -words may mean anything, words become "daddy humour". Twisting words, sarcasm. It is not wired for talking or maintaining relations, frivolous communication between people.

    You/r father are on to something. Id say the real 'problem' with female writers is they are not inventive, but you know what to expect reading the book of a feminine author for good or bad. They run tracks run before, guys make their own tracks and usually fail miserably;).

    Pick your poison!
     
  8. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @Ossian: Wow. Just wow. Stereotype much? Or maybe you just haven't met very many people. Differences between individuals are much more important than differences between genders. :rolleyes:
     
  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I'm on Dan Simmons' fourth novel in the Hyperion series and I'm really tired of how much he drags every scene out.

    I think your dad believes in a stereotype, Gloria, that may or may not be true.
     
  10. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Got any evidence for these claims? :rolleyes:
     
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  11. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    ...

    What in the world did I just read?
     
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  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    That too. :p
     
  13. Christine Ralston
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    Christine Ralston Active Member

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    I don't think this is a gender issue but has more to do with personal style. Personally, I struggle with including enough details.
     
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  14. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hopefully an attempt at humor that fell flat. I'd hate to think anyone actually believed that.
     
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  15. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    @Ossian nailed it. What he said is exactly what I was thinking. Whenever I pick up a Jane Austen novel, I put it down after a few pages because there's not enough "daddy humor." Everyone knows that "daddy humor" is what makes or breaks the book. In fact, I think "daddy humor" is one of the things the Swedish Academy looks for when awarding the Nobel Prize. That would explain why so few women have won it.
     
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  16. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Uh...you're being sarcastic, right?
     
  17. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I really don't think there's a clear-cut gender distinction between male and female writers. I know males who overwrite, and females who are quite to the point in their fiction, as well as vice versa. Female writers tend to be more comfortable writing romance and sex scenes, males tend to be action-oriened, but style-wise, the difference isn't entirely gender specific. Just like some romance writers ramble on, so do the likes of Patterson, King etc. although themes obviously differ. I also wouldn't use Danielle Steel as representative of all female writers, I'd even consider it an insult.
     
  18. Swiveltaffy
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    Swiveltaffy Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can always count on @Ossian .
     
  19. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Looks like someone ought to leave sarcasm to the experts. :whistle:
     
  20. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Nein, my sarcasm meter is broken, so I can't detect sarcasm.
     
  21. Swiveltaffy
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    Swiveltaffy Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's fun to fix.
     
  22. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, it was pretty bad sarcasm. Sorry to say :S

    Although I wasn't going to point it out until you did (it really wasn't very nice of you).
     
  23. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Cut me some slack. It's been a tough week.
     
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  24. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    In law school, it's only going to get tougher :eek:
     
  25. elynne
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    elynne Active Member

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    snickering so hard. ow my sinuses.

    wrt: first post--it's "vs." not "vrs." and every time I see that it causes me physical pain. the content of the post just makes me /facepalm.
     

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