1. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    POV-issues

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Tesoro, Jul 14, 2011.

    Whenever I write a story from multiple pov it is often from both male and female perspective and I use third person. But even though I'm a woman I find it a lot easier to write third person POV from a male perspective rather than the female, have anyone else experienced that? I find my female pov's are a lot more convincing in first person, even though I somewhat connect that POV with chic-lit, and even though my novels can sometimes have a tone that can be similar I am not writing chic-lit nor do I aspire to do so, even though I am about to write a story that from the plot could well be one I want to write in third person and use a slightly more serious voice. now that I think of it I think that is some kind of trademark for my stories; i take a theme, an idea that could have been a chic lit novel and look at it from another perspective, turn it into a more serious story, trying to add some depth to it and a lot of emotions. two of my three stories have been that way and the fourth will definitely be too. even the fifth that is only a newly planted seed yet is something similar. only the third one is a totally different kind of story and maybe that is why I struggle with it. but back to the issue; should I give up and just write my stories in first person (forgetting about the multiple pov and losing value because of the different perspectives of the problems or is there a way to get better at writing even the female pov's in the same convincing way? OR (and this just came to my mind) should I drop the female perspective altogether?
     
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  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    What is it about male v. female that makes you think your female third-person POV isn't convincing? In other words, should it really be that much different from a third-person male POV? To me, it is more about being authentic to the character than worrying about whether or not you've convincingly captured gender (I'm not sure the latter should really be relevant).
     
  3. CosmicHallux
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    CosmicHallux Senior Member

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    I've found that it is easier to write in male limited third person POV than female. I think that the reason is that, although we're in an era of time where women have equal rights to men (in America) there are still echoes of history.

    Historically, women were in the home more (upper/middle class women especially), and they had little political voice and more prohibitions against socializing in public. The home is more socially isolated than the workplace--so women's activity would take place mentally due to lack of physical stimuli. Men were better educated--making a more confident voice. Since women had little power they had to learn how to guess what their husbands wanted or were intending, and security depended on being able to "read into things" that they were told.

    Many people still assume that women pay more attention to emotion, internal thoughts, and reading "in between the lines" in conversations. This would have been essential in the limited role that women were allowed throughout most of known history. I think it might be easier to portray this internal activity in 1st person POV, than in 3rd.

    I'm not saying we all believe those things, but we have at least been exposed to the idea that women are more internally active, and men more physically active. This is just an idea that I've thought about when comparing Hemingway with female authors of the same period.

    Edit: Unfortunately most of my ideas about this have absolutely nothing to do with the act of writing. Like I said in my introduction--I am trying to grow past my "English Major" skills of speculation and analysis and learn how to actually write the stuff...:)
     
  4. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Noo, don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying that male perspective is always more convincing, I'm saying mine are. I don't know if that means my male characters are more developed or more charismatic or that it's just that my female characters need first person pov to show their strenght as a character. maybe it could be because in third person you have to step out of the character and take a look at him from a bystander point of view in some aspects, and maybe i'm too close to my female characters to be able to do so, maybe they are too much emotional characters and don't convert well into third person. All I know is the female third pov-character always seem a little stiff and too much cardboard (don't know if I got the correct meaning of that expression), while the male character is so real it's almost as if he steps out of the computer screen as a live person, he couldn't be more real to me even if he was copied from a living person. does it mean that i should develop the female character better? or just change pov?

    that was really interesting, I think you might be onto something when you say that the women are more internally than physically active. I'll keep that in mind, and maybe try to let her act more rather than think and feel. hopefully it's as simple as that. :) thanks for the advice.
     
  5. CosmicHallux
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    CosmicHallux Senior Member

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    I thought of some early female authors that wrote from a woman's 3rd person POV. Kate Chopin wrote The Awakening, and Zora Neale Hurston wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God.

    Hurston's story is much more interesting, in my opinion. It's written in 3rd person reminiscent narrator.



    EDIT: Here's a quote from Hurston's novel. Beginning of Chap. 9:

    "Janie starched and ironed her face and came set in the funeral behind her veil. It was like a wall of stone and steel. The funeral was going on outside. All things concerning death and burial were said and done. Finish. End. Nevermore. Darkness. Deep hole. Dissolution. Eternity. Weeping and wailing outside. Inside the expensive black folds were resurrection and life. She did not reach outside for anything, nor did the things of death reach inside to disturb her calm. She sent her face to Joe's funeral, and herself went rollicking with the springtime across the world. After a while the people finished their celebration and Janie went home.

    Before she slept that night she burnt up every one of her head rags and went about the house next morning with her hair in one thick braid swinging well below her waist. That was the only change people saw in her. She kept the store in the same way except of evenings she sat on the porch and listened and sent Hezekiah in to wait on late custom. She saw no reason to rush at changing things around. She would have the rest of her life to do as she pleased."

    Edit again: Oops, forgot to include the context. Hurston is showing Janie's feelings after her abusive/controlling husband dies of old age. So it is still a very feminine scenario--with a lot of feelings. But they are shown more than told.
     
  6. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    thanks for adding the excerpt :)
    Has anyone else had the same feeling about these POV-questions?
     
  7. seelifein69
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    seelifein69 Active Member

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    I find it easier to write as men period.

    I feel that women are more complex with emotions, therefore easier using a first person pov. Whereas I think men are reveiling their emotions with what they do, making it easier to do in third person pov. I totally agree.
     

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