Hello! This is my first post here, so I thought I'd shoot right off the bat with my main problem in my writing/characters at the moment, and it's basically the decision between whether or not I want my single-mother-MC's child to be male or female. I began the plot outline/sketches/drafts ect with the idea of the child, aged six-ish, as a little girl, starting out life much like her mother - fatherless, yet wide eyed, independent and entirely observant. I had the intentions of exploring the bonds, not so much between mother and daughter, but between daughter and father - or lack thereof, thus creating the want for a fatherly figure. The Mother and child's lives are an eclectic mesh of 'make the best of everything' and 'what could possibly go wrong now?' I am also focussing most, if not all, of my narration from male POVs - one observing the single-family, and the other absentee Dad and his feelings towards the 'family duties'; so you could say that the varying ideas and ideals of masculinity are a pretty big 'thing' in my plot. So I was drafting away, when it occurred to me, that I never considered the option of the little girl to be, well, a little boy instead. I've never written children before, nor have I read many books with small children characters or family themes, so it's a new frontier that I want to tackle, and tackle well! I'm also worrying that I was putting the little girl into too much of a 'pigeon-hole' where she's just a typical little girl, and she was becoming obnoxious (to me, and I'm meant to like her!) Long story short - I would love to know your opinions on which following scenario would appeal more on an emotional level to a reader, or maybe have more of a relation to the ideas of masculinity: A) a little boy that wants to keep his mum safe; trying to suss out his own place in the world whilst finding a (fatherly) man to emulate, as his own is absent OR B) a little girl that strengthens her mother and feels no connection to her 'real' dad as he's been absent for many years, and when he is around, regularly lets her and her mother down; she yearns to be in a normal house with a normal Dad - just like all the other girls she knows. (Also to add, I'm pulling most of the child's internal thoughts about single-parent-family-life from my own experiences - so it's not like I'm 'inexperienced' with the emotions the child will be feeling - it's just, which is going to appeal to an audience without becoming too 'cliche' or obnoxious-cookie-cutter-kid?) Thanks in advance!