Writing From the Female Perspective
I like to think of grown-ups as just that: grown up. We may be taller, wider, have gray or less hair, and wrinkled skin, but inside we’re still just kids. Kids with sorrow. Kids trying to pretend we’re making it in the real world everyone warned us about just fine. That said, who doesn’t let that little kid out at the most unexpected and unwanted times? Sure, we let ourselves play and have fun every so often, but the childish parts of us that want to hide when something is frightening, or cry when we’re hurt, or wish for whatever bad situation we’re in to be fixed with magic, do come out and remind us of our fragility.
In writing from the female perspective, I have two jobs: to reach my female audience, and to educate my male audience. If I wrote a “men are evil” diatribe, I would never be satisfied with my work. I have written male villains before, but each time I make him a full-bodied person with feelings and motivations of his own. In writing realistic characters, I am providing a relatable and cathartic story for my readers. Realistic characters are the most important part of telling a story, I’ve always said. In my latest novel, Like a Closed Fist, I’ve written an incredibly flawed and damaged heroine with a nearly constant internal monologue that brings her doubts and fears to the forefront. She may seem immature at times, but that is precisely the point! I’ve allowed my main character to show her vulnerability by letting out the little kid inside her. My heroine cries when she’s hurt, hides when she’s frightened, and wishes time and again for magic to fix her situation. Readers identify with her because they are reminded of a time, in the near or distant past, when they too, have acted that way and felt those feelings.
One of the main reasons I wrote Like a Closed Fist was to educate the men who chose to read it. Once again, if I wrote a “men are evil” piece, not only would most men not get through it, but they would neither enjoy nor learn anything. It is a tragic fact that most women hide their feelings from men. I guarantee any woman who reads Like a Closed Fist will smile, remembering when she said the opposite of what she was thinking to her love interest. I guarantee any man who reads my novel will be left wondering, “Was she thinking that?” This novel was not written to criticize, lay blame, or vent. It was written to educate and to explain. Yes, us girls act a little crazy sometimes, but sometimes we have a complicated reason for doing so, a reason men would never suspect.