"I've always found female characters easier to write. I was an 80s child too, but I loved the princesses and being a girly girl. To me boys were dirty and icky."
I can understand that! I like many aspects of the girly girl. I don't think Nimira is a girly-girl per se but she's not an ass-kicker either. She's not a princess, but...she could be.
Are girls who like writing about guys affected by the males in their lives, or is it just as often wish fulfillment, I wonder?
Memory: "I think there's a lot more pressure when one tries to write female characters because there's such emphasis on avoiding the cliches and creating complex personalities. I don't feel like this is really the case where male characters are concerned."
That's an interesting point. I'd never thought of this; I guess I do feel pressure to write strong women moreso than to write men any certain way, but I always felt it came less from society and more from my own awareness that my female characters were inadequate. But I guess it's probably both.
Redcrest (among other things Redcrest says
It's true, the token girl is also often the love interest, and it is a bit irksome when people defend female characters in a story by mentioning the love interest(s). In LOST, for instance (which I loved, btw) I think the girls definitely were more defined by their love stories. That's a show where you notice it less because it's a large cast and the characters are well-rounded, but as a group, the boys definitely do more. And it's not just a flaw of stories written by men. I think Harry Potter had a similar problem--there were cool girls in Harry Potter, but there were more boy characters of importance and weight.
olmue: "I'm a girl, so I do tend to relate to female characters more than males (in general). I've mostly written female MCs. However, I do find that it's also harder for me to separate myself from my character, and to really make her rounded, when I'm writing female. I did write one book entirely from a male perspective, and I found out all kinds of things about the character that I maybe wouldn't have been forced to think about had I been on default female. And then I was able to apply some of that when revising a girl MC book, so it was doubly helpful. I've been giving some thought to doing a dual POV, one guy, one girl, because I don't know if I'm quite ready to give up that interesting perspective yet."
Yes, I too find it harder to separate girl characters from myself...or is it a question of conveying myself in an interesting way? The guys definitely have a lot of me in them, too, but they're easier to make interesting. Back when I couldn't write many interesting girl characters, one girl I did love to write was Leslie Teller, who was extremely different from me. She was playful and fun and boy-crazy and very outgoing and flirtatious and had a rather wounded past and was frankly, kind of a ditz...not much for the book-learnin', anyway, but she had some considerable creative talent. She could have been a cliche but I think part of the fun was unearthing her layers. It's harder to write a girl like Olivia who is not me, but has enough in common with me to be my friend. Leslie probably wouldn't be my friend.
One concept we keep coming back to is the important of avoiding cliches in writing women. The history of female characters is a bit like the history of feminism itself--first women were mostly wives and mothers, then with the rise of feminism, it became all about "career" and stay-at-home moms started to feel looked down upon. Girls in books, too, started as love interests and moms, and then became tough, unemotional ass-kickers around the 80s, but now I think we're starting to see a wide range of girls. Girly girls have inner strength, warrior women aren't just guys with boobs...but we're still very conscious of the cliches and concerned about our portrayals of women.