The Struggle Is Real: Writing Female Characters As An Aspiring Male Novelist


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

There’s an old joke from the Usenet days which is relevant to the modern social media world. “Go thee not to Usenet for answers, for you will only get ‘yes,’ ‘no’ and ‘Try another newsgroup’ as your answers.”

So, often time, one can say something pretty innocuous (at least for you) and the next thing you know it goes DL viral and everyone is coming at you from different directions, telling you how much you suck.

I tweeted something under yet another video by a woman complaining about how piss-poor men’s descriptions of women in novels are about how I, for one, was at least TRYING not to fall into that trap. Everyone went bonkers, coming at me from every possibly direction.

It’s all very annoying.

Not only does it remind you of the old adage, “Never tweet,” it also makes you grit your teeth and think, “This is how we got Trump.” If you’re so blinded by identity politics that you think it is absolutely impossible for a man to be empathetic enough to write female characters that aren’t just poorly written bimbos, then you need to re-evaluate your priorities.

The last time I checked, women are, like, humans and it doesn’t seem too much of a stretch that imagine that a man — also being a human — could, with some thought, write female characters that are good enough that you don’t want to throw the book across the room in frustration.

Anyway. I just needed to get that out of my system. I couldn’t do anything more with the thread on Twitter because I would only stir up more trouble.