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Author Topic: Guys writing girls  (Read 2628 times)

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Offline GypsyRose

Re: Guys writing girls
« Reply #25 on: August 28, 2015, 01:44:37 PM »
I'm currently writing with a Lord who is writing a female character paired with my male character.  It didn't start that way, and it's something that just sort of happened in the story, but it has been both fun and a bit of a challenge.

Maybe he doesn't write the female character like I might have, and maybe I don't write the male character as he would have, but it has been an interesting, enjoyable and rewarding experience.  I probably wouldn't have jumped into it before I had a little experience writing with the other person, but I'm glad that I did.

Sometimes all you need is someone who works with you to create a story you both enjoy (or all, if there are more than two writers). 

Constructive criticism to help me improve as a writer, and a person, is always welcome.  Criticism because I'm not fitting into someone else's mold ... well, I'll try to take it for what it's worth. :-)
« Last Edit: August 28, 2015, 01:55:26 PM by GypsyRose »

Offline Cycle

Re: Guys writing girls
« Reply #26 on: August 28, 2015, 01:46:11 PM »
Sigh.

And there it is.

Having a discussion about what one thinks is "bad" writing/roleplaying--i.e. the caricature theory--runs the risk of making a reader feel that they shouldn't write a particular way.  And that simply shouldn't be.  Folks are here on E to write for their own enjoyment.  And if that means writing caricatures, then more power to them.  If you don't like it, don't read it/end the game.

My two cents:  eternaldarkenss, I think you should write however you wish.  As long as you you're following E's rules, keeping your partner happy, and making yourself happy, then it's all good.

And if someone is criticizing, explicitly or implicity, how you write?  Ignore them.  They have no place to do so.


Online Vergil Tanner

Re: Guys writing girls
« Reply #27 on: August 28, 2015, 02:02:38 PM »
Folks are here on E to write for their own enjoyment.  And if that means writing caricatures, then more power to them.  If you don't like it, don't read it/end the game.

My two cents:  eternaldarkenss, I think you should write however you wish.  As long as you you're following E's rules, keeping your partner happy, and making yourself happy, then it's all good.

Here here! :D

Offline Erythrite

Re: Guys writing girls
« Reply #28 on: August 28, 2015, 02:14:53 PM »
Not entirely relevant to the discussion at hand, but you guys made me think: This thread brought up a thought for me that I hadn't even consciously considered until I read some of the very well thought-out conversation here: I rarely ever play female characters, even in situations where a character would be better served as female, because I am deathly afraid of getting it wrong and offending someone. It really is a self-reinforcing loop: I am afraid of getting it wrong by being bad at it, so I don't try which means I'll never get better.

Another thing this thread brought up is an inexplicable loathing I have for writers who flat-out tell me I can't even try writing a female character. I know, everyone has the right to choose writing partners as they please, but when I see a game that is female only and absolutely will not entertain male writers writing as female characters I actively make it a point to never, ever play anything with the writer who made that request. It's silly, it's immature, but it bothers me that much, and probably contributes to me never writing female characters and in all likelihood never getting any more comfortable doing so.

I actually have heard this concern from several men.  I think George R. R. Martin got asked once about how he was able to write female characters, and he said something along the lines of "I've always thought of women as people."  I tend to think that's the right attitude to take.  I don't really think that men and women are as different as some people imagine.

Offline Aethereal

Re: Guys writing girls
« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2015, 02:23:57 PM »
Quote
In the grand scheme of things that character is still just what you use to represent yourself in said story.
       
My characters definitely aren't me, I actively enforce the thought of them not being me in others when there seems to be any confusion, and the thought of someone thinking of them as me bothers me like nothing happening IC besides deliberate godmodding and power-creeping can (as I think I mentioned in another thread about people referring to your character OoC as "you"). I always envision my characters third person. Some of my characters are quite likable and I can both write them easily and love doing so - that is just writing for my own amusement. Some of my characters are so different from me that I have to pour my entire literary skill into portraying them consistently and believably, since they are the kind of person I cannot relate to on any level but for trying to consciously explain why they act in this manner (since my own emotions and thought patterns simply don't work this way). I am testing myself and my limits. I like challenge, you see... At other times, my characters are sick fucks - and I actually do not enjoy writing them, and some part of me will be glad and relieved should they die. But I occasionally write people like that regardless. In the end, I RP for stories - which require variety - and having other sources of stimulation than my own mind, not fantasy. Fantasy I can have aplenty without anyone's aid.

Quote
So, when was the last time anyone here deliberately played an average or even somewhat unattractive character?
    Easily over a half of my characters, actually. I could fetch a few random descriptions from my character sheets, if you'd like. :p

Quote
when I see a game that is female only and absolutely will not entertain male writers writing as female characters I actively make it a point to never, ever play anything with the writer who made that request.
      Even when I am the "right" sex, I will immediately and nonnegotiably cross out any RPs I'd otherwise consider which require the writer's and character's sex match, no matter how much I love the concept or want to play a hypothetical character, so there you have it...

Quote
"I've always thought of women as people."  I tend to think that's the right attitude to take.
Agreed fully.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2015, 03:05:22 PM by Shienvien »

Offline Nachtmahr

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Re: Guys writing girls
« Reply #30 on: August 28, 2015, 05:08:12 PM »
My characters definitely aren't me, I actively enforce the thought of them not being me in others when there seems to be any confusion, and the thought of someone thinking of them as me bothers me like nothing happening IC besides deliberate godmodding and power-creeping can (as I think I mentioned in another thread about people referring to your character OoC as "you"). I always envision my characters third person. Some of my characters are quite likable and I can both write them easily and love doing so - that is just writing for my own amusement. Some of my characters are so different from me that I have to pour my entire literary skill into portraying them consistently and believably, since they are the kind of person I cannot relate to on any level but for trying to consciously explain why they act in this manner (since my own emotions and thought patterns simply don't work this way). I am testing myself and my limits. I like challenge, you see... At other times, my characters are sick fucks - and I actually do not enjoy writing them, and some part of me will be glad and relieved should they die. But I occasionally write people like that regardless. In the end, I RP for stories - which require variety - and having other sources of stimulation than my own mind, not fantasy. Fantasy I can have aplenty without anyone's aid.

Please do keep in mind that I didn't actually say that your characters are you though. I said that they represent you. None of my characters are me specifically, but they all represent either parts of me, or my interests. I.E. if I want to dominate someone in a story I will make a character that embodies my desire to be dominant, but that character is not me.

Easily over a half of my characters, actually. I could fetch a few random descriptions from my character sheets, if you'd like. :p

There's no need to bring any examples of this either, because I fully believe you - But while you may be doing it a lot, you still can't ignore the fact that you are part of a minority. Without having any statistical evidence at hand, I think I'm pretty safe in assuming that if you were to look at all characters ever made on Elliquiy, you would find that the vast majority of them are more than averagely attractive in one way or another. I did also mention the paradox that takes place when people specifically crave unattractive characters because they find their lack of attractiveness attractive.

Offline consortium11

Re: Guys writing girls
« Reply #31 on: August 28, 2015, 08:22:07 PM »
On the original "guys writing girls" point:

I think it's worth remembering that people come to E for different reasons and want to get different things out of it. Elliquiy is primarily an adult roleplaying/erotic writing community; some people put a lot more emphasis on the adult/erotic sexy times, others on the roleplaying/writing. If what someone wants and what they enjoy is kink fulfillment then it's hardly surprising that they're not necessarily creating the most three dimensional, well rounded, realistic characters... the writer doesn't need to do that in order to get what they want out of their writing. Feeding into that, stereotypes exist for a reason and are a very popular (and frankly, useful) part of kink fulfillment. To take a simple example, the generic "NC story where a barbarian captures a high-born princess" story basically requires a brutish, crude, dominant barbarian and a sheltered, gentle princess to work. You can go beyond those limits and those stereotypes... but if you go too far from them you end up not telling the story you wanted to when you began. That's not necessarily a terrible thing; I fondly remember one of my stories here that started off as a generic NC story featuring a barbarian warlord sacking Rome and taking a priestess as a slave but which by the end had turned into a sort of buddy-cop, comedy tale... but it wasn't the story my partner and I originally wanted to write.

Just as people tell the stories they want to tell, people write the characters they want to write. If they want to spend hours creating them and put huge amounts of thought and detail into them then they will. If they simply want the character to quickly be at hand so they can get straight on to writing the stuff they really want to write then they will as well. As long as they and their partner are happy with that then there's not really an issue; despite being posted semi-publicly stories on E aren't really for public consumption.

On cross-gender play specifically, I've seen some male writers write fantastic female characters and some female characters that I really didn't rate. I've seen female writers write fantastic male characters and some male characters that I really didn't rate. I've also seen male writers write some fantastic male characters and some male characters I didn't rate. I've seen female writers write fantastic female characters and some female characters I didn't really rate. Is a male writing a male character going to have some advantages over a female writing a male character (or vice-versa) on account of having more insight into the "male condition"? Possibly yes... but let's remember, our insights are very, very, very personal. If the character in question is basically an author insert then that insight might be accurate and an advantage. But if your tale is set in a medieval fantasy world? One set in space 3,000 years into the future? A post-apocalyptic wasteland? Or a supernatural world where the male character is a vampire? With so much distance between characters in those universes and my lived experience I think it's quite difficult to say that anyone has any insight into what it would be like to be a man/woman in that world on account of being a man/woman in real life.

To pick up the point about why it's more noticeable with males writing females then the other way around, especially when it relates to the sexualisation or stereotyping of a character, I imagine the current media environment has something to do with that. Over recent years there's been a lot written about male writers handling female characters badly and it's been presented as an on-going narrative. In contrast there's relatively little made of female writers creating bad male characters and when they do it's generally seen as a one-off; Christian Grey wasn't seen as part of a wider pattern on female writers creating dominating male romantic leads with dubious views on consent (a pattern that is very clearly there) but simply as a badly written character.



On the "how much of you" is in a character discussion:

Setting aside the aforementioned author inserts (i.e. where the author writes themselves as a character) and the more Mary/Gary Stu take on that (where the author writes an idealized version of the person they imagine they'd want to be as a character), both of which are clearly the author writing some version of themselves, it's an interesting discussion point.

The simple answer would be to say that there's of course some aspect of the author in each character for the simple reason that the author is writing the character; however hard we try we can't separate ourselves from the characters we write entirely because we're the ones writing them. Moreover when we create a character we tend to do so to take part in a story we wish to tell... as we wish to tell that story some of that will leak through to the character. But that strikes me as too simplistic a way to look at it. Do some of the characters I write inherit aspects of me in them... be it my background, part of my personality etc etc? Certainly. But other characters aren't based on me, they're based on other people, be it ones I know from my personal life or public/famous figures. Again as I'm the one writing the character some part of me, however small, will shine through when doing so but the core of the character isn't me, an aspect of my personality or an element of my background. When I think about what a character would do/say/think etc I try to avoid looking at it as "what would I do/say/think etc?" or even "what would I do/say/think if I was a *insert character background and circumstances here*" but instead as "what would they do/say/think"; I keep them separated in my mind.



Finally, I'd also note that a lot of what I say above is basically pointless. Let me echo Cycle's words; if you're on E and you're following the rules and writing characters that both you and your writing partner(s) enjoy writing with then nothing else really matters. None of us are being paid to be here... writing here is for pleasure and if you're enjoying it then you're doing exactly what you're meant to.It doesn't matter if someone else thinks your character is badly written, a stereotype or a caricature... as long as you're enjoying writing the character and your partner(s) are enjoying writing with them then that's a good character.

Offline Aethereal

Re: Guys writing girls
« Reply #32 on: August 29, 2015, 03:23:58 PM »
Quote
I said that they represent you.
     They don't "represent" me, either. They are played by me, sure, but they don't represent me. Staying that they represent me is a statement that is, without any room for ambiguity, wrong (though perhaps not as glaringly wrong as simply saying that they are me, it is nevertheless completely wrong).

Quote
I think it's quite difficult to say that anyone has any insight into what it would be like to be a man/woman in that world on account of being a man/woman in real life.
       I'd say that individual (and regional) differences alone are so great that you'll most likely have no better idea what it is like to be a *different* [member of same sex] than it is to be a  [member of opposite sex]. I'll easily admit it is much easier to relate to my male friends and know what they're thinking at any time than it is to relate to many women.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Guys writing girls
« Reply #33 on: August 31, 2015, 10:00:51 AM »
I really want to offer my two cents here, but I really don't know which angle to approach it from. I'll go with my personal one.

I overall find playing female characters more enjoyable than male characters. I think, if you added up all my characters here on E, you'd get something like a 1:3 male-to-female ratio. While these tend to be F/F pairings, I don't mind playing the female in an F/M pairing, either ( my only on-going game at the moment is a good case in point ).

The reasons for this have very little to do with fetishes. I simply feel more comfortable portraying a wider range of female characters, than I do male ones. I feel very uncomfortable playing violent or abusive male characters, for instance. My male characters tend, in some way, to have something in common with me ( or the way I'd like to be ). Since I have no experience being female, I don't feel limited in the same way with female characters. I also have no issue playing opposite male writers playing female characters. I suspect that has something to do with a lot of the RP I do being in MMOs and such, where you really don't know ( unless you ask ) the gender of the person you're playing with.

Offline HannibalBarca

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Re: Guys writing girls
« Reply #34 on: September 24, 2015, 12:54:07 AM »
I consider myself an author first, and a roleplayer second.  If I'm going to even consider myself a respectable author, I'd better be able to craft and write characters of all genders and sexualities.  Part of my enjoyment here on E is doing just that; I like to write characters that are outside of my own personal experience, in order to extend that skill set as a writer.  My favorite characters tend to be female and anything but straight, both of which are opposite of myself.

Offline Thesunmaid

Re: Guys writing girls
« Reply #35 on: September 26, 2015, 06:10:59 PM »
Well the way I see it...men,woman,trans,asexual...what ever..they are people. And sometimes people act like caricatures. And there are reasons that stereotypes exist.  Because there actually are the swishy over the top gay men...there is religious old ladies that yell at kids that they are going the hell.There are big drunk Irish men who get in bar fights and so on. And in your games and if your partner is enjoying it its all harmless fun. They are all just people. The whole men are from mars and woman are from venus always makes my head hurt honestly.

They are all people...except for a few chromosomes and thier genitals...there is really no difference. We all have lungs, hearts, stomachs ,intestines..Its not like we are different species..Some like the same gender..some like the opposite...but in the end...they are all people. I honestly don't understand why people sort of freak out about someone writing the opposite gender. Do you really think that owning a penis really makes someone so much more different from someone with a vagina? They all have flaws...they all eat sleep and love.

I actually played in a room which I played a male character. In this room the players real gender was not told to anyone...so if I wore a male avatar and did not profess that I own a uterus people thought I was male. Its not that I was trying to hide it...it was a role playing chat room and I actually had oddly enough a lot of woman wanting to talk to me out of character because of how I played my male. Apparently they thought I was hot? lol

I had one woman who sort of freaked out when she found out I was a woman on the other side of the screen after we had role played a few scenes. But if one were to look in the forum where we posted the character sheets it showed clearly I was a woman so I was not trying to hide the fact. But this girl thought I was trying to make her fall in love with me. I was like whoa whoa...OK I am not trying to make anyone fall for me..I am playing a character. She demanded I was banned from the room because...I somehow didn't think to mention in the game..that by the way I own boobs in real life. I did if someone asked but I honestly never really thought to say"Hey I am a girl who plays a boy!"It never came up unless they PM'ed me and started flirting as if I was a male player and for the most part people were surprised but did not mind.

Here on E people know I am a female but I still have quite a few partners that enjoy me playing a male. And when I do...I like to think I don't play some ridiculous caricature. I am just playing a person that happens to have a penis rather than a vagina that calls themselves a man...with thier own personality and flaws. So...as long as my partners enjoy me playing someone with dangly boy bits I will continue to play them. And if someone does not like that fact they don't have to play with me owning those dangly bits if at all...and if they want to pitch a fit about me playing a guy in a way they don't think is..manly enough or...realistic enough in a scene that they are not involved in they can suck non exsistant RP cock.There is a very simple way to stop this. Don't read it.

I am not representing the male gender..although sadly some men don't do that very well either...and some woman and yes even trans and asexual people can be fucking assholes as well.(I know a real shocker right?) But if someone has a problem with someone playing a gender they are not in real time then you are kind of missing out on a lot of really amazing partners and that's sort of sad to me.In a place like E I would think that kind of thing would not be such a big deal.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2015, 06:14:25 PM by Thesunmaid »

Offline Garuss Vakarian

Re: Guys writing girls
« Reply #36 on: September 29, 2015, 06:56:59 AM »
I actually have heard this concern from several men.  I think George R. R. Martin got asked once about how he was able to write female characters, and he said something along the lines of "I've always thought of women as people."  I tend to think that's the right attitude to take.  I don't really think that men and women are as different as some people imagine.

Here here!

I like to imagine humanity as a coin, men encompass one side and women another. While one side is inherently different to the other, in image and mind, they are both art of that same tangible coin. As different as we are, we are no different at all. It is good to acknowledge the difference and sameness of the sexes. And not alienate between the two, as most do in this day and age.

Any way, I write males and females. Even though my females admittedly come off a bit lose in the sheets. I try to do better, but my girls usually end up being openly sexual.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2015, 06:58:17 AM by Garuss Vakarian »

Offline Nachtmahr

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Re: Guys writing girls
« Reply #37 on: October 03, 2015, 10:24:27 PM »
Any way, I write males and females. Even though my females admittedly come off a bit lose in the sheets. I try to do better, but my girls usually end up being openly sexual.

You say "I try to do better" as though a woman being open and "loose" about her sexuality is bad, or the wrong way to play a woman. :P Just give it your best shot and write a female any way you feel comfortable. All women are not the same, and neither are all men, so there really is no right or wrong. A sexually liberal woman is as much a woman as one who is more conservative.

Offline HannibalBarca

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Re: Guys writing girls
« Reply #38 on: October 15, 2015, 02:30:47 AM »
Quote
You say "I try to do better" as though a woman being open and "loose" about her sexuality is bad, or the wrong way to play a woman. :P Just give it your best shot and write a female any way you feel comfortable. All women are not the same, and neither are all men, so there really is no right or wrong. A sexually liberal woman is as much a woman as one who is more conservative.

I've been writing a novel, with the main character being female and bisexual, but young and sorting through her own identity sexually.  Being a straight male, I've been concerned with her coming off as authentic.  Believability of personality is very important to me, and I wondered if she would be considered authentic by anyone who was bisexual when reading it.  Looking at your response, Nachtmahr, made me realize that it doesn't matter what a reader thinks my character should be like, as long as the character herself believes in her own thoughts and feelings.  If the reader can believe in my character, that is all that matters.

Offline Mikem

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Re: Guys writing girls
« Reply #39 on: October 15, 2015, 03:10:37 AM »
There is no right or wrong way to be a girl, nor depict a girl in writing. A girl is Human, and there is no right or wrong way to be Human. We just are, whatever we are. I dated a religious girl that was the most naive conservative thing I had ever seen before she eventually grew more open over the years, and I met a coworker who has sex with people just so they feel good, and is roommates with two guys, both of them she sleeps with. So honestly, how could you depict a girl wrongly?

Offline WhatLiesAbove

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Re: Guys writing girls
« Reply #40 on: October 15, 2015, 09:29:31 PM »
There is no right or wrong way to be a girl, nor depict a girl in writing. A girl is Human, and there is no right or wrong way to be Human. We just are, whatever we are. I dated a religious girl that was the most naive conservative thing I had ever seen before she eventually grew more open over the years, and I met a coworker who has sex with people just so they feel good, and is roommates with two guys, both of them she sleeps with. So honestly, how could you depict a girl wrongly?

This.

Admittedly, I haven't read all the comments on this thread, so if I'm repeating something I'm sorry. So I'm just going to throw out my little rant.

I have been playing a female in different roleplays for over 15 years. When I first started playing tabletops, I played males. Then the magic of online playing happened via AOL, and I realized "hey....nobody knows, so why not give it a shot?". And you know what? Nobody knew. I played a female for years. Finally I outed myself. A few people were disgusted and stopped playing with me. It was hurtful, but whatever man. The ones that stuck around said "holy shit, I never knew!" Or said "I kinda expected, but wasn't sure". But in the end, they were fine with it, and we were all good.

On here we have the anonymity of our names not being known, but we still have our genders identified. Which is fine. At the end of the day, I will always be more comfortable playing women over men, just because I've been doing it for so long. Will I get it "right" all the time? Probably not. But every person....man and woman..is different. What some find exciting others find disgusting. It's part of the human experience. The one thing in the end is that we all have to have respect for each other, or else we end up failing the human experience.

Offline alextaylor

Re: Guys writing girls
« Reply #41 on: October 16, 2015, 08:33:21 PM »
My default is to play males (hence the ambiguous nick!)

I think you can call it a (sexual) fantasy. But it's more because my fantasy requires guys with more personality.

It's not that people don't have personality. It's more that internet dating, whether it's IRC, MMOs, whatever - it encourages people to ditch that personality. On one hand, it's talking about the boring bits - asl, work. On the other hand, it's awkward seduction. Diving straight to the sex part in their intro or strongly hinting at being horny.

A good seduction is like a rollercoaster ride, ups and downs. Not like a drag race, where it's a rapid acceleration to get to as sexy as possible. I don't know why real guys like to do the latter. Maybe they're just wired to get turned on that way? When a female character does the same thing, it always seems off.

IMO, caricatures are fine, as long as they're logical. They don't even have to be too "human". As long as they're interesting.

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Re: Guys writing girls
« Reply #42 on: October 16, 2015, 10:21:39 PM »
A good seduction is like a rollercoaster ride, ups and downs. Not like a drag race, where it's a rapid acceleration to get to as sexy as possible. I don't know why real guys like to do the latter. Maybe they're just wired to get turned on that way? When a female character does the same thing, it always seems off.

Guys for the most part focus on the goal, while women more so enjoy the journey. It really is pretty illogical how that is considering the most important part of being Human is to reproduce, and guys wanting one thing while women wanting another would only make procreating more difficult.

Offline eternaldarkness

Re: Guys writing girls
« Reply #43 on: November 16, 2015, 12:27:22 AM »
Not entirely relevant to the discussion at hand, but you guys made me think: This thread brought up a thought for me that I hadn't even consciously considered until I read some of the very well thought-out conversation here: I rarely ever play female characters, even in situations where a character would be better served as female, because I am deathly afraid of getting it wrong and offending someone. It really is a self-reinforcing loop: I am afraid of getting it wrong by being bad at it, so I don't try which means I'll never get better.

Another thing this thread brought up is an inexplicable loathing I have for writers who flat-out tell me I can't even try writing a female character. I know, everyone has the right to choose writing partners as they please, but when I see a game that is female only and absolutely will not entertain male writers writing as female characters I actively make it a point to never, ever play anything with the writer who made that request. It's silly, it's immature, but it bothers me that much, and probably contributes to me never writing female characters and in all likelihood never getting any more comfortable doing so.

Self-quoting for updating purposes: Since posting this so long ago, i've actually tried my hand at playing female characters quite a few times, two of them in some pretty intense long-term RP's, and in one case my partner was a woman playing a man...and had no idea I was actually a guy until it came up in casual conversation. So I guess my fears were unfounded, though i'd still be wary of trying it here on E. Thanks though, guys; I found I actually like writing female characters more than male ones for a lot of things.