|Definitely not a man.|
There are a lot of great articles out on the interwebs that can act as reference and guidance to writers.
So many that this little blog of mine is quite easily (and somewhat justly) lost in the background noise. Good and great authors are providing wisdom and advice to new writers at unprecedented levels.
A recent article Writing Women Characters as Human Beings really stuck with me though. Not because it reflected a perfect, step-by-step-guide-with-pictures of how to write characters, but because, as the author Kate Elliot noted, the answer is so simple.
How do you write women? You write them as people.
That’s it. There’s no big trick or need to research through thousands of pages of psychological discussion. Women act like people. Women feel like people. Women do things that people do. Women are people.
If you’re treating women as some kind of mysterious black hole about which we know little and can explain less, then you’re doing it wrong. Just as men come in all shapes, sizes and psychological packages, so do women. They think, they feel, they act and react, they have motivations, goals, pain, and dreams.
The trick isn’t to write a male character and slap on a female. The trick is to write interesting characters—strong, weak, cunning, foolish—within a realistic setting (with social roles, stereotypes, etc.) and have them interact in a realistic way.