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Old 10-29-2017, 11:49 AM   #1
mattchat33
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Is it wrong for a man to write a story from the female perspective

I have been writing a new story and it is evolving into a story focusing on the female protagonist. Would it be silly to publish under my normal (obviously male) username?

Do you think having a story from the female perspective should be from a female username? Or don't you think it matters.


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Old 10-29-2017, 12:08 PM   #2
oggbashan
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I tried both, as oggbashan and as jeanne_d_artois.

It doesn't seem to make a difference for my stories. Those who don't like a female perspective will bash it anyway.

Otherwise? The story is likely to be judged on its merit or stroke potential.
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Old 10-29-2017, 12:14 PM   #3
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Thanks for sharing your experience of what happened with your stories. Personally I don't tend to look at the author's name when reading but choose based on search or tags. But I wondered if it would be too out of place to write the female perspective.

I'm not that worried about scores, just wanted to avoid potential readers ignoring the story.
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Old 10-29-2017, 12:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattchat33 View Post
I have been writing a new story and it is evolving into a story focusing on the female protagonist. Would it be silly to publish under my normal (obviously male) username?

Do you think having a story from the female perspective should be from a female username? Or don't you think it matters.

Matt.
For myself I think it'd depend on if it was first person or 3rd person. For third person I'd say no problem at all. For first person I'm not so sure.
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Old 10-29-2017, 12:17 PM   #5
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I do it all the time, in first person. It works fine.

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Old 10-29-2017, 03:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattchat33 View Post
Do you think having a story from the female perspective should be from a female username? Or don't you think it matters.


Matt.
It doesn't matter to me as a writer (and I have a few accounts in female names and personas here with stories that rate just fine), but it seems to matter to some readers (some of whom assume they can always tell the difference, but they're wrong).
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Old 10-29-2017, 04:01 PM   #7
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It doesn't matter. Or, it shouldn't matter. And, to most people, readers and writers, it doesn't matter.

There are lots and lots of stories on this site written by male authors in the first person from the female point of view. They do fine. There may be some readers who get snitty or difficult about it, but they're
a minority, and their presence is not enough of a reason to change the way you do things.

One of the fun challenges of creative writing is telling a story from a point of view completely different from one's own. Why would one want to deny oneself, or others, the opportunity to take up that challenge?
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Old 10-29-2017, 04:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattchat33 View Post
I have been writing a new story and it is evolving into a story focusing on the female protagonist. Would it be silly to publish under my normal (obviously male) username?

Do you think having a story from the female perspective should be from a female username? Or don't you think it matters.


Matt.
Of course it is not wrong.

Are you presenting yourself as a dude who truly "gets" women to the point that you're explaining women to women? No? Then you're fine. People write stories of different genders, ethnicity, etc. all the time. Give it real thought, hopefully run it by a few people of said demographic, and have some humility about it, and you're fine. If anything, by putting this out under your obviously-male username, at least you're being honest about your difference in perspective.

This is Literotica, not a traditional publisher. You aren't taking up publishing dollars and bookshelf space from someone who hasn't been able to tell their own story from their perspective.

The world would be a much better place if people tried to put themselves into someone else's shoes more often.


...also if it's first-person, don't do that thing where your female POV character is super conscious of her breasts and talks about them at great length. If it's a sex scene and something's happening to them, that's a little different obviously. But the first way to show the world you're a dude who really doesn't know how to write women is if your POV lady wakes up in the morning and her first thought is "MY BOOBS."

(Okay there are a million things dudes need to learn about writing women but damn.)
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Old 10-29-2017, 04:06 PM   #9
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I might note that most of the writers of Gay Male seem to be women (and writing for women). So alrighty then.
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Old 10-29-2017, 04:16 PM   #10
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As a reader, if a story strikes a particular chord with me, I will often open the author's bio to learn more about them and read their other stories. If you want your story to have a "this really happened" feel to it, then it might help to have a female pen-name and bio to help sell the illusion. For example, ChloeTzang's bio mentions her interest in martial arts, and she often writes characters who practice martial arts. Her bio gives credibility to those stories. (I'm not suggesting that she faked her bio for this purpose; I have no reason to think her bio isn't 100% true.)

That said, the author's pen-name is usually the last thing I look at. And if I enjoyed the story, the author's gender doesn't matter to me. In fact I can recall once or twice being convinced by the writing that an author was female and being very impressed to see that the story was written by a male author. Trying to think of an example, but I can't come up with one off the top of my head.

So one option might lend credibility to the story if you feel you need it. The other might impress the reader with your talent, if you pull it off.

Hope that's helpful.
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Old 10-29-2017, 04:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
I might note that most of the writers of Gay Male seem to be women (and writing for women). So alrighty then.
Is this true? I would never have guessed that. So there's a big audience of women (straight women, I assume) who want to read (or write) about hot gay guys getting it on with one another? I didn't know that.

I learn something new every day.
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Old 10-29-2017, 04:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonDoom View Post
Is this true? I would never have guessed that. So there's a big audience of women (straight women, I assume) who want to read (or write) about hot gay guys getting it on with one another? I didn't know that.

I learn something new every day.
This was discussed on the forum some years ago and was determined to be true. I know more women GM writers in the marketplace than men, and more than half of my correspondents from here and other Web sites on my GM stories are quite obviously female. I also get a fair number of e-mails from correspondents claiming to be males and actively gay, who tell me how hard it is to find GM stories written from their perspective--i.e., with emphasis on getting off rather than nesting. I see a general split in the genders on those choices.
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Old 10-29-2017, 05:06 PM   #13
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If you write female perspective badly, under a male-sounding username, readers may criticise it on that account. But as long as you do a decent job, it shouldn't be a big issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wastelandwriter View Post
...also if it's first-person, don't do that thing where your female POV character is super conscious of her breasts and talks about them at great length. If it's a sex scene and something's happening to them, that's a little different obviously. But the first way to show the world you're a dude who really doesn't know how to write women is if your POV lady wakes up in the morning and her first thought is "MY BOOBS."
Recently I saw a woman talking about "that time of the month when I'm so aware of my breasts it's like I'm being written by a male author". Perfection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonDoom View Post
Is this true? I would never have guessed that. So there's a big audience of women (straight women, I assume) who want to read (or write) about hot gay guys getting it on with one another? I didn't know that.
I don't know the demographics of GM authors here, but slashfic (male-male fanfic) certainly seems to be predominantly written and read by women.
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Old 10-29-2017, 05:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
I might note that most of the writers of Gay Male seem to be women (and writing for women). So alrighty then.
Really? I had no idea. I know gay stories are very big in china with Chinese female readers for som reason. Read an interesting article on that but seeing as I don't read Chinese....
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Old 10-29-2017, 06:14 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by mattchat33 View Post
Do you think having a story from the female perspective should be from a female username? Or don't you think it matters.
Write the story well and no, it won't make any difference.

One of my highest viewed and high scored stories is written first person female, in incest what's more. Nobody complained, "but you're a dude".

She probably wore too many cute dresses, but that's the character, okay?
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Old 10-29-2017, 06:21 PM   #16
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I might note that most of the writers of Gay Male seem to be women (and writing for women). So alrighty then.

Yes, I know many straight women who find GM horny as hell for them. One explained that for her, it was reading (and writing) about otherwise macho men getting emotional about other men. And strangely, some mothering instinct kicking in, men being vulnerable. Surprised me too, at the time, but live and learn.
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Old 10-29-2017, 07:18 PM   #17
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My only comment would be that if you are publishing as a male writer, but begin your story with a woman's first-person perspective, make that clear right away:

"I was never a fashionista, but when I shopped bras, I took special pains to find ones that fit my form without breaking my budget."

That lets the reader know up front that it's about a woman this time (unless it's the story of a transvestite, of course ...).

If it's a stroke story, you can make your character as stereotypical as you please. But if you're trying to portray a woman's view of life accurately, it wouldn't hurt to run it by a beta reader who is female and can give you a "reality check." You might think you have a bead on what a woman's life is like, but if the view is based on movies, television, or porn, you can bet it won't be accurate.

For example, much of the uproar over the #MeToo campaign comes from men who didn't believe how pervasive sexual harassment was in the workplace. The reaction from most women I know was "Well, duh." For them, the uproar was that people were finally talking about it after all these years.

OK, that may not relate directly to your character's story, but it's an illustration of how the reality of a woman's life may not be obvious to male writers unless they pay attention. That's not to say that you can't write it, and write it well. And I give you props for trying!
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Old 10-29-2017, 09:24 PM   #18
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I'm writing a story now that is mostly from a woman's point of view. My name isn't genderized, so I never thought of that as a problem.

My problem is with making the man worth something after he's done his duty.
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Old 10-30-2017, 01:49 AM   #19
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Thanks for all your helpful comments and thoughts on the matter. The story is not first-person because I find it hard to write naturally in that perspective and I feel I have a little way to go before I take on that challenge. I'm going to go ahead and publish under my current username.

Now I don't have this excuse to stop me from finishing the story I had better get on with it.
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Old 10-30-2017, 02:06 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattchat33 View Post
Thanks for all your helpful comments and thoughts on the matter. The story is not first-person because I find it hard to write naturally in that perspective and I feel I have a little way to go before I take on that challenge. I'm going to go ahead and publish under my current username.

Now I don't have this excuse to stop me from finishing the story I had better get on with it.
Third person limited omniscient is, I think, a much easier way to tell a story from a woman's point of view if you are a man. I've done it a few times, with no gripes about the perspective. I don't think the reader will hold you to the same standard as if it were in the first person (not that I think there's anything wrong with that, but I think it might be tougher). Good luck with the story.
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Old 10-30-2017, 10:34 AM   #21
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Third person female POV isn't impossible for most male writers. You just have to get the moves right. Where a guy would go "meh" a woman might do something completely different. Your challenge is to figure out what that different something is.

First person female POV for a male writer is harder. You don't have to think like a woman - you have to make your character think like a woman.

Can a first person female POV story by a male author be done as a woman would have written it? Some say no. I say yes. Because a lot of writers have done it. And none the wiser unless they said so.
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Old 10-30-2017, 01:30 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattchat33 View Post

Do you think having a story from the female perspective should be from a female username? Or don't you think it matters.
I don't think it matters. One of my more popular stories was written as a first-person female. It was the sequel to another story with a male first-person narrator, and presented the "other side" of the story. One of the challenges was to make sure that the character was telling her story in her voice and not his.

As long as you don't "Heinlein" the character (in other words, write her as if she were a male character with a vagina), I think you'll be OK.
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Old 10-30-2017, 01:47 PM   #23
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It's not wrong at all. But I find many such stories have a very unbelievable protagonist. Just like stories with male character by female authors.

Some pull it off very good though.
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Old 10-30-2017, 01:53 PM   #24
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Of course a man can write from a female perspective...if he's developed his character well enough and understands her nuance as relates the story he plans to tell.

From an erotic perspective, it might be a bit trickier as women perceive some things differently than men in some cases. This might entail research on his partóbut that's a part of any good writer's process anyway.

Still, I think it can be done. A good writer is a good writer, regardless of gender, genre, or perspective.
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Old 10-30-2017, 02:16 PM   #25
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I do think that men and women are wired differently in mental processes in general, with a sliding scale of overlap on an individual basis. Thus, I think it's safest and most believable to write other-gender perspective stories in the third person. as has been suggested above, so as not to be required to reveal mental processes too much. I haven't checked, but I can't think of any of my other-gender stories that were written in the first person (save one where the exercise was to write a sexual experience that could be considered as from the perspective of either a female or a male).
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