Can Male Authors Write Female Characters? (3 Essential Tips)

In this post, we go over ideas surrounding a reader's question: Can male authors write female characters?

Yes, many male writers have successfully written impactful female characters.

3 Tips on How to Write Female Characters

The following are a few tips on how to write female characters.

1. Can you pass the Bechdel test?

The Bechdel test works as follows:

  • Do two women talk to each other in your story?
  • Is the conversation about something other than a man, and is it still relevant?

Consider the film The Lord of the Rings. Female characters are strong (and well-written). Galadriel, Arwen, and Eowyn - but they never speak to other women. If they did, they'd most likely be discussing Aragorn, Frodo, or Sauron.

Is The Lord of the Rings a lousy movie because of this? No. Is it a morally dubious story? No. Should Tolkien be dropped after that? No.

The Bechdel test does not apply to individual films or books. For example, there are stories in which only one woman appears, but she is the main character - such a story would fail the Bechdel test.

However, on a larger scale, the Bechdel test makes sense. It emphasizes how few stories are told from the perspective of women.

2. The Bauer test

  • Is there a conflict between your hero and a close female character during the narrative?
  • Does this conflict prevent your hero from achieving his objective?

There's a tendency for women to be written as moral nags that make things difficult for The Hero. Examples include Snowden, Breaking Bad (Skylar White), Sicario, Unauthored Work, The Mule, and Batman (all).

Every scene with Skylar White eventually became tiresome (played by Anna Gunn). The plot of Sicario wouldn't change if Emily Blunt's character were to be eliminated. She never takes any significant action. She tries, cautions, and wants to step in but is only ignored.

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Do not let a woman close to him stand in the way of your hero. Above all, avoid making her emotional needs his concern.

3. The Secret to Writing a Terrific Female Character

So how do you write a great female character?

By not trying to write a great female character.

Write a character. Then decide what gender you want them to be. If you determine gender first, you will fall into the trap of stereotypes and prejudice.

Here are resources I recommend to get more in-depth knowledge

Storytelling 101 teaches you how to write compelling stories worthy of commercial success. This is best for screenwriters, novelists, filmmakers, videogame writers and storytellers.

Children’s Books 101 teaches you how to write stories that children will love. This is best for aspiring children’s book authors and storytellers.

Owl AI is the revolutionary AI-powered content production platform that helps storytellers, writers, and bloggers of all subject matter easily create highly-polished content.

Success, Money & Mindset Subliminal is a self-hypnosis recording that we recommend to new writers to help with focus, concentration, creativity, and motivation.

Shadow Work Journal: 240 Daily Prompts contains inner work exercises related to relationships, anger, anxiety, self-love, healing trauma, abandonment issues, depression, forgiveness, etc.

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