Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

Well, gender, actually, but I don’t know any good song lyrics about gender.  I’ve been reading Game of Thrones lately, and George RR Marin gets talked about a lot for how well he writes women (which is questionable, and shouldn’t even be a conversation we’re having in 2013, BUT I DIGRESS).  It got me thinking about how I write gender – going back as far as I can remember, my protagonists have been (almost?) exclusively female, and it wasn’t something I gave a lot of thought to until relatively recently.  I always wrote women, I guess, because I’m a woman.  There were always men around, but on the outskirts – until recently I wrote in the first person, so I could also write my supporting characters from a woman’s perspective. But obviously it isn’t the case that only women can write women and only men can write men – J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter, for chrissakes.  I’m writing a novel now, and it’s in third person and at least three of the main characters are men – and I’m still shying away from writing their scenes because it’s outside my comfort zone.  Do you write within or outside your own gender, generally?  And when you write outside, how do you go about it?


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