Guest Post: BOYS -VS- GIRLS by Margaret Chatwin

Guest posts. They remind me of those days back in high school English class when your teacher lays a blank sheet of paper on everyone’s desk and says, “Write.”
Immediately a hand shoots up but the question can’t wait to be called upon. “Write about what?”
“Anything you want.”
Has terror ever sealed off your airway any faster?
You’re fully aware that “Mr. Freedom” is only trying to teach independent thinking, but you want nothing more than to be held prisoner within the confines of one subject and one subject only.
Dude, seriously, why can’t he just pick a subject? It can’t possibly be that hard, can it?
Your mind starts to reel, your breathing restricts, your eyes roll back and just short of complete comatose, you realize something. You realize that this might not be as panic worthy as you originally thought. In fact, it might actually be kinda cool.
Okay, so now that you’ve determined you’ll survive, you’re still faced with the arduous task of finding a subject to write about.

I’ve heard it said that the best gift you can give a writer is an idea. I second, third and fourth that. It’s absolutely true! So I must thank Tiffany for the idea of this blog post. At first, she was like “Mr. Freedom,” telling me I could write about anything I wanted. But then, during her interview questions she tossed out an idea seed and it started to take root within me. Her question was this: What is the biggest constant that you draw inspiration from?
Don’t worry; I’m not going to answer the question again. If you want to find the answer you can go read the interview. But I thought I’d expand on the tail end of my answer.
Why are nearly all of my stories written from the male point of view?
It’s really easy to just say “I don’t know, that’s just the way it is,” which is what I did in the interview question. However, there has to be some answer, doesn’t there? Some reasonable and logical explanation for this common occurrence.
It is kind of odd after all; a woman writing from a guy’s point of view, especially a woman like me.
What do I mean by that? Well, perhaps the explanation holds some of the answers to the original question.
I am the oldest child in my family. I have seven siblings. (Yes, I know what you’re thinking and I’ve already heard all the jokes.) Six of my siblings are girls. The one and only brother I do have is sixteen years younger than me, and was just a little guy when I left home.
So basically, like the unicorn, boys are mystical, mysterious creatures to me. I fantasize about them the way other writers do vampires or fairies.
Guys intrigue me and I love those times when I’m watching them, listening to them, or reading about them and for a moment I can completely connect to them.
I guess I just want to get inside their heads sometimes. Think their thoughts, feel their emotions, walk and talk the way they do.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being a woman, and I love my female characters as well. But for reasons I can’t quite explain, I have a really hard time writing a girl as my lead character. I did give it a try with my book Taking the Fall but you’ll have to judge for yourself how I did.
Wait, while sitting here thinking about this I just had an epiphany and maybe I have it somewhat figured out. It goes like this; nearly every woman I know is tender, soft spoken, kind, and gentle. Stories, on the other hand, need to be edgy, raw, and problematic, which is the way I view man. (Sorry guys.)
So maybe subconsciously I use the male to toughen the story, and the female to soften it. However, I must admit that’s not always the way it comes across on the pages. I have a tendency to make my girls pretty determined and strong. Which is what we women are, after all, isn’t it? 🙂
 

Margaret Chatwin
Author
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5342646.Margaret_Chatwin

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