Monday, June 17, 2013

Tapping Into My Inner Boy

I’ve been doing a rewrite of the first YA novel I wrote. While the pov is split between a few characters, the majority of the story is told in the pov of a 17-year-old boy. Not only do I need to have the narrative sound distinctive between characters, but I also need this boy to sound like a boy. I can tap into his mannerisms and I think I’ve got the dialogue down, but I’ve read books that still sound like a woman wrote them when it’s a male character and vice versa.

What I’ve been doing is reading, and sometimes rereading, books with male leads. Some written by men, some written by women.
-The Unwind series by Neil Shusterman.
-The Furnace series by Alexander Gordon Smith.
-I just finished reading TWISTED by Laura Halse Anderson. Her male character sounded like a male. Never once was I aware that a woman had created Tyler. That’s what I want.
As a teen, I hung around a lot of boys, but that was many moons ago. Still, I’ve been paying close attention to the men in my life just to see how they think, because usually when I become aware that a woman wrote a male character its in the narrative, the boy’s inner thoughts. Hopefully, I can tap into my mc's thoughts and make him  sound like a boy and not a boy written by a woman.

How do you all go about writing characters of the opposite sex?

Karen @~>~


  1. With a lot of help! My wife clued me in to what a woman would think and do.

  2. I find it easier writing as a male character, for some reason. Much easier to get into their heads, maybe because I've always gotten along with males more than females.

  3. I always find it easier writing boys--but sometimes I still get the dialogue dead wrong. That's when having a seventeen year old son as a writing partner REALLY comes in handy. haha.

    If you are having a problem with any of the scenes, send them over and I'll critique them with Chance. He's awesome at spotting non-authentic sounding teenage guy dialogue. :)