Wednesday, July 30, 2008
POV and Sex
I just started a recent book by a famous writer, a writer I don't read often because his stories are so male-oriented. This one has a female protagonist but it just didn't feel like a woman to me. If a woman is going to be just a man in spike heels and garter belts, why write from her POV? This is a man's *** dream of a woman, not a real woman. Maybe a woman can get away with writing a woman like this, but it feels wrong when a man does it, no matter how good the plot.
Having said this, I counted the POVs in my published short stories last night and, not including flash and ones that have multiple POVs, 24 of the 35 have male POVs. I don't know why this is the case and it isn't only in the crime fiction stories. It's all of them. When I used to take writing workshops, I got rapped for this, but I have never stopped doing it. The voice in my head is male more often than female.
How about you? Do you always write stories from the POV of your own sex? Does it take you out of the story when a woman is writing from a male POV or vice versa? Who does it especially well? Does it make it easier when it's third person rather than first? Do you expect "I" to be the sex of the writer?