Male vs Female Characters

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One of the things I’ve heard about writing male vs female characters, is that you just “add boobs” to a male character to make them female. I think this maybe an oversimplification. Think about how each character would feel about going to a sketchy gas station late at night. A guy might be just fine with that, so long as he doesn’t have to interact with anyone. A woman might be absolutely terrified. As a man, I often forget about being scared because I am either ignorant or I feel comfortable I could fight back. A woman may not feel like she could fight back. So, let’s move this back to classic fantasy fiction.

What if Bilbo (from The Hobbit) was a woman?

  • A bunch of strange men invade your home
  • They ask you to go on an adventure with them
  • You have the power to spy on people with a magic ring

As a man, that makes sense. A man among men, who finds ways to add to the group. If Bilbo was a woman, then the dwarves look less like soldiers and more like vikings who plunder/steal women. Furthermore, there is a different dynamic between men and woman, that I don’t think will ever go away. We look for mates among each other, so some part of our brains will always be looking for that. Woman, from what I understand, are also more relationship centric. I’ve even heard that many women judge their worth by the quality of their relationships, which seems like absolute madness to this male mind. A woman might have used the one ring to go invisible, not because an enemy was drawing near, but to check the quality of her relationship with her traveling companions. (See what they had to say when she wasn’t around)

I don’t think you can simply “add breasts” to a male character to make them female. I think you need to work through the psychology a bit more than that.