I’ve never written stories where the main character is a male, as I’ve always stuck to female protagonists. So does this matter? And what does it say about my writing?
I began thinking about this after reading a prompt that suggested writing a first person narrative, assuming the voice of someone from the opposite gender. The prompt’s suggestion began by stating the following:
“As a writer of fiction you’re seriously handicapped if you can’t write convincingly about people unlike yourself.”
I completely agree with this statement. I’ve had characters that are completely different from me: children of different ages, older women, mothers (before I was a parent myself), other nationalities, people in different walks of life and so on. But they were all female… except…
As I write this, I do recall a story I wrote in first person where the protagonist was a male. Then again, the character wasn’t human as it was Death. Half the members of my writing group thought that the character was female and even commented on the great idea of making Death a female.
I guess this could be the most important reason I’ve avoided the male voice ever since: I don’t believe I can write the male voice convincingly. In other words… I fear the male voice.
I’m therefore impressed by writers who write a story in which the main character is of the opposite gender. And I’m in awe of those who can do it well.