I’ve heard people say that they can’t write women. Or they can’t write men. And I can’t understand that.
Okay, I can understand it but I can’t because I’ve never had any trouble with it, and I guess I’ve never had any trouble with it because I really don’t put much thought into it. I have this annoying tendency to write people and not think much about their genitals, I suppose.
Typically, when I start working on a story, I know pretty quickly whether or not the POV character or main character is a man or a woman (though, “Spillway” was in first person and I never identified the gender of the character). I’m not sure how I come to that decision or what the science is behind it. If Stephen King is right and stories are found things, then it’s really a choice made for me.
However it’s decided, once it’s decided, I don’t think much about it. Gender is part of the character, sure, but I tend not make a huge thing about it. I don’t feel compelled to swathe my characters in pink or blue; I just write about certain people in certain situations and call it good.
This isn’t to say that sex and gender isn’t a serious contributing factor to people’s lives and experiences. Hello, I’m a woman. I’m quite familiar how that impacts my behaviors and personality and life in the overall. I also know that sex and gender is much more complex than what I’m talking about here, which is only the very simplest and most basic concepts.
I suppose what I mean to say is that I don’t stress over writing POV from a particular gender. While there are differences, I don’t consider them to be great hang-ups to throw my hands up over and say I can’t write them.
The more I try to explain myself, the worse I make it sound.
Basically, what it boils down to is that I can write people and very little prevents me from doing it with some competence.