Sunday, July 26, 2009

Characterization: Crossing the Male/Female Line

CharacterizationCharacterization: Crossing the Line: Nature vs Nurture

Men and women think differently, yes, and they act differently, but there's often a very thin line between the way a woman thinks and acts versus the way a man thinks and acts. Their thoughts and actions are influenced by the things they've seen, done, and endured(environment=nurture), as well as genetics(nature).
I was in the USAF, and as a female in the military, surrounded by men(9 males to 1 female in Italy in the 80's), I thought and acted differently than most other women. I had to, in order to function in a man's world.
I write stories of intrigue, suspense, and action. Often my heroines are very strong minded, independent and physically tough. I have female FBI agents, CIA assassins, DEA snipers, and women being stalked by serial killers and ex-husbands or fiances. They have to be tough and either act in character or out of character, if they want to survive and/or thrive in their worlds, face their situations, and come out on top.
So, actions may seem out of character for a woman/heroine, but if she doesn't act and think like the strong 'person' she is, she'll die, or worse, her heart will be broken, because even assassins and snipers have feelings. If they didn't, they wouldn't do the jobs they do, especially if they work for the government and serve the people of their respective countries.

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