LTUE 2018 Writing The Opposite Gender

Published: February 2018

How do you measure your success?
How do you keep from pitfalls?

Johnny Worthen - What Immortal Hand

The Problem - you really can’t write what you are because you don’t understand.

Write ‘a’ 15 yo girl not every 15 yo girl.

They don’t embody every sterotype you have.

Pay attention to power relationships.

Two problems: You treat them differntly because they are the other. You don’t treat them differently because they are the other. Model after real people.

Don’t treat them differently but know that they are different.

They challenge is not in writing a different genre but in writing different characters.

It all comes down to empathy.

Open mind for impressions and imagination that includes empathy.

Have to rely on observation rather than personal experience.

A mix of observation and daydreaming. Observations are the raw ingredients. Compost in you head that stories grow out of.

The hardest thing as a writer is creating a bunch of characters and making them seem like they didn’t come out of the same head.


Almost all research comes from life happening. Unless you have a specific need. The informal research of living life.

Writing about gender will always be political.

Always strive to be accurate and respectful.