Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Writing By the Sexes

This is merely an observation on the sexes in writing - not a criticism of either side.

When I read a book written by a man, I notice that emphasis is put on the action. You don't see anything in your mind's eye of the surroundings. The action is described in exquisite detail. You may know that the character is wearing a leather jacket, from which he pulls an XYZ type of specialized revolver, and you may know the sun is shining in his eyes or that there is a crowd of people through which he is searching for the bad guy, but that's about it. The rest of the scene involves the actions he goes through and what is happening around him - with no descriptions.

If a woman is writing the same story, you know what she's wearing, how hot or cold it is, the architecture of the building she is about to enter, and even though she has a silencer on the gun, you'll hear the bullet as it riccochets off a white marble pillar and sends tiny shards of marble chips flying into a large pot of geraniums with ivy cascading over the edge.

What this tells me is that men and women read differently. It's the Mars/Venus syndrome. Men don't care about the details. They are watching a football game no matter what the action is: play by play, who's ahead, who's penalized etc.

Women are aware of the aesthetics of their surroundings. They like things to be coordinated, pleasant to the senses, and the ends to be tied up in a neat little bow, which generally means they aren't writing an action scene involving guns and other masculine props, but there are always exceptions.

Men like to feel their heart pumping with non-stop action or else looking at a beautiful woman. The beautiful woman is generally where a man will spend the most time with descriptions when he is writing. It's the old Jeff Foxworthy line: Men want three things: a remote control, a beer, and to see somethin' nekked.

Women want their hearts to race with emotions, but their kind of action involves two hearts and sweaty limbs. This and everything else is described in tiny bits that allow you to see the story unfold in your mind.

Hmmmm..... a male/female collaboration sounds like a really good read.