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What makes for a good male or female character in a written piece? How do you write a believable female as a male writer, or a believable male as a female writer?
In the past I have been told my female characters were not 'believable' and somewhat stereotyped. As a member of the 49% of the world's population I found that disheartening and frustrating.
Having spent nearly all my life interacting with members of the opposite sex I assumed - obviously ignorantly - that I knew how to create a believable female character, and not a Mary Sue, as has been hinted at in the past.
So, how do YOU achieve this marvel of character creation? I'd be extremely happy to read your experiences and 'secrets' on this dynamic of character writing.
As a closing thought, I recently read a snippet of a romance story. Now romance is all good and well, but here I must grumble about something 'comsetic'; a descriptor of a male possessing a 'rock hard flat stomach'.
Now no problem there, if the guy is posing for a body building competition or in a boxing ring absorbing gut punches, but the reality of the human physiology is no muscle or groups of muscles can ever be 'rock hard' in a situation where the person concerned isn't straining and contracting like they are trying to pass a water melon.
Muscles can feel firm, yes. Firm AND defined, yes. But not rock hard in a relaxed situation such as foreplay (penis not included, but that's considered an organ and not a muscle, even though it has several muscular components), unless as I have stated, the person concerned is tensing like a loon.