Jody Feldman wrote a guest blog on Cynsations about creating boy characters. If you haven’t read it, take a minute. She did a great job.
Like Jody, I really do think that women authors can write for and about boys. That said, not all women do it especially well. Occasionally, I’ll be cruising through a book and encounter an boy that just feels like a girl. Sometimes the character is overly chatty. Other times it is all emotional worry — but never any outward action fueled by said worry. Then I’ll flip to the cover and see the author’s name. Yep. A woman.
Not that boys don’t get emotional or talk and talk and talk. There is a reason I sometimes call my son “Chatty Cathy.” But boys really do act differently than girls. Don’t believe me? Then put someone who only has daughters into a room full of boys. I am certain without a doubt that one day my son will give my sister a fit.
I remember walking around the front yard with my then toddler son. I spotted the first violet of spring — something amazing to share. His little face lit up. He smiled super big. Then he pulverized it with a stick. Wham! Wham! Wham.
Want to write a boy character? Just do your research. If you spend a lot of time around boys, you are probably more ready than you think. You know how boys talk. And when they talk. And what they talk about. You know how boys play. It may have taken you a while but you know. There may even be a collection of “good sticks” on your front porch.
Maybe you’re pretty good at playing boy. Have your own Nerf gun? Or maybe you had to apologize for catapulting a Ken shoe into someone’s forehead? Yes, with a real catapult. If so, you’re may be very ready to write.
Give it a shot. Pretty soon you’ll be creating boys who are taking apart the dishwasher, climbing onto the roof, or dreaming up new and better ways to bathe the cat.