Writing: Characters (Poll results & Archetypes)

 

 

A few weeks ago (technically, more than 4 weeks), I put up a Poll to see what kind of characters you preferred to write (female, male, or other).  Here are the results:

Female: 64%

Other: 27%

Male: 9%

 

The down-size of this poll is that it didn’t capture whether the writers were male or female so I can’t make any further correlations.   It seems that overwhelmingly we prefer females as our characters.

I wonder– why?

Do you find it easier to write from a female’s point of view?  Or, perhaps you feel there need to be more female main characters in books?

Another interesting result I found was how high the stat for “other” was.  Again, this poll didn’t capture (or further elaborate) what “other” entails.

Imagination runs rampant.

Today, we’ll continue the “character” series with another poll.  This time about Character Archetypes.

 

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12 thoughts on “Writing: Characters (Poll results & Archetypes)

  1. I think I put “other” to indicate I use both male or female protagonists depending on which seems best for a particular story, with no particular bias to either that I can think of (though I have occasionally had mythological PoV characters too, as well as alien).

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    • I have yet tried to write from the other’s perspective (namely, non-human). I may try it out in short story to see how it feels. But…on the other hand, I don’t that’s entirely true. I wrote a poem a few years ago (published w/ Piker Press) called The Ancient Guardian, which was told by the perspective of a young Eagle being hunted by a vicious predator.

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  2. I prefer to write female characters, although I identify as male. I’ve sometimes asked myself why this is the case, and have come up with a few plausible reasons.
    -As you say, there do need to be more female main characters out there. Granted, I’ve been doing this for well over a decade, before I was aware of that being a public need… still, I feel it plays a part.
    -I am not someone who writes many action scenes (in fact I tend to avoid them), it’s not my forte. I prefer more cerebral conflicts, or dialogues, or stories delving into relationships… which lends itself more to a “female” perspective. True, that’s a stereotype, women are just as capable of solving something with fists, or weapons, and men can be romantic. But the bias is there, and influences me as the ideas are forming.
    -The protagonist of a story tends to be the one who has the most terrible things thrown at them. The darker part of my personality wonders if I enjoy putting a female character through a hell like that more than I would a male one. Yeah, not necessarily a happy thought, as I don’t know if it’s more for the being put through the wringer, or the emerging victorious at the end. But it’s a thought I’ve had.
    -Being a male, I’m actually less interested in thinking about how a guy would deal with a particular situation. That’s low hanging fruit, in a sense. It’s more challenging (and more interesting) for me to think of how a female might handle the situation differently, or how they might handle it the same way but have people around her perceive some difference due to her gender. That energizes me in a way that writing my own gender doesn’t.

    There’s my thoughts, at any rate. As always, your mileage may vary.

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    • Thank you for sharing your honest perspectives 🙂 Me, being a female, I do enjoy writing some stories from a male’s perspective but usually as a young adult/teenager. I’m especially interested now as my own son is nearly 14 and I tend to watch how he talks, carry on, etc.. What a strange breed of a parent I am, but what can I say, I’m a writer 🙂

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  3. Too bad I missed the first poll. I would’ve voted female. Partially because my heroes has always came to me as female. Another reason is to show a woman in the main role saving the day. Guess must’ve been influenced by Xena, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed. Now that I’m writing romance I’m also writing from a male pov. Though I do have a Greek myth inspired story idea from years ago from the pov of a preteen boy.

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  4. I’m male and I don’t have a favourite to write but feedback I’ve had suggests that my female characters are very popular due to them being rounded.
    I can’t put my finger on why other than I’m probably influenced by my female friends and their personality comes out in the characters.
    The male characters are also very popular but on a more basic level i.e. funny, strong, stupid etc.
    My third novel is due out soon and there’s a couple of female characters who are particularly unpleasant so it will be interesting to see if feedback is the same for this one.

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  5. Thinking back about all the books I’ve loved the most, I realize that they almost all have female main characters, whether it’s Nancy Drew or Agatha Raisin or anything by Phyllis Whitney or most of Jane Austen’s books. Great poll and very thought-provoking!

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    • I enjoyed reading both the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series. Being a tomboy, I guess I enjoy reading about both male and female characters…but tend to favor females who are strong even when they think they’re not.

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