Gender in my writing

It’s occurred to me that one of the things I never think about in writing that people overthink normally is the gender of my character. I never think about it ever.

I don’t know why, but it just never seems relevant, no matter what I do. I feel like my characters are my characters regardless of whether they’re male, female or other. And to tell you the truth, most of the characters I draw up- or at least the ones I like– fall into the third category. It’d be a flat out lie if I said that it was because I find it fascinating. While I find gender itself to be fascinating in concept and execution, obsessing over a single character’s gender seems overdone and silly- storylines involving the bucking of tradition, like a girl going to war and a guy staying home and watching the children, doing the sewing… It isn’t as interesting to me as stories which make up their own traditions.

I suppose that’s where the idea for Summer and Winter and the rest came from. Summer is a hot-headed, often vindictive character with few redeeming qualities at the start. Winter is confused, hurt, but strong. Their genders make little difference in the situation- perhaps Summer wouldn’t have exploited the gateguards quite as much, perhaps she wouldn’t have been [SPOILER] either, but that’s simple biology.

One of the main reasons I made Spring male was because it felt right, and I think it probably felt right because Spring is often represented as a woman. If there’s something I’m notorious for, it’s subconsciously switching the genders of anything I look at. If you’re normally a guy, I’ll picture you as a girl. If you’re normally a girl, I’ll picture you as a guy. If you don’t fit either I might imagine what would happen if you’d been born the other way.

But I don’t think about it most of the time. I’d much prefer to think about what the character of my characters are. If I put gender into it and start thinking about it too much, I run the danger of treading into obsessive territory. So I don’t let myself.

Well, most of the time. While for me characters write themselves, I understand that for many people, they have to think it all through.

Now, this is offtopic, naturally, but I’m always going off on a tangent, so here goes.

My general build for any character goes: Name -> Base -> personality -> quirks -> abilities -> fate.

And the last is a bit shaky. OF COURSE IT IS. I love to write, but I don’t write in a cool, logical manner. I am no spinner of intricate, complicated webs of intrigue. The webs spin themselves, the characters speak and act for themselves, and if I have any hand in their fates it’s only by dint of writing them down!

Similarly closer to the topic, I am a historian of my characters’ personalities, but lately I have been a very busy historian. I’m going to do my best to get a Friday update of some kind, of course!

If it does appear it will be later at night, since… well, to be honest, college is a long, involved process and after I’m done with my daily classes I like to sit back and relax. Constantly.

Sometimes that relaxing involves writing, and sometimes it involves playing games and sleeping. Whatever strikes my nerves, as they say.

(I don’t know if anyone even says that, do not quote me unless you’re sure they actually say that, I would be so embarrassed)

-Eris

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