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February 1st, 2013 (6:37 PM).
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: New York, USA
When writing a fiction how do you decide gender? Is it ever symbolic, is it random, or is it whatever yours is?
It depends. Usually I have male leads since I'm a guy myself. But I have female leads too - I like strong female characters. I tend to have multiple main characters, usually a mixture of males and females. Often, I invert gender stereotypes - my male leads tend to be more cultured and level-headed, while my female leads are more outspoken and adventurous.
What about side characters? Is there always a certain amount of characters of a certain gender or do you also make this random?
I always try to avoid the "Smurfette principle" by including plenty of female characters. Only once did I write a fanfic with no female characters. I try to make the gender an even split. Even if it's a historical war story, I include plenty of women. (I don't write war stories that are purely combatic in nature for that reason.) The WWII story that I'm working on has quite a few women.
I love female villains, so I usually have at least one in stories. One of my fanfic novels has three - an evil emperor's wife, the emperor's evil advisor, and a succubus.
I have a tendency for making older siblings female and younger siblings male, since I have an older sister and no other siblings. Most of my male leads are the youngest child in their family. Usually they have an older sister (or sometimes an older brother as well).
With animal characters, I often go for the gender less represented in fiction. I usually have male cats and female dogs, because in most media, the cats are female and the dogs are male (although the poodles are usually female). If it's an animal where both genders are equally common in fiction, like rabbits and dolphins, it's totally random.
Finally my question: How would one go about keeping gender anonymous? I don't want to tell the exact gender of the main character.
A gender-neutral name is the only thing I can think of. I like everyone having a gender.
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