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43

On "Jo Writes Stuff", Jo has produced an epic analysis of whether or not a character is a "strong female character"; and a test to go with it. Here is her instructions on How To Use The Test. She has stopped any new analysis, but here is a list of All The Characters She Reviewed. I believe this can help you with some of your issues; just writing a post-...


41

Woman here. :) I think what your female character would struggle with most is that suddenly she does need her man beside her - for safety, for being treated a certain way by other people, etc. It doesn't matter how feminine she was in the 23rd century, it doesn't matter if she liked cooking and staying at home and having doors opened for her, being suddenly ...


31

You could try using a common element outside of any of the scenes themselves to establish a common reference point in time. For example describe Alice and Bob having a heated marriage argument but being forced to resume their happy facade by the dinner gong calling everyone together. Charlie and Danielle are describing their plans to murder the Countess ...


28

As a counter-point to mbakeranalecta's answer: God can have a story arc albeit one with an obvious victor. For example: the Christian God Yahweh takes human form (with the name Jesus) in the books Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Since he is omnipotent there is no evenly matched opponent however there is an introduction, a goal, a journey, build up, a climax, ...


21

Just don't mention it! Consider giving your character a short name, so that it's less jarring when you inevitably use their name more often than usual, and find ways to phrase your sentences without pronouns referring to the character. When there is dialogue, have other characters address your character directly so they can use 'you' a lot. Gene Kemp's ...


20

What does the time spend hiding do to your character? Pick things that start off easy to manage, but becomes hard to maintain (especially under stress or pressure), and talk about those. For example, if they are squeezed into a wardrobe, staying as still as possible: As the villain paced the room, she shivered in her hiding spot. Every time he walked out ...


18

Once again, @MarkBaker is spot-on. When the author keeps information from the reader that the other characters all know, it feels manipulative to the reader. If you must keep something from your readers, keep it from at least one character in the story as well. A natural way to do this is to tell the story from the point of view of an ignorant character. ...


18

There are two questions hiding in your question, 1. Can the POV character not be the character who's most active? Consider Sherlock Holmes as an example. Watson is the POV character, the story is told in first person by Watson, it's Watson's opinions and emotions we share. But Watson is passive. It's Holmes who is active, it's Holmes who is interesting, it'...


18

If your goal is hectic momentum, then two-sentence paragraphs with a visual indicator of "scene change" might work. Colonel Mustard frantically wiped up the table. No one would believe he hadn't done it. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Miss Scarlett straightened her dress, patted her hair, and checked her makeup in her compact. She had to look impeccable or the detective ...


17

Personally, I have a strong dislike for multiple first person POV. With that said, I'd say your option of following through with one character's POV is best. It's not uncommon to have the same scene told first by one character and then by the other. You need to work hard, however, to not make this repetitive or confusing. The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn ...


16

This is not only done, but is a staple of George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire - all books' prologues and epilogues have a one-time POV character that dies by the end of it. So yeah, it's perfectly acceptable.


16

If the readers think the opinion of your protagonist is your own opinion, then I'd guess the problem is not that the protagonist has that opinion, but that the protagonist's opinion is not or not sufficiently challenged in the story. That is, the book actually seems to promote that protagonist's position, which an author of different opinion usually won't ...


16

One possibility is to just say that time has passed. "The two men sat staring at each other, neither saying a word, for fifteen minutes." Another possibility is to fill the time with action. If the point is that it was a tense standoff, "action" here probably doesn't mean people running and fighting, but events appropriate to the situation. "Bob locked the ...


15

...I should write from [the] first-person perspective to make things easier... If for whatever reason you want to keep the gender of your main character a secret, the first-person perspective is the last one you would want to employ as a story delivery vehicle. Yes, it would give your character a way to refer to themselves as ambiguous I instead of gender-...


15

The "subtitle problem" is an extremely common one in stories with multilingual characters, and there are a few different approaches. Here are three suggestions for how you can do it. In most cases, you would do something like, "What's the deal?" I asked, sliding easily into my native tongue. "Did the package come or not?" This ...


14

It is not necessary to run different character arcs chronologically synchronized. However, it is important not to create a false impression that these arcs are synchronized. For example in "A Song of Ice and Fire" (which I refer to quite often) first 3 books George Martin tried to run all chapters chronologically. Next book was split into two ("A Feast for ...


14

One way to make the transition easier is to have more Points of View - chapters or interludes where the main character is not the POV. For example, if the main character tells someone that they are going to bed, and will see them in the morning, you can follow the other character overnight, and hand the POV back to the main character when they meet up again....


13

Study Your Friends You likely have male friends. When speaking with them, really think about their responses. Listen to their phrasing and try to remember exactly how they put things, then go back and compare them to how you would say something similar. Consider the cases where you wouldn't say something and they do, especially. What context was that? What ...


13

How do the people speaking around you, wherever you are, speak differently? How do your favorite authors give characters different voices? Here are a few ways your characters might differ: Different vocabularies Different sentence lengths and complexities Different speeds Verbosity vs brevity Some think before they speak, while others speak their immediate,...


13

Well, kind of a wide question, but you already got the hang of it: the entire worldview, it changes from character to character The whole point is having a clear idea of who your character are. As you mentioned, gender, upbringing, profession, culture, and personality are all factors that determine one character worldview and should, by all means, ...


12

The biggest risk is that you may lose the main characteristic of the narrator out of sight: to tell the reader what is important. There is nothing wrong with changing the point of view and paying attention to different kinds of details is certainly a nice way to illustrate the change, but if you lose yourself in endless descriptions of the surroundings to ...


12

I think that one fundamental question has to be answered (implicitly in your mind, not necessarily explicit in the novel), and it is this: are men and women on average different in their psychologies (in your fictional world)? You said that "she is feminine," but you have to figure out what "femininity" means. One option is that of @Amadeus: Wouldn't ...


12

Most books written in the first person have a likeable narrator, but it's absolutely not necessary. However, as readers we do have a natural tendency to sympathise with the narrator, and the tension between this sympathy and the moral character of the narrator can be a very effective device. An interesting example is Nabokov's Lolita, which is not only very ...


11

While I'm not qualified to advise you on this specific question, I do have some good general advice. Start by doing some research in the form of interviews with someone who resembles your character (it doesn't need to be a writer). Obviously you won't (probably!) find a time traveler, but you can talk to young women in male-dominated fields. You can also ...


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