Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Open thread: characters and gender

Good morning, everyone! I hope you had a fabulous weekend and MLK Jr. day.

On my post about narrative "kinks" a few months ago, I talked a little about how I love when writers switch up traditional gender roles. Last night I was talking with a friend about adaptations or remakes where a previously-established character was written as the opposite gender. I can think of a couple examples off the top of my head: Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica, Kono from Hawaii 5-0, and most recently, Emily Thorne in the new soap Revenge, which is very loosely based on The Count of Monte Cristo.

So for today's post, I'd love to hear from you: what would your current WIP be like if you flipped your protagonist's gender? What would change? What would stay the same?


  1. I don't think it would change *too* much in my current WIP if I switched gender, other than requiring tweaks to the romantic plot line. Granted, I would probably change other characters' genders to match, because sometimes things just work better depending on what sex the mingling characters are, you know?

    I know that originally, in Sanderson's MISTBORN trilogy, his main character was male. For some reason the book felt awkward, and changing the protagonist to female fixed it... funny how that works.

    1. Thank you for your response! I didn't know that about the MISTBORN trilogy... that's pretty awesome. I've actually done that switch myself a couple times, and though I can't explain why it works, it really does feel a lot more natural.