Writing from a Guy’s POV When You’re a Girl

by | 17 November 2017 | Writing | 21 comments

Writing from the POV (point of view) of someone of the opposite gender can be challenging to do realistically, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If you’re a girl, writing from a girl’s perspective will naturally come easier simply because girls know how girls think. However, sometimes you don’t want to write from a girl’s POV. Some books just wouldn’t work with a female protagonist.

Can a girl write from a guy’s POV? And, more to the point, can it be done well? Absolutely. Jill Williamson’s Mission League series, Gillian Bronte Adams’ Songkeeper Chronicles, Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s Tales of Goldstone Wood, K.M. Weiland’s Storming—they’re all female authors, they all have guy POVs, and they’re all very well and realistically written.

So the question is, how can I write a realistic guy’s POV without knowing how a guy thinks?

 

Ask the guys in your life for tips

Your dad, brother, friend, friend’s brother—whoever it happens to be. You can ask them questions of how they’d react if they were in such-and-such a situation. What do they think when faced with a tough choice? What does getting stressed look like for them?

Don’t be shy to ask. It might feel weird to ask your dad what he’d do if he was trapped in an elevator that was stuck halfway up the shaft, but in the long run it’ll improve your story.

 

Read books by guys or books with realistic guy POVs

The list I gave at the beginning is a good example. There are plenty of books that have good guy POVs. Other good books actually by guys aren’t very hard to find either. (Feel free to ask if you want recommendations.) Reading is incredibly important to both keep your creative brain in good condition and to learn from other peoples’ work.

 

Get a guy friend to read through your story

It doesn’t even matter if they’ve never done critique reading before. Just ask them to read through it and tell you any parts where you didn’t get it quite right. It’s immensely helpful to have an actual guy’s perspective.

And if you absolutely don’t have any guys in your life who can/will do this, then hunt up a writer friend who has written guy characters before and get their view. It won’t be as good, but it’s still better than nothing. They’ll have experience in writing a guy’s POV, and maybe have spoken to a guy about it themselves as well.

 

Though it can be a challenge to start off with, it can still be fun and easier to work with a guy POV character overall. And if you’re a guy writer, there’s two things you can take away from this post. a) Help out those girl writers you know if they want help with their guy characters. b) The same points apply to guys writing girl characters as for girls writing guy characters.

 

Do you prefer writing from a guy’s POV or a girl’s? What books have you read that have realistic POV characters of the opposite gender of their author? Let’s hang out in the comments. 🙂

Jane Maree

Jane Maree

Jane Maree is an Adventurer—exploring the endless wonders of God’s beautiful creation. She started writing by accident, but since the very beginning has loved the enchantment of words on paper. If you say anything about pizza, superheroes, books, or any of her many, many fandoms, she’ll come at the double. Aside from crafting worlds using only twenty-six letters, she is a passionate Jesus-lover, freelance editor, self-trained martial artist, songwriter, and musician. In her spare time, she's often off on random adventures in the name of story research. She seeks to inspire her readers to step out and become the heroes of hope this world needs.

21 Comments

  1. MiddleEarthMusician

    This was a really helpful post, Jane! XD Thanks for sharing your tips. 😀 I am reading New Recruit now and I think J.W. did an amazing job writing from a guy’s perspective! 😀 I have several friends reading M:M that are guys; I will have to ask them for input. I actually prefer writing from a guys pov; I don’t know why. :-Z Which do you prefer? 🙂

    Reply
    • Jane Maree

      Yayy, I’m glad it was helpful! 😀
      Ooh yes! Are you enjoying it?
      I prefer guy POV as well, simply because guy characters are often easier for me to use in the sort of novels I write. 😛 Because it’s waaay easier to write a realistic guy-vs-guy action scene than it is to write a girl-vs-guy one.

      Reply
      • MiddleEarthMusician

        YES I AM!!! I just finished it; it was so cool! You were right about Spencer kind of being a jerk around the girls though…:-Z Other than that I loved it! 😀 IKR??? the action scene in M:M with Shae was super hard to write for me. 🙂

        Reply
        • Jane Maree

          YAY COOL. *flail* I really love those books. And Spencer does EVENTUALLY get better about that. That was the only thing that makes me slightly reluctant to just throw out recommendations for the books in every direction. 😛

          Reply
  2. Jenna

    very helpful post, jane! i tend to shy away from writing guy characters, so my stories end up having almost completely a female cast. i also tend to shy away from reading books with a guy POV. but not anymore! i think getting more serious about being a writer has opened my mind to guy POV books and other book genres. 🙂

    Reply
    • Jane Maree

      Aw, I’m so glad to hear that!
      It can definitely be challenging, but go ahead and try it! You can only get better by practicing. 😉

      Reply
      • Jenna

        yes, i will keep trying. thanks! <3

        Reply
  3. Quinley

    Awesome post, Jane!:) I have written from a boy’s POV before (In Mr. Robertson’s point of view, and Celtiere’s).
    And these are awesome ideas for getting it Accurate.
    -Quinley

    Reply
    • Jane Maree

      Thanks, Quinley! Ooh yes so you have. Out of curiosity, how many female POVs have you done?

      Reply
      • Quinley

        You’re welcome!:) And to answer your question, I have two novel series told from a girl’s POV.
        -Quinley

        Reply
        • Jane Maree

          Ooh cool! I didn’t know you’d written a sequel pair.

          Reply
  4. Aposhipolepo

    Quite a nice post.
    In my story ideas I only have a few female characters, two are twins (about eightish I think) and the others are a background monarch and one of her helpers.
    The parts of the story I have planned involve battles and adventures in remote places, so not many ladies around. My main society has the domains of men and women rather separate.
    Rayad and Jace (Ilyon Chronicles) are two POV characters that stand out, also Lucy Pevensie is a wonder fully character of the opposite gender to their author.
    I should also say that I think you have done a really good job with Lando and the twins.

    Reply
    • Jane Maree

      Eight year old twin girls. D’aww, that sounds so cool.
      Totally feel you about the battles and adventures. That’s why I lean more toward having male characters rather than females, because there’s often more freedom and ease of action with a male lead.
      Ooh yes, I definitely agree with all those characters. (Precious Jace <3)
      Aw, thanks! That's so encouraging to hear. 🙂

      Reply
  5. Catherine

    Awesome post, Jane! I tend to write more from a girl’s POV – I think only one of my stories actually has a guy’s POV so far (Rose of Culmore).

    I guess my horde of brothers is good for something…LOL.

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

    Reply
    • Jane Maree

      Thanks! Haha yess, hordes of brothers can be great inspiration and very useful for writing guy characters. Even if they don’t have a POV, it’s still good to be able to ask guys about how they think so that you can understand your character better and they become more of a deep character. 😛

      Reply
  6. GJE

    Thanks for the tips!

    Reply
    • Jane Maree

      I hope they helped! Thanks for commenting. 😀

      Reply
  7. J.A.Penrose

    Wow! An awesome post!

    I switch between the two, and yes, asking guys is great. I often ask them random questions… *shrugs* Oh well. Hopefully they’ve worked out by now that all of these questions about forms of panic and death are to do with writing.

    Reply
    • Jane Maree

      Aw thank you. 🙂

      Hehe yes. Confuse all the guy friends by asking them weird questions. XD

      Reply
  8. Gray Marie

    I go back and forth on genders in books and short stories, I like both.

    I also may or may not have interviewed a few guys in the past… and by “interviewed” I mean randomly pulled out a notebook and pencil when hanging out and asking random questions about how they see the world…. they know I write, so I think they sort of understand the fact that I’m a bit strange! XD

    Great post, Jane!

    Reply
    • Jane Maree

      Oh my wooord, that’s hilarious!! XD I’ve never gone so far as to have a notebook and pencil but ahh, I’m giggling now picturing you interviewing guys for story research. XD

      Reply

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