Gender Differences

OK, here is a question that pops up for me whenever I am in a group that discusses or critiques fiction. Is there a fundamental difference in what women and men look for in a novel? The men tend to deny there is any difference but women usually agree.

My own observation has been that male readers tend to look for action and plot. Female readers want to get into the characters more and see plot as serving to flesh out the characters and make them more real. I admit to the female side of this bias. I comes through in my writing. While I understand the importance of action and plot, my intent is to hook the reader into identifying with one or more characters and wanting to see how they resolve their situations with intent and feeling, rather than chance events.

I know, I know. It is not a good idea to generalize. I am quite aware that both sexes can cover the entire spectrum on both aspects. I have among my friends some very evolved males. And I love them, especially when they like what I write. (haha) But that does not negate the original premise.

I would love to find out, possibly through a poll, whether my observation is valid. After all, I am only one observer, and female at that. Let me know what you all think.

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4 Responses to Gender Differences

  1. carolyn says:

    I’ve heard that male readers prefer male authors while female readers pick up a book based not on the author, but on whether or not the story interests them. From personal experience my husband reads mostly male authors while I read either. He really does prefer action and plot, to plot and character. Go for the poll – it would be interesting!

  2. successbmine says:

    I think on the whole your are right, Yvonne. I belong to a critique group of 9 ladies and one man. The man usually has a different viewpoint from the women and is sometimes harsher in his evaluation. He likes some of the things the ladies find fault with and criticizes some of the points the rest of us like. I guess we are wired to think differently. I’m sure there are men who look for the same thing as women in a good read, though.

  3. Lo Cooper says:

    Yvonne,
    Your absolutely character i believe in that. In my book city of secrets i have action, intense lust, with a touch of human behavior in it. The reason why is to go into the other direction in horror. But from feedback i got about my book so far from women they love Ashley and Jesse becasue they are not potrayed as the norm in the horror Genre. In my opinion men and women look for a good story that covers who,what when and where

  4. I like ambiguity in a villain, a bit like real life, but… contrarily I also like a bit of black and white – it all depends on the contect I suppose.