Monday, October 6, 2014

He Says, She Says

Men and women are different--especially where communication is concerned! Ever struggle with gender specific dialogue in your fiction writing? Hope these tips will help!

Men are more direct and brusque in tone. They use simpler vocabulary with fewer modifiers, and are likely to use one word responses and shorter sentences.  Instead of talking about people and feelings, they’d rather talk about things.  

Women, however, love talking about people and relationships.  Their language is softer, and they’re more likely to talk around a subject.  “I’m not too happy about this,” she might say, while he says, “I’m mad as hell!”  Women express themselves in complete sentences, and want to share their feelings.

Today, I thought I'd pass this article along from the website Your Tango, written by Richard Drobnick of The Mars and Venus Counseling Center. It provides some information to keep in mind when writing dialogue from the perspective of the opposite sex.

He believes communication should have a clear purpose. Behind every conversation is a problem that needs solving or a point that needs to be made.

She uses communication to discover how she is feeling and what it is she wants to say. She sees conversation as an act of sharing and an opportunity to increase intimacy with her partner.

He prioritizes productivity and efficiency in his daily life, and conversation is no exception. When he tells a story he has already sorted through the muck in his own head, and shares only those details that he deems essential to the point of the story. He might wonder, "Why do women need to talk as much as they do?" Often he will interrupt a woman once he has heard enough to offer a solution.

She uses communication to explore and organize her thoughts — to discover the point of the story. She may not know what information is necessary or excessive until the words come spilling out. But a woman isn't necessarily searching for a solution when she initiates a conversation. She's looking for someone to listen and understand what she's feeling.

Do you have any tips to make dialogue sound more feminine or masculine?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!  

Reprinted from 2/15/13.

4 comments:

Norma Beishir said...

Ironically, I've always been told I write male characters better than females....

William Kendall said...

I do have to agree. Guys are to the point.

Maria McKenzie said...

@Norma: Isn't that funny! They say some men are in touch with their feminine side. You must be in touch with your masculine side;)!

@William: So true! No beating around the bush with men:).

Nas said...

Sometimes we get to read a book from a male POV written by a female author, I always wonder how they pull it off. The blokey words etc.