The Intricate Labyrinth That Is A Woman’s Mind
You know, if I were a smarter person, I’d learn to love Chinese food. And Thai food. Asian restaurants in general. You get a lot of food for a fair price, and I’m pretty sure it’s not terrible for you or anything like that. It’s not that I mind it, but I just can’t eat it very often (Out of Asian foods, sushi might be the one exception to this).
I bring this up because I had Thai for dinner yesterday. Noodles and rolls, not bad at all; on the contrary, it tasted quite good, but right now the thought of eating Thai is repellent to me. It’s a weird phenomenon, to be sure…
In any case, my first chapter is finished, and while it still needs some serious revisiting before I’ll really move onward, I’m pretty happy with it overall. I tend to write pretty slow, or at least I think I write slow; I don’t really have any point of reference for how fast one should be writing. I also tend to be pretty sporadic with it; some days I’ll write a paragraph or even just a sentence, and other days I’ll write page after page after page.
Recently, I haven’t been writing much at all.
I’d love to conveniently blame it on my newly acquired foray into the realm of Japanese, but I can’t really do that. There’s an underlying problem.
Allow me to explain. In the novel I’m currently writing, there are two perspectives that I write from. A fifteen year old boy is one, and a seventeen year old girl is the second. Now this first chapter takes place entirely from the boy’s perspective, and that went by pretty much without a hitch. Getting inside that guy’s head? Simple as pie. This girl, on the other hand… well, she’s a different story.
The prologue I wrote for this particular piece is a couple pages from the perspective of a six year old girl, and I must say I’m very proud of it. The character was really vivid and clear in my mind as I typed it out. The trouble with the seventeen year old (who is actually the same character) is that, being older, her opinions and perspectives as a person have been expanded and refined, therefore separating her from the (relatively) simpler mindset of a child.
I’ll stop calling her “the seventeen year old”. The girl’s name is Emily, and the boy is Jason (I could see naming my daughter Emily, it’s a great name. Jason was chosen because it created a nice synergy. The names fit well together, don’t you think?).
I imagine that while a lot about the way the two genders think is much the same, there are also differences, and it’s pinpointing those differences that is the tricky part. And yes, I know, I am generalizing. I know every individual is fundamentally different (though I sometimes think that there are a set number of character archetypes that just sort of come together in different patterns for each person. I mean, a lot about a lot of people is the exact same in certain areas of their lives, and different in others. Maybe I have something there…), but there ARE gender-specific methods of thinking. Or at least, I’d say there are.
For example, say Emily is walking down the street. What sort of things is she noticing, and how is she perceiving those things based on her gender? I can tell you she’s very cynical and distrustful of people, so she probably has a lot of anxiety when she is out and about (but that wouldn’t be limited to women, so it doesn’t really apply. I mean, I can get that way too).
As a point of contrast, the male character, Jason, would probably be noticing the women on the street and sort of ranking them based on their attractiveness. He’s a pretty blatantly stereotypical horny guy, and I’d say that’s fairly gender specific. I’m not saying there aren’t women that do that as well, but in general it’s a trait more common in men, and that’s the sort of thing I’m looking for, but from a woman’s perspective.
Is it sexist to be thinking of stuff like this? I’ve always thought that sexism requires malicious intent, and I’m just trying to understand here. There’s so much to understand in the world, and it’s all so difficult it sometimes seems overwhelming. And eventually, I’ll just have to make a decision and get writing no matter what.
I just hope that this all turns out well, and my characters seem intricate and real!
Brendon “Overthinker” Regier
P.S. Here’s another song I tend to listen to while writing. The video isn’t anything to write home about, but I love the music! It’s got a little Celtic twist to it, and it’s really ethereal. Give it a listen!