Monday, May 12, 2008

Personal Limitations: Male vs. Female Readers, Part 1

Despite what modern society may try to say, males and females are build differently, physically, emotionally, and mentally. As a result, they also perceive the realm of fiction differently.

Male readers—and even writers—tend toward the high-tension, plot-driven books. Much action is often a must, with plenty of car chases, gun battles, complex puzzles, and unexpected twists. A few dead bodies are no surprise; they are even expected. Advanced science, technology, and logic are often appreciated, which is why espionage and hard-core science fiction are popular with guys.

Females are more emotional. Many times characters and the emotional connection have greater importance than plotting. Complex relationships and inner turmoil are almost always a must; the matters of the heart engage the female reader. Hence why they read genres like romance, women’s fiction, and the lits (mom-lit, chick-lit, matron-lit).

There are, of course, varying degrees to both sides and even exceptions. I know plenty of female suspense writers who seem to enjoy devising ways to kill off people, and I’ve heard of men who are voracious romance readers.

Nonetheless, men tend toward action and the mind-provoking while women are more emotionally driven and heart engaged.

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