Wright’s Writing Corner on Writing for Boys, Writing for Girls.

The lovely and talented Mrs Wright asks all and sundry to come by and share any opinions on the similarities and differences between the literary likes of men and women.



When I was in college, some male friends and I (including the one I married) used to spend time talking about books we liked-science fiction and fantasy, mainly. I discovered that Ursula LeGuin was regarded as equal to the male authors, but all other female authors in the field were regarded as sentimental and of lower quality. Their books were soft and not as admired.

I listened. I took careful note. I determined that I wanted to be like Ursula LeGuin-whose work I loved, not like those other women whose books did not qualify. Some of whose work I also loved-like Anne McCaffrey.

It never occurred to me, not once, that the qualities the men did not like in the books might be considered a virtue by some female readers. I just thought women were mainly too sentimental to write real books, so I would have to learn to write like a man.

When a guy friend told me that he could see signs of this womanish writing style in an early version of my Prospero series, I put the book aside and did not work on it again for about five years.