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Posted: 8/16/2017 6:59:09 AM EDT
I just finished my latest military SF book series earlier this month, and I've been working out the plot for my next series, which is the story of a pair of former war heroes who wind up with one of them disgraced and kicked out of the military and the other in a boring, dead-end staff job and they wind up becoming smugglers and outlaws.  So, one of them is a woman and while she is the crazier and less responsible of the pair, she's also more interesting as a character and I was thinking of telling the story of the first book (which will be their wartime experience) from her 1st-person point of view.

For those of you who are readers, since most of the members here are male, does it make you lose interest in a book if it's told from a female viewpoint?  I have a small and specific readership and I don't want to alienate them.  What do y'all think?
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 7:06:15 AM EDT
[#1]
The first thing / person / character this made me think of was Kendra from one of the Mike Williamson books (spacing on the title). To be honest, I recall that she was a major character in at least part of it, but I can't recall how major, and if any of it was told from her POV. 

I know at least a few of the books I've enjoyed have had strong female characters - I just can't place if any of them were the main POV. 
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 7:06:57 AM EDT
[#2]
Freehold by Michael Z Williamson is more or less told from the viewpoint of the lead female.

It's one of my favorite books.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 7:07:22 AM EDT
[#3]
No.  Nothing wrong with female characters.  

Write her realistically if you can.  Don't have her kicking the crap out of 6 special forces soldiers who each out weigh her by 50 pounds like it's nothing.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 7:08:01 AM EDT
[#4]
I've never had a problem reading a female POV. But Stick with third person, probably? First person always seems less good to me.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 7:09:04 AM EDT
[#5]
Good point about Freehold.  I hadn't thought about that one.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 7:09:44 AM EDT
[#6]
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Quoted:
No.  Nothing wrong with female characters.  

Write her realistically if you can.  Don't have her kicking the crap out of 6 special forces soldiers who each out weigh her by 50 pounds like it's nothing.
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Yeah, that's a cliché I want to avoid.  She's a pilot, mostly.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 7:11:03 AM EDT
[#7]
First off, good to hear, I'm a fan of your work.  I don't mind fiction written from a female POV.  What annoys the shit out of me is fiction/scifi books written by females.  A great example would be "The Host".  I liked the book, but it was all about her "feels" and emotions, nothing a male author would have mentioned. The movie was hot garbage, too.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 7:11:08 AM EDT
[#8]
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Quoted:
I've never had a problem reading a female POV. But Stick with third person, probably? First person always seems less good to me.
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I've always felt that first person makes it easier to get inside the character's head.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 7:12:09 AM EDT
[#9]
Well looking at the entire shelf I have that is nothing but Honor Harrington books, yeah I think a sci-fi story told from a female POV is fine.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 7:12:22 AM EDT
[#10]
Ha. First two replies are not just a coincidence

If you haven't read it, you should....if you like libertarianism, sex, drugs, little guy ruthlessly kicking the shit out of the big bully, etc.


It's kind of like Moon is a Harsh Mistress only the way it should have been.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 7:12:47 AM EDT
[#11]
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Quoted:
First off, good to hear, I'm a fan of your work.  I don't mind fiction written from a female POV.  What annoys the shit out of me is fiction/scifi books written by females.  A great example would be "The Host".  I liked the book, but it was all about her "feels" and emotions, nothing a male author would have mentioned. The movie was hot garbage, too.
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Honestly, the biggest thing I dislike about most female authors is how they write males.  Of course, women probably feel the same about how most male SF writers write females, so...
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 7:13:21 AM EDT
[#12]
Don't be worried about running a book with a female lead.  If you write well, the character will be interesting.  See David Weber's Honor Harrington universe.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 7:13:58 AM EDT
[#13]
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Quoted:
First off, good to hear, I'm a fan of your work.  I don't mind fiction written from a female POV.  What annoys the shit out of me is fiction/scifi books written by females.  A great example would be "The Host".  I liked the book, but it was all about her "feels" and emotions, nothing a male author would have mentioned. The movie was hot garbage, too.
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Pretty much every female author I've tired, I find unreadable.

The collaboration of Ringo and the lady (whose name escapes me) was an exception.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 7:14:15 AM EDT
[#14]
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Quoted:
Ha. First two replies are not just a coincidence

If you haven't read it, you should....if you like libertarianism, sex, drugs, little guy ruthlessly kicking the shit out of the big bully, etc.


It's kind of like Moon is a Harsh Mistress only the way it should have been.
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I hate to admit it but I never actually read that one.

I'm now thinking that maybe I should.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 7:14:16 AM EDT
[#15]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Ha. First two replies are not just a coincidence

If you haven't read it, you should....if you like libertarianism, sex, drugs, little guy ruthlessly kicking the shit out of the big bully, etc.


It's kind of like Moon is a Harsh Mistress only the way it should have been.
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Oh, I've read it.  More than once.  I'm also friends with Mike on Facebook.  I just hadn't thought of that at the time because honestly, my book is going to be much less political than his.  It's more a straight SF adventure.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 7:14:27 AM EDT
[#16]
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Quoted:
First off, good to hear, I'm a fan of your work.  I don't mind fiction written from a female POV.  What annoys the shit out of me is fiction/scifi books written by females.  A great example would be "The Host".  I liked the book, but it was all about her "feels" and emotions, nothing a male author would have mentioned. The movie was hot garbage, too.
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The Korean horror movie by the same name is much better.  ;)
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 7:15:08 AM EDT
[#17]
Freehold was good. I also enjoyed Heinlein's Podkayne of Mars as a kid.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 7:20:37 AM EDT
[#18]
Anne McCaffrey is the only female writer with lots of female leads I read much of.  There is Octavia Butler who did some classic works. Piers Anthony had a number of lead females, though I am not sure they were well written.

There might be female writers under mens names though.  There was one fantasy writer that had a series about a female. I only sorta remember the name of the character was "Paxarian" or something like that. Sort of a norse type mythos book.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 7:21:22 AM EDT
[#19]
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Quoted:
Pretty much every female author I've tired, I find unreadable.

The collaboration of Ringo and the lady (whose name escapes me) was an exception.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
First off, good to hear, I'm a fan of your work.  I don't mind fiction written from a female POV.  What annoys the shit out of me is fiction/scifi books written by females.  A great example would be "The Host".  I liked the book, but it was all about her "feels" and emotions, nothing a male author would have mentioned. The movie was hot garbage, too.
Pretty much every female author I've tired, I find unreadable.

The collaboration of Ringo and the lady (whose name escapes me) was an exception.
I'm sort of in the same camp, although Katherine Kurtz and Mickey Zucker Reichert are two exceptions (at least for fantasy) that immediately spring to mind, at least as far as how my tastes go. I'm sure there are others but those are the ones that popped into my head after being up for almost 2 days straight, so that says something.

John Ringo collaborations are hit and miss for me, mostly hits, but some misses. But in general I know I'll like a book "By John Ringo" whereas I'll probably like a "By John Ringo &..."
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 7:21:45 AM EDT
[#20]
Play to a real woman in a similar current situation's strengths. If she has to kick ass at some point, make sure you've described her character more like Gina Carano's in the movie Haywire than Angelina Jolie in that turd of a movie Salt.

Written well I'd have zero issues with a female protagonist or co-protagonist.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 7:24:38 AM EDT
[#21]
Not at all, as long as the story is good and it is written well.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 7:25:07 AM EDT
[#22]
OP is going all GRRLLL POWER SJW!



I don't care if a character's reproductive organs are on the inside or outside, make them interesting and I'll read.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 7:30:28 AM EDT
[#23]
No problem with a female lead.  I tend to enjoy third person perspective more simply because you stand a chance of learning each characters perspective however done well I enjoy first person too.  I've liked your previous work so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on this one.  If you ever need a sample reader.  I'll even read really bad stuff after I start it out of stubbornness. 
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 8:18:12 AM EDT
[#24]
The problem with female pov characters is.. they suck. Women written by women often end up cliched. Women written by men are often times unbelievable as women. Maybe I need to shut off my brain a lil more when reading, but I think it's hard for an author of one gender to write a truly convincing opposite protagonist.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 8:53:05 AM EDT
[#25]
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Quoted:
The problem with female pov characters is.. they suck. Women written by women often end up cliched. Women written by men are often times unbelievable as women. Maybe I need to shut off my brain a lil more when reading, but I think it's hard for an author of one gender to write a truly convincing opposite protagonist.
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That's what I'm worried about.  I think I've done pretty good female characters so far, but I'll let you guys be the judge of that.  I've never tried to write a book from a female POV, especially first person, so it will be a challenge.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 8:54:05 AM EDT
[#26]
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Quoted:
Freehold was good. I also enjoyed Heinlein's Podkayne of Mars as a kid.
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Heinlein's Friday was also an excellent book with a female lead.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 8:57:02 AM EDT
[#27]
As long as you keep her realistic and not some super human heroin like a Laura Croft fantasy character.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 9:05:11 AM EDT
[#28]
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Quoted:
I've never had a problem reading a female POV. But Stick with third person, probably? First person always seems less good to me.
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I don't know what it is but I can't read a book written in first person. I just don't enjoy them and lose interest quickly.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 9:10:22 AM EDT
[#29]
Write a female character "like a man, but take away all reason and accountability."

Link Posted: 8/16/2017 9:15:33 AM EDT
[#30]
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Quoted:
Write a female character "like a man, but take away all reason and accountability."

View Quote


Actually, this particular character is something of a screw-loose bitch and knows it.  She should be interesting to write.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 9:15:48 AM EDT
[#31]
No problem.  Just generally not from most female authors.

Which they might reply, a woman's POV written by a man is unrealistic.  Ok.  It's fiction.  I don't want to be locked into the 14 page internal monologue that is required for every minor decision the character is presented.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 9:20:45 AM EDT
[#32]
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Quoted:


Actually, this particular character is something of a screw-loose bitch and knows it.  She should be interesting to write.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Write a female character "like a man, but take away all reason and accountability."



Actually, this particular character is something of a screw-loose bitch and knows it.  She should be interesting to write.
Nice. Should write itself (almost!) then.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 9:44:28 AM EDT
[#33]
There is no one, no one, who can write a female character like John Sandford.  His protagonist female characters are Clara Rinker from Certain Prey and Mortal Prey and Anna Batory from The Night Crew.  When they prevail, they don't do it by main force; they do it by being smarter, or meaner, or by cornered rat desperation.  And there is always a male character who's just as smart and just as mean, if not as desparate.   There are also several more secondary female characters sprinkled through his books.

He's also the only author - male or female - who can write about competent men and women interacting in a way that rings true for me, in a way that doesn't make me either roll my eyes or want to puke.

ETA: By the way, Sandford's readership is pretty evenly divided between men and women, and he's a very rich man.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 9:49:12 AM EDT
[#34]
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Quoted:

He's also the only author - male or female - who can write about competent men and women interacting in a way that rings true for me, in a way that doesn't make me either roll my eyes or want to puke.
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Uh-oh.  In that case, I hope you haven't read my stuff!  
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 9:57:53 AM EDT
[#35]
How do you write women so well?
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 10:10:00 AM EDT
[#36]
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Quoted:
Uh-oh.  In that case, I hope you haven't read my stuff!  
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Quoted:
Quoted:

He's also the only author - male or female - who can write about competent men and women interacting in a way that rings true for me, in a way that doesn't make me either roll my eyes or want to puke.
Uh-oh.  In that case, I hope you haven't read my stuff!  
Uh-oh, busted!    SF isn't my genre; write a cops-and-robbers, and I'll buy it, I promise.

In the meantime, if you're not a Sandford fan, at least check out CP or MP from the library and skim through the parts dealing with Rinker. Come to think of it, CP has another female character, Carmel Loan, who might suit your purposes better. She's a loose cannon.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 10:18:03 AM EDT
[#37]
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Quoted:


Oh, I've read it.  More than once.  I'm also friends with Mike on Facebook.  I just hadn't thought of that at the time because honestly, my book is going to be much less political than his.  It's more a straight SF adventure.
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I've met him a couple times. He's......different.

Bought a couple books. He asked how I wanted them signed.

I said, "However you'd like to sign them". I'd never had a book signed before.

He picks up the second one and said, "How about this one"?

I said, "Same as the other".

I didn't think anything about it until I got them home. I opened them up and the first one read "However I'd like, MZW".

Obviously, the next one read, " Same as the other, MZW".

Link Posted: 8/16/2017 10:21:11 AM EDT
[#38]
Man, let me tell you, this tweaks me out. I have read good books with female leads and never thought twice about it. I may not be a woman but I have been around them for awhile now and I even have been known to like a few.  

However I challenge you to go to Books a Million and look at the new releases on the scifi fantasy shelf. I swear to you they are almost all being written with a female lead now. It's ridiculous because it is obviously pandering. I am so sick of seeing books with female leads I don't even consider them now. Most are poorly written and from an unrealistic viewpoint. Basically they feel like females in the sense that they have tits only. They are written just like males.

I have read your stuff and enjoyed it. Please don't fall into the trap of every other writer out there. But don't take my word for it. seriously go read the new release jacket covers. I think I picked up ten new books before I found one with a male character in the lead.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 10:23:59 AM EDT
[#39]
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Quoted:


Actually, this particular character is something of a screw-loose bitch and knows it.  She should be interesting to write.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Write a female character "like a man, but take away all reason and accountability."



Actually, this particular character is something of a screw-loose bitch and knows it.  She should be interesting to write.
Maybe like a female Kildar. A very bad person who does good things sometimes.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 10:29:09 AM EDT
[#40]
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Quoted:

Uh-oh, busted!    SF isn't my genre; write a cops-and-robbers, and I'll buy it, I promise.

In the meantime, if you're not a Sandford fan, at least check out CP or MP from the library and skim through the parts dealing with Rinker. Come to think of it, CP has another female character, Carmel Loan, who might suit your purposes better. She's a loose cannon.
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Thanks for the suggestion, I'll check it out.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 10:40:55 AM EDT
[#41]
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Quoted:
Man, let me tell you, this tweaks me out. I have read good books with female leads and never thought twice about it. I may not be a woman but I have been around them for awhile now and I even have been known to like a few.  

However I challenge you to go to Books a Million and look at the new releases on the scifi fantasy shelf. I swear to you they are almost all being written with a female lead now. It's ridiculous because it is obviously pandering. I am so sick of seeing books with female leads I don't even consider them now. Most are poorly written and from an unrealistic viewpoint. Basically they feel like females in the sense that they have tits only. They are written just like males.

I have read your stuff and enjoyed it. Please don't fall into the trap of every other writer out there. But don't take my word for it. seriously go read the new release jacket covers. I think I picked up ten new books before I found one with a male character in the lead.
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Oh, I totally agree.  It's not just the big publishers either, a shitload of indie SF books are cranked out with unrealistic female ninjas in the lead and I have no time for them.  If you're going to have a 110lbs woman beating up 200lbs men, you'd better specify that she's wearing some sort of supersuit or has had some kind of physical augmentation to do it.
I'm hoping to avoid that sort of shit.  I hadn't actually intended for her to be the POV character, but then I realized when I was plotting the book out that most of it is centered on her struggles to fit in to the military, despite her talents as a pilot, so it made sense to tell it from her POV.  Maybe I can avoid the clichés.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 10:43:22 AM EDT
[#42]
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Quoted:


Maybe like a female Kildar. A very bad person who does good things sometimes.
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Sort of.  She's talented but damaged, though not quite as damaged as the Kildar.  There are going to be NO "Oh John Ringo, no..." moments in these books, I hope.  
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 10:47:34 AM EDT
[#43]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Man, let me tell you, this tweaks me out. I have read good books with female leads and never thought twice about it. I may not be a woman but I have been around them for awhile now and I even have been known to like a few.  

However I challenge you to go to Books a Million and look at the new releases on the scifi fantasy shelf. I swear to you they are almost all being written with a female lead now. It's ridiculous because it is obviously pandering. I am so sick of seeing books with female leads I don't even consider them now. Most are poorly written and from an unrealistic viewpoint. Basically they feel like females in the sense that they have tits only. They are written just like males.

I have read your stuff and enjoyed it. Please don't fall into the trap of every other writer out there. But don't take my word for it. seriously go read the new release jacket covers. I think I picked up ten new books before I found one with a male character in the lead.
View Quote
That's what I like though: females written just like males. I hate it when the female characters have to have a bunch of girly BS going on because it's boring and stupid and makes the character seem immature and retarded. My advice is to write a man with tits.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 11:01:13 AM EDT
[#44]
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Quoted:
That's what I like though: females written just like males. I hate it when the female characters have to have a bunch of girly BS going on because it's boring and stupid and makes the character seem immature and retarded. My advice is to write a man with tits.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Man, let me tell you, this tweaks me out. I have read good books with female leads and never thought twice about it. I may not be a woman but I have been around them for awhile now and I even have been known to like a few.  

However I challenge you to go to Books a Million and look at the new releases on the scifi fantasy shelf. I swear to you they are almost all being written with a female lead now. It's ridiculous because it is obviously pandering. I am so sick of seeing books with female leads I don't even consider them now. Most are poorly written and from an unrealistic viewpoint. Basically they feel like females in the sense that they have tits only. They are written just like males.

I have read your stuff and enjoyed it. Please don't fall into the trap of every other writer out there. But don't take my word for it. seriously go read the new release jacket covers. I think I picked up ten new books before I found one with a male character in the lead.
That's what I like though: females written just like males. I hate it when the female characters have to have a bunch of girly BS going on because it's boring and stupid and makes the character seem immature and retarded. My advice is to write a man with tits.
This is good advice. I read a short story back in the early 80s - I think it was Greg Bear but don't hold me to it - where he wrote a female character and the groaner was that her period started during the course of the story. It added nothing other than an insipid, unnecessary reminder that the protagonist was female.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 11:07:03 AM EDT
[#45]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


This is good advice. I read a short story back in the early 80s - I think it was Greg Bear but don't hold me to it - where he wrote a female character and the groaner was that her period started during the course of the story. It added nothing other than an insipid, unnecessary reminder that the protagonist was female.
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You sure it wasn't John Varley?  I seem to remember one of his main characters from Titan that had that happen.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 11:35:28 AM EDT
[#46]
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Quoted:
Thanks for the suggestion, I'll check it out.
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Quoted:

Uh-oh, busted!    SF isn't my genre; write a cops-and-robbers, and I'll buy it, I promise.

In the meantime, if you're not a Sandford fan, at least check out CP or MP from the library and skim through the parts dealing with Rinker. Come to think of it, CP has another female character, Carmel Loan, who might suit your purposes better. She's a loose cannon.
Thanks for the suggestion, I'll check it out.
You're welcome.  I have no idea how to write a female character, but I know who does.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 11:42:42 AM EDT
[#47]
The next Monster Hunters Internaltional book is supposedly going to be written from Julie Shackelford's pov.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 11:44:51 AM EDT
[#48]
No one's quoted Jack Nicholson's character from "As Good As It Gets," yet?  
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 11:48:31 AM EDT
[#49]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
This is good advice. I read a short story back in the early 80s - I think it was Greg Bear but don't hold me to it - where he wrote a female character and the groaner was that her period started during the course of the story. It added nothing other than an insipid, unnecessary reminder that the protagonist was female.
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A significant proportion of the male population is obsessed with menstruation.  I have no idea why.  I go weeks or months without thinking about noctural emission or other male sexual pecularities.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 11:49:48 AM EDT
[#50]
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Quoted:
No one's quoted Jack Nicholson's character from "As Good As It Gets," yet?  
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Two. With you, you three.
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