I had an editor reply to a story submission once by telling me that from his “years of astute observation” my female protagonist was obviously based on the author and that I should learn to write from a male perspective.
Thing is, I’m a male, and the female character was based on two girls I knew at the time, neither one of whom was “tomboyish.” Wonder what other noble observations that astute editor had observed before and after my brief encounter with him. Perhaps he got a job coding “I Write Like…” programs.
[I love nasty rejections almost as much as publication paychecks. They make my job far more fun when I talk shop with others.]
Well, this is interesting: I put in parts of a draft dissertation chapter I sent to my supervisor. The one paragraph he marked “good!” is overwhelmingly ‘masculine’ (10-1), while others are classified as feminine (though there isn’t the same skew–the distribution of gendered words is closer to the middle). Hmmm…
Interesting, very interesting, she says, musingly scratching her beard.
I know that I tend to qualify what I say in general … oh, drat. … Maybe I need to get a magickal hat* or listen to particular music when I write, like Dorothy Dunnett who wrote to Wagner. That should work, right?**
*Probably a black silk top hat, unfortunately.
I’m only musing, btw, since my supervisor, though not effusive, approves of my work so far in general.*
***Ack! I’m going to be hypersensitive as I qualify everything I say.