Writing Characters of a Different Gender: Some Tips, via my Writer's Digest Article

With each of my novels, I try to set myself a new challenge.  While writing my newest, Before We Visit the Goddess, I set myself two: I would write a novel-in-stories, and I would use multiple voices to tell the three-generational tale of Sabitri, Bela, and Tara. Additionally, some of these voices would be male. (So maybe that's three challenges!)

The male voices were difficult. I won't pretend they weren't. Women's voices just come more naturally to me. I understand how they think. How they look at the world. Men – not so much.


But I worked at it, and I worked at it, and I worked at it some more. And I was really quite happy with the result. I learned a lot about writing as I went through the process, and I've put it all together in this article, link below. Take a look. Tell me what you think. And if you have other ideas, please share them with me. Questions are also welcome. 

The Four ‘R’s of Writing Characters of the Opposite Gender

Heritage Lessons Learned in Our Mothers' Kitchens

I’ve been thinking a lot about my mother recently, since the publication of my newest novel, Before We Visit the Goddess, which is about three generations of women – grandmother, mother, daughter – and what they learn, both positive and negative, from each other.

Or perhaps the novel came about because I’ve been thinking of my mother for the last five years, ever since she passed away.

My mother was the most important woman in my life. She taught me much of what I know about life, though I often resisted her lessons. I loved her deeply, but my love for her was tinged with many other complex emotions.

I think I’m not the only daughter, who feels this way.

In any case, I wrote the following piece for Redbook, pulling up memories of what she taught me in her kitchen.

Some of those lessons I’ve tried to pass on to my sons, though I’ve modified them to suit my own philosophy.




As always, I’m interested in knowing your thoughts. What lessons did you learn from your parents? Which ones, among them, would you gift to the next generation?