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Mount Orégano
Sue Burke
Go Ahead — Write This Story: Men talk, women talk 
18th-Sep-2013 01:35 pm

Behind every stereotype, there’s a grain of truth. Men and women tend to talk differently, and you can bear that in mind to create a routine, exceptional, or gender-bending character.

Men tend not to ask rhetorical questions or seek validation, while women are more likely to ask approval-seeking questions. Men generally answer questions with specific information, even when women who ask questions may only be seeking sympathy or understanding. Men usually do not volunteer emotions and are unlikely to show any emotion besides anger, while women may show a range of emotions but avoid anger. Men lean toward being direct and avoiding euphemisms, while women may be indirect and carefully consider the effect of what they say before they say it.

Be aware of differences in dialog, and if you need a story idea, here are a few:

• This is a story about a smart house (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_automation) that decides it needs a ghost.

• This is a murder mystery set at a 12-step meeting where a detective discovers an apparent telepath who drank to blot out other people's thoughts.

• This is a thriller about a woman on a multi-species space station who manages a black market to buy and sell illegal pets, including humans.

— Sue Burke

18th-Sep-2013 07:27 pm (UTC)
There's a lot of detail on the differences in talk in Suzette Hayden Elgin's and Deborah Tannen's books.
19th-Sep-2013 09:43 am (UTC)
Excellent resources. There's a lot more to know than I could fit in one paragraph.
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