My MG Fantasy has a boy protagonist. I normally don’t write in a male’s POV simply because I’m not very confident I can make it work. Wait, I should clarify: a teenage male POV. All too often I worry he’d come off too girly or overly macho because I’m trying to compensate for my own lack of testosterone.
So, the question of the day is: (actually three questions. My bad.)
If you’re female, do you write in a boy’s POV?
If you’re male, do you write in a girl’s POV?
Or at least, ATTEMPT to?
My boy protagonist is a 12-year-old orphan who’s searching for his sister to save her from slavery. This is Fantasy, so it’s set in a world of my own making, which is not totally out there as far as geography is concerned, but does have fantastical elements and creatures that I created from the bowels of my noggin. Now, while I don’t have a problem writing this boy’s POV, I sometimes wonder if I have the guts to make him older. As in, have him be a teenage boy and do…whatever it is that teenage boys do. I’m not actually planning to change him. This is more of a hypothetical question.
See, we already have Harry Potter, of course, and J.K. Rowling made it work (though Harry did start out as an 11-year-old so it was MG-ish before it became YA). The other book written in a boy’s POV by a female writer that I can think of quickly is Brenna Yovanoff’s The Replacement. Again, it works, though as I am female myself, my perception is flawed. Do actual (read: real and alive) teenage boys read The Replacement because it has a male protagonist, and does it make them think the voice is authentically boy? See, I wouldn’t know this, and as I don’t know any teen boys around my neighborhood and have none of my own (my son’s into Thomas the Train at the moment), I wouldn’t be able to conduct a study.
(And vice versa for male authors writing in a female’s POV)
Do you worry about misrepresenting your characters, too? Or have you gotten it down to a T? Do share. We’d all like to know.
Btw, here’s a list of some MG and YA books with male protagonists, in case you’re interested (written by both male and female authors).
- Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
- Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
- The Last Apprentice series by Joseph Delaney
- The Monstrumologist series by Rick Yancey
- Alfred Kropp by Rick Yancey
- Percy Jackson/ The Olympians series by Rick Riordan
- Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld
- The Missing series by Margaret Peterson Haddix
- Maze Runner series by James Dashner
- Inheritance series by Christopher Paolini
- Leven Thumps series by Obert Skye
- Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan
- Ender’s Saga by Orson Scott Card
- Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud
- Tunnels series by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams
- Pendragon series by D.J. McHale
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- Anything by Gordon Korman (e.g. Schooled, The Sixth Grade Nickname Game, Maxx Comedy: The Funniest Kid in America, etc.)
- Holes by Louis Sachar
- Neal Shusterman’s books (e.g. Unwind, Downsiders, Bruisers, etc.)
I’m sure there’s a lot more to add to the list. If you have favorites, please share with us. Thanks!
Oh, before I forget, I’m also guest posting on Angie Sandro’s blog. If you’d like to read about how my cultural background–in this case, I talk about FOOD!–affects my writing, click here.