Oh man, I was thinking last night (hide the children!!!) about some scenes I really have problems writing. Situations, relationships, etc… I just have difficulties pulling off a believable scene sometimes. This was an entirely random thought I had while I was playing Civilization V and resisting the political overtures of Catherine the Great (she wanted access to my “borders”. I’m not stupid, I know what happens when Russia just wants to “have access” to something). It also was inspired by the fact that over at OmniLit.com my book only received two flames on their Hot Factor. The book isn’t hot because, if you look at my competition, they are steamy (and morally ambiguous) romance novels of all kinds. And when I say all kinds, I mean All Kinds (gay, lesbian, alien, transgender, God knows what else…).
Yes, I’ll admit it: I can’t write romance. Oh, I can write about flirtation and love, about how a man or woman can fall in love. But the steamy sex scenes? Not really. In fact, I’m fairly certain that I am the absolute worst “steamy scene” writer on the face of the Earth. And I’ve read some really crappy ones in my day. I blame my sister and her romance novels (they were the only books I could get my hands on at the time) for my poor selection. You know, come to think of it, I’m rather glad they were crappy.
Could you imagine me with a romance book addiction? Ewwwww…
But that got me thinking… We (as in, some men) are good at the doing part of things while women are very, very good at the actual describing things. While a guy might say “Yeah, we went out and knocked back some beers and watched the game”, women might say “Well, we got to Buffalo Wild Wings around 6:30 pm on Wednesday. The line was sort of long but we found a table near the bar just before the game started. We ordered a round of beers fresh off the tap except for Joan, who wanted a Dos Equis in a bottle. The pregame show was on…”.
You get my point. Now, this is a generalizing of the genders, and I’m going to catch a lot of flack for it, but it seems to me when I read that men seem to have to make more of an effort at describing their settings while women don’t nearly struggle with it. Again, I’m sorry if I’m coming off as a bit sexist, but that seems to be what I see. I’ve only read a few women who don’t have this natural gift.
Is it biology that drives this difference, or education and upbringing? I’m curious as to what people think.