Think like a man/Think like a woman

While writing my book “The Guardian”, I ran into an interesting problem: my main character is male, and well – I’m not.

I actually struggled with this quite a bit, and several of my rewrites happened because I just wasn’t sure how to write a strong teenage boy character.

Now I’m writing book number two. To avoid doing numerous rewrites, I’ve – don’t laugh – done some ah, research into the differences between how men and women think.

My husband thinks my findings are obvious, but in case you’re like me and totally clueless as to how to write the opposite sex… or even begin understand our differences, here’s what I discovered:

  • Men tend to only think of one thing at a time. 
  • Women will think of many things at once. Their thoughts are like a mind map chart – different bubbles of thought connecting to and inspiring other thoughts.
  • When there is a problem, men “filter out” the emotional side and deal directly with the issue.
  • When there is a problem, women want to work through their emotions first. Once the emotional side is resolved, they can deal with the problem itself. That’s why they tell guys “I don’t want you to fix me, just listen.”(PS ladies, this line drives men crazy… they don’t understand the point of discussing a problem you don’t want fixed.)
  • If a problem can’t be immediately resolved/ “fixed” men decide to “just not think about it. 
  • If a problem can’t be immediately fixed, it is actually physically impossible for a woman to “just not think about it”. As much as she may want to forget about it, she can’t physically do this and will lay awake at night feeling it gnaw away at her insides until the trouble is dealt with. (PS men, “Just don’t think about it” can be the most infuriating advice a man will ever give a woman.)


Now that I’ve got that figured out (hardly), my next task is to unravel the mind of a teenager. Now that is one tangled web!

Happy writing.


About cjgosling

I paint, I sing, I walk in the rain. I'm clumsy and I love the smell of campfire. My head is full of imaginary things and the only thing I ever really want to do in life is write. My first book "Shadowlands: The Guardian" was released in Feb. 2011. The sequel is coming in 2012! View all posts by cjgosling

4 responses to “Think like a man/Think like a woman

  • Jordan

    Ah yes.. the every interesting/amusing/frustrating tendencies and differences often related to gender 🙂 hahaIt's the tip of the iceberg. At least you have your husband to bounce things off of.

  • BrighterBooks

    OK, That is just too funny! The past two days, Dean and I have been through the two EXACT things you just said above!!!! And — I am guilty of saying the "don't fix it, just listen" line! LOLOL Also, is this difference why women tend to be considered naggers? I find that when I forget to nag, the most important stuff doesn't get done (such as, umm, payroll and government remmittances?!??!!?!) I have turned into my mother! ARGH!!!! WHAT A NIGHTMARE!

  • Rusty B.

    Teen Boys (probably men too) will: 1. Lay awake at night before falling asleep and think of the next thing they desire and picture themselves with it as a test drive fantasy. This could be a car, computer, or some attractive female at school that caught their eye. Girls of course, hate being thrown into the same category as cars or computers.2. Want to ascend the male dominance pyramid. So they will collect their friends problems and tell them how it won't affect him because he is better at whatever. Friends problems are an opportunity for advancement. (Girls want to recognized as the one who can solve the problems).3. When there is an unpreventable problem that is likely to cause him major grief, he will go to great lengths to convince everyone that he doesn't care about it.4. If a teenage boy is a writer, unless it involves big honkin space guns or is a script for a multiplayer game, he will likely hide it.

  • Cheryl Schenk

    Loved this article and the comments. Male and a teenager! That's a tough one. Having survived motherhood with a teenage boy, I say KUDOs to you once you can get inside that mind and put it on the page.

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