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20

Normally the purpose of fiction is to let the reader immerse into your story - to get him caught deeply into the world you have created. If the reader is wondering about the narrator's gender all the time, there will be no immersion. If he assumes a gender and it is wrong then he will be ejected out of your story when he discovers his error. If you want to ...


16

As a reader, I tend to assume a gender (often but not always the same as the author's). The only reason this would bother me is that it's jarring when I discover I'm wrong, as I have to reimagine the character. As a writer I do try to clarify it early, and that's the advice I've heard from others as well. It's tricky in first person, especially if the piece ...


4

My response would have to be that the narrator's gender is irrelevant unless you choose to make it relevant. I would say, in addition to that, that if you do choose to make the gender of the narrator relevant, that you should decide early in your writing whether you want to make it clear or hide it from your reader. It can be a very powerful effect to ...


3

Your worry is a valid one; the reader could be frustrated by this. However, this is something that can be taken care of in later drafts. You may need to shore things up a little to clarify the mystery character and their relationship to the other characters. Since we don't know much about your project - novel? short story? game premise? movie pitch? - it's ...


3

I'd ask whether you are trying to do anything with the reader's knowledge of the narrator's gender. From your added comment it seems like you are not; in that case, I'd ask whether it's important for the story whether the narrator even has a particular gender. Again, it seems like it's not. I'd say, then, that you can improve your story by tying in this ...


2

As a reader discovering your implicit assumptions about a character were wrong can be disconcerting. However,if done deliberately to make a point it can be effective. Heinlein did it in several of his novels with the main characters race.


1

If your story is for an audience of one, your reader can finish the story, look up from the page, and ask you "what's the woman's name?" Problem solved.


1

Part of the beauty provided by the written story is that the reader's imagination can paint a vivid image however that reader's mind may wander. I can only imagine that the narrator's gender is only important if it becomes part of the story. Otherwise, I personally may have my own narrator's voice that I like to imagine. Being informed of the gender may ...



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