Mirror Mirror, in the den, can I write women as well as men?

This weekend, as I greedily ingested every minute of this week’s radio drama on offer from the BBC, I came across a slow-burner, which has crept up on me and just scorched me in my face.

White Snow is available on the iPlayer for the next five days and I urge you to drink it in, let the aromas blend and the subtle finish, eventually, finish you off.  Find it here – you have but five days to do so: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01pnfjp

In light of this and an email I received today, from a certain script training company, offering a course teaching how to write women, I have two suggestions.

Firstly, listen to the above radio play.  I don’t wish to say too much about it, in case it puts you off.  It’s a retelling of the Grimm Snow White Fairytale.  I hope that hasn’t done it.  This reimagining sees the wicked step-mother as protagonist (not heroine) and Snow White for the vain, coddled and rather irksome Princess she really is.  The new Queen is ostracised in a land where chauvenism and mysticism combine to ramp up the fatal in said lady’s attraction.  The Queen is not likeable but she’s cleverly woven out of archaic ancient types and universal tropes… Grimms’ tale is faithfully retold while we can all recognise the step-mother character (from one team or another #teamstepchild).

My second piece of advice when writing women is this… try writing them as if they are people and work back from there.  Like men, you know, but… well there is no but.  If you really feel you need to pay for a course to teach you how to create complex and believable female characters then I am happy to take your money and you can experience my new teaching technique – it’s mainly based on flooding therapy.  I can’t ensure you’ll enjoy it at all, but I shall and you will learn a lot.


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