Monday, September 20

Avoiding Character Stereotypes by Kay Keppler

Lets welcome back monthly columnist, editor, and novelist, Kay Keppler, as she shows us “Avoiding Character Stereotypes.” Take pleasure in!


Erin Davis belonged to a book club, and while reading one months choice, she became so disgusted by how the heroine was explained that she chose to examine whether– and to what extent– other authors gender-typed their characters..

She desired specifics:.

Individuals– readers and authors– tend to have ideas of what males and females look like, so its not that uncommon that a few of these adjectives turn up consistently in descriptions of either gender..

The parsing of 2,000 books reveals that the body part “brain” is associated to males 1.61 times more often for guys than women, while “hair” is applied 2.27 more typically to women..

As far as adjectives go, “blonde” is used to explain womens hair 16 times more frequently than for guys, however “disheveled” is a 50-50 split..

Then she ran them through a parser that recognized sentences mentioning body parts. She then extracted the owner of the body parts and any adjectives that described them. (Click here for the specifics of her methodology.).

The Results of Her Study.

Kay Keppler is an author Zero Gravity Outcasts, Betting on Hope, Gargoyle: Three Enchanting Romance Novellas, and editor of fiction and nonfiction– Angels Kiss and Outsource It!

When Readers Hate Character Stereotypes.

By a 2x margin, femaless eyes are “broad” or “green”; maless eyes are “black” and “cold”; ladiess skin is “pale” and “white”; maless skin is “warm.”.

However ….

Males have “backs” 2.85 times regularly than ladies, while ladies have “hips,” “waists,” and “thighs” (2.29, 2.25, and 1.61 times more frequently, respectively)..

The Study to Study Character Stereotypes.

Do authors discuss particular body parts for guys more than females?
Are femaless bodies described with different adjectives than those attributed to men?.

All writers desire their characters to be memorable. Utilizing fresh, special language assists you get there.

Nevertheless, that does not mean that authors shouldnt utilize every possibility they can to explain their characters in fresh methods, with distinct adjectives or characteristics. A womans legs can be “effective” as well as “long” or “bare.” A males grin can be “ridiculous” in addition to “thin.”.


Men “smile” more than 3 times as often in books than females, while ladies “smile” 1.31 times as typically as males..

She wished to discover if what she calls “lazy writing” was as prevalent as it seemed..


More popular short articles by Kay Keppler on Writers Fun Zone:.

She lives in northern California.


In reality, Davis has a quiz in the article in which she asks participants to guess if the adjective uses to a guy or female. Readers are consistent 88 percent of the time.

Davis chose 2,000 books, including New York Times finest sellers, Pulitzer Prize nominees and winners, Man Booker shortlisted books and winners, books often taught in American high schools and colleges, and books that frequently appear on Best Of lists. Roughly 35 percent of the choices have at least one female author.

Believe Outside package for Your Character Stereotypes.

While probably not that surprising, her results must offer all authors time out. Her findings show that authors tend to describe men and females in different– and predictable– ways..

She ran them through a parser that recognized sentences discussing body parts. She then drew out the owner of the body parts and any adjectives that explained them. That doesnt indicate that authors shouldnt utilize every chance they can to explain their characters in fresh ways, with unique adjectives or characteristics. She lives in northern California.

Males bodies are “powerful” by a 16x margin; womens bodies are “naked” by a 2x margin..

How careful are you when you explain your characters? Have you ever– or ever been tempted– to fall into clichés to get your point across?

Womens arms are “slim” by a 16x margin, also..

” Breasts,” it most likely goes without stating, describe females 6.61 times more frequently.

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