Topic: Gender Divide in the Rhiannon Novels

Although I've had terrific reviews from both genders, I've noticed males seem to like Jeb & Rhia:  the Love Story, and females are more represented among reviewers in the New Fairy story.  I speculated to John Hamler that maybe men like the sexy ingenue and women like the kick-ass adventurer.  This is important because the love story was meant to be a romance, and how many men do you know who read romances?  (Or admit it, anyway.)  So what do you think?  Is the Love Story more appealing to men and the Adventure/Quest story more appealing to women, in contradiction of conventional wisdom about these things?  If so, what, if anything, should I do about that?  As usual, any and all feedback is welcome.

Re: Gender Divide in the Rhiannon Novels

I started reading New Fairy because that's what you published first, or at least what I first spotted of your works. Afterwards I realised you were publishing a prequel but it was not matter of stop reading New Fairy and go back to the Jeb & Rhia, moreover because you told me each one is a stand-alone story. So...

Kiss,

Gacela

Re: Gender Divide in the Rhiannon Novels

Thanks, Mariana, for your input.  Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.  In other words, it may be just a coincidence.

Re: Gender Divide in the Rhiannon Novels

funny isn't.  My book the Saga of the Mighty Valentine set in a physics quantum reality is generally really liked by women and almost not at all by men. Heaven knows why. My theory is women have a much opener mind than men, men have set ideas when they start to read and women don't necessarily.  Your fairy story needs an open mind, I'm not sure about the love story. (I just read one chapter of that one)

Re: Gender Divide in the Rhiannon Novels

Thanks Sheriff.  Interesting speculation.  Maybe men think they're on more familiar ground with the love story--after all, it is about finding the love of your life, screwing it up, and having the whole thing interfere with your career.  At one level, anyway.  The structure of the adventure one is subtle, as well as (your words) open.  There's a quest involved, but not your usual one for a magical arc or something.

Re: Gender Divide in the Rhiannon Novels

I love how men are purported to be the villains here. In regards to taste in art or fiction or whatever. We'll take up the mantle of villainy but only because we generally don't mind being objectified. Also, because we're in the pole position pertaining to life on this Earth, men enjoy engaging in gender warfare. At least, I do. I suspect I'd feel rather opposite if someone were to remove my wonderful life-injecting penis apparatus, but... Whatever. I make jokes because I know Rhiannon can take it without getting too bent outta shape.

At any rate, yes... John Hamler is more immediately attracted to the sexy ingenue. Hamler has a hard time relating to kick-ass bitches because he's basically a troglodyte who recognizes the physical inequality between the genders. BUT...    New Fairy is a fantasy land and I'm more than willing to put away my childish sexism in order to get on board. As long as the prose is keen and the narrative is sharpish. Thing about romance is it's all in the beholder's eye. Sometimes, when I'm with my lady-lover, I get the feeling that it's all about me slowing down. About paying attention to details and paying complimentary/reinforcing service to her super-ego. Basically, women analyze everything -like body language- and they fret and worry 24/7 about appearances and feelings. So the question is...

Do we (as writers) hafta cater our prose to appeal to a specific gender? Just the other day I was talking about nothing but then a line from the film FULL METAL JACKET seeped into my soliloquy. My lady-lover was both appalled and intrigued. I thunk... Wait, baby. You've NEVER seen FULL METAL JACKET? And she said: NO, why? Am I missing out? And I answered, well... There ain't but two women in the entire film. Both of them Vietnamese. One of them is a whore and the other a murderous sniper. Are you still interested?

She said: HELL YES! And so we sat down and watched it on Netflix. And she LOVED the movie and didn't turn her nose (she did actually cover her eyes and yelp at a few scenes, though) despite all the violent warfare and misogyny. And so I thunk to myself... Why can't I open my mind and watch Sisterhood of the Lovely Pants --or whatever it's called-- without making snarky sexist remarks about how it's all so below my machismo?

I dunno.

All of this shit I be saying is a long way of saying... Write what you would like to read. In whatever style entertains YOU. Regardless of gender, race, or politics. Because if you, as the writer, are enjoying yourself it will come thru and entertain the reader. Regardless of gender, race...

Then again, I'm kinda drunk right now and don't know what I'm talking about.

Happiness!

John

7 (edited by rhiannon 2016-07-19 15:50:06)

Re: Gender Divide in the Rhiannon Novels

John:  You always preface your insights with, "I'm drunk right now and don't know what I'm talking about."  In vino veritas.  All the points you make are worth considering.  The only thing that shocked me was--you have a lady love????  (J/K) 

Hugs, Rhia.

PS:  I really resonated with the advice:  write what you want to read.  Why I got into writing:  couldn't relate to all the stuff out there.  That's advice right up there with Edgar Rice Burrough's self-talk:  "Hell, I can write as bad as that [referring to all the best sellers at his time]."

Re: Gender Divide in the Rhiannon Novels

Yeah, well... I'm an alcoholic. Not proud of it. Nor am I ashamed of it. I just am. I think it comes with the territory of being a wannabe writer. Or that's what I tell myself, anyway. Joyce, Hemingway, Poe, Shakespeare, Henry Miller, even Stephen King... All raging drunkards. In vino veritas, indeed!

On a side note... Something that you've established, Rhiannon, that I'm starting to get keen on is: The idea of writing a plethora of short *very short* novels revolving around one protagonist. Telling different stories of course, from different characters points of view, but culminating in a "serial" type entertainment. I'm thinking of the show ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK for instance. And the way it's centered on the main character but shifts to exposit the back stories of all the peripheral actors. I dunno. I dunno how to market such a thing but, seeing as my attention span is weak and how much trouble I have focusing on plot... Perhaps short bursts of story --a series of ten one-hundred page/economy-priced books on the Barnes and Noble shelf, for instance-- might be the ticket in this rapidly disintegrating literary market. Again, I dunno. The whole point is... Why should people READ anymore these days when they can just binge-watch Netflix for half the price of a hardback?

Perhaps that's a totally separate discussion, though? In the end I'm happy to be part of this rare breed. We who still strain our eyes and minds in order to comprehend and enjoy Times Roman typeface. smile

Cheers

John

Re: Gender Divide in the Rhiannon Novels

It's been long since I read one of your master dissertations, John. I'm glad Rhiannon concerns about being read either by a predominantly male or a predominantly female audience cut a petal of your wisdom.

The idea of writing several short novels--or maybe several long novelettes--from different-character POV narrating a saga might be quite interesting, specially in this short-span-of-attention era. Such novels may be well received mainly because  it would be easy to read and digest them. Of course, no intricate messages falling on, and depressing the reader, if you please.  Not "the Fault in Our Stars".  An epic-fantastic story like the ones Rhiannon writes would certainly fit the requirements.

Would those novels sell well? Maybe, but don't think of getting rich. One of the problems for anybody willing to make a living out of writing is how much literature has been devaluated. You may want to sell each of those short novels at 2 bucks  in Amazon... Then you realise 250-page novels sell at 99 cents in Amazon-- many of them good-quality, enjoyable material--and then you're like "What the hell? Would I ever make a living out of writing if I wanted to?"

In the end, we are artists. We do this for the sake of art and not for the money.

Kiss,

Gacela

Re: Gender Divide in the Rhiannon Novels

John:  Interesting that you suggest a series of short stories or novel centering around the main character.  That was the original format of the Rhiannon stories: with stories written from Rosalyn's point of view, Rhiannon's, and even some "omniscient" POV's.  Maybe, the next stage in evolution will be just that.  The ones I'm writing now were originally meant to get me back in gear, a "re-boot," taking as many readers, old and new, with me as possible.

Cheers.

Rhia

Re: Gender Divide in the Rhiannon Novels

See, my problem is that I've become Netflix-ated (can i coin that term?) and X-Box-itated and the way I consume entertainment nowadays is a far cry from my father before me. Technology leaves me in the middle, wondering what to do. And so, what I've decided to do, as a text-based creator, rather than try and compete with the teams of great writers who plot all these compelling television shows and video games, is concentrate on the verbiage. To make the prose itself entertaining. Of course, that comes at the expense of plot.

But, I dunno. It's no big whoop. I'm just talking thru my hat most of the time, anyway. Let's drink! smile

Cheers

John

P.S. Good to see ya, Gacela!

12 (edited by rhiannon 2016-07-22 21:51:54)

Re: Gender Divide in the Rhiannon Novels

John:  You don't need a complicated or intricate or convoluted plot.  A simple beginning, middle, end will do, with lots of conflicts along the way. As my Great Aunt Maude would say, to reach your destination, it helps to know where you're going.

Oh, and it's not 'either-or.'  You can have great prose and still read the road map.

Re: Gender Divide in the Rhiannon Novels

Oh, John! You noticed me. Thought Rhiannon was the only girl around.

Kiss