So about a week ago I read about an author who was having trouble with her hero’s voice… that is, she couldn’t seem to make him actually sound like a man. And then she remembered a great online tool created from an actual study in which some academics discovered men and women do, in fact, speak differently: The Gender Genie. They even came up with an algorithm that predicts whether the person speaking was a man or a woman.
So that got me thinking, “Goodness, I wonder if Alexander sounds like a man or a woman? I think he’s a man, but maybe I’m wrong…” I copied and pasted a series of his chatter into the Gender Genie, provided by the BookBlog. Saints preserve me, the genie thought he was a he! But I only pasted in the first couple hundred words spoken, and the genie says it has a better idea after five-hundred words.
Picture me going through my text and copying my hero’s dialogue from the first 2.5 chapters. Result: my character is a male! But only just so, by two hundred words, more or less. Which worries me. Apparently I also have to take out pronouns and the like, since men tend not to refer to people as much as women do. Apparently men are a little more comfortable talking about objects. Who knew?
Now I know all of you are testing out the tool for yourself, so, you have to tell me… How do your characters fare?