During my twenty-two years of marriage, raising three boys, I’ve heard the following two phrases, several times: “Get to the point,” and, “Your point is?”
With only one other female in my house–my dog–you can imagine my relief when a panel of four female published authors, spoke at the Ventura Book Festival, and confirmed that I was not alone.
“Men and women have different ways of thinking,” said Mara Purl, author of The Milford-Haven novels. She explained how this is reflected in fiction writing. Women’s fiction uses all five senses–Women want to know what the character was wearing, her perfume and the color and style of her hair.
Men’s fiction is all about velocity.
When women speak to one another, they want sensory details. Men want you to get to the point.
If I said, “She wore a pink dress with matching sandals,” my husband would say, “So what’s your point?” Perhaps I should try a different approach: “She owns a 27 foot lanchon with a 95 HP Honda engine on it.” That might get his attention.
Starshine Roshell, columnist and author of Keep Your Skirt On, has a weekly column which tackles topics from sex and politics to family and culture. She writes about women, and men say they learn about women from her columns. “I explain to men why women cry in certain situations, and why women care about flowers,” she said.
Thanks to this excellent panel of authors, I feel better knowing that I’m not the only one being told to get to the point. I must confess that years of brainwashing from the males in my house, now make me secretly say, “So what’s your point,” when some of my female friends ramble on.
What I’d like to know is if you’ve been told to get to the point? If so, by whom?
To my writer friends, do you agree with the differences in men’s fiction, versus female fiction?