In her article, Composing as a Woman, Flynn (1988) writes that women, in general, tend to write about relationships. Despite my personal feelings about her argument, I have noticed a tendency to orient my own writing, especially when it comes to creative nonfiction, around relationships. However, there’s another trend that dominates my writing even more than this one – the solitary narrator.
For reasons I still don’t understand, character interaction is one of the most difficult things for me, as a writer, to accomplish. This tends to be a problem as not only are plots built on interaction, but interactions, by their very nature, make for great ways to boost your word count. As most of my fiction writing has been done during NaNoWriMo, the a challenge in which authors 50,000 words during the month of November each year, word count is pretty salient feature of writing. Yet, my own writing, almost invariably, trends towards introspection, focusing around a main character who spends much more time reflecting on their relationships than actually interacting with anyone.
This is particularly common in my creative nonfiction. Of the five creative nonfiction pieces I wrote last semester, only one featured any real interaction between characters. And even then, the interactions were only a small part of the story compared to the introspection surrounding them. Whether this is due to a lack of experience writing, some sign of hidden psychological turmoil, or other reasons entirely, introspection, not interaction, is what I feel most comfortable putting on paper.
I wonder what Flynn would have to say about that.
Flynn, E. A., (1988). Composing as a woman. College Composition and Communication, 39(4), 423-435. Retrieved from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/357697