Best way to write a gender neutral charcter?

by Dessy

Question: I know this may be an odd question but, do you think you can give tips on the best way to write a character who keeps their gender hidden? As they don't give out whether or not they are male or female.

I am fourteen years old however I do write stories and post them on websites for the fun. Right now I'm making story with at least four main characters. And I want to try new things by writing one of the characters that doesn't give out their gender. What I'm aiming for is sort of make the readers unsure whether or not the character in question is male or female, without having the character be the center of attention.

I understand that this character could be a hit or miss, for some people but for me writers express themselves through writing. And I think taking risk is one of the many things that come with being a writer whether they do it for a hobby, work etc.

Answer: Well, the obvious challenge is that you cannot refer to this character by the pronouns "he" or "she." Some people try to use "they," but that's more than a little awkward for many readers, plus it gives away the fact that you're trying to conceal the person's gender. "It" only works for non-human characters who the reader doesn't have feelings for, like robots.

So that means you will need to give your character a gender-neutral name and use it consistently in place of pronouns.

I've come across children's books written this way with the intention of giving all children an equal opportunity to imagine themselves as the main character.

In longer fiction, it is probably a little easier if the character is the main or point-of-view character, since this person will refer to themselves as "I," while other characters will address them as "you." This makes it easier to conceal the person's gender.

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