Author Topic: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?  (Read 2797 times)  

Offline thevoiceofone

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Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« on: February 20, 2018, 01:17:53 PM »
I went through the top 40 Psychological Thrillers and barring one book, they were all female protagonists?

Are we to gather that male protagonists in Psychological Thrillers don't sell?

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Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2018, 01:19:34 PM »
I think female protagonists are trending in a lot of genres now. Probably making up for lost time since many years ago you would rarely see that.

Offline thevoiceofone

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Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2018, 01:22:42 PM »
I think female protagonists are trending in a lot of genres now. Probably making up for lost time since many years ago you would rarely see that.

Oh i agree, it's cool to see, however, where does that leave folks who want to write about a male protagonist? ( at the bottom of the heap by the looks of it ) ;)

I'm guessing women just want to read about women.

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Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2018, 01:26:20 PM »
Oh i agree, it's cool to see, however, where does that leave folks who want to write about a male protagonist? ( at the bottom of the heap by the looks of it ) ;)

I'm guessing women just want to read about women.

Dual protagonists? That's what I'm writing anyway. I think people like the dynamic, especially if there's sexual tension. And with psychological thrillers, it creates some opportunities by the villain torturing one and the other has to save them.

Offline thevoiceofone

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Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2018, 01:46:21 PM »
Dual protagonists? That's what I'm writing anyway. I think people like the dynamic, especially if there's sexual tension. And with psychological thrillers, it creates some opportunities by the villain torturing one and the other has to save them.

That's a good idea.

I guess it's just frustrating that women are only going for psychological thrillers with female protagonists. I've read some great male ones in the past but they never hit the top because folks are buying the female ones.

Offline MaryMcDonald

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Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2018, 01:53:16 PM »
I went through the top 40 Psychological Thrillers and barring one book, they were all female protagonists?

Are we to gather that male protagonists in Psychological Thrillers don't sell?

I have a male protagonist in my psych thriller series. It sells, but the first book came out before all of the Gone Girl type books. I wish there was some other genre I could slide mine into because things have changed a lot since 2010, when I published it.

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Offline MaryMcDonald

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Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2018, 01:54:20 PM »
That's a good idea.

I guess it's just frustrating that women are only going for psychological thrillers with female protagonists. I've read some great male ones in the past but they never hit the top because folks are buying the female ones.

Um, not all of us are...

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Offline ShaneJeffery

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Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2018, 01:59:21 PM »
If you look at some of these thriller lists you'll see a large portion of them follow the romance formula of alternating first person points between 2 characters over the book. A lot of the thriller books are romancy in general. But there is a BIG difference between just having one of your main characters as a female vs a Romancy Thriller book. I'm not reading any of those romancy thriller books and I definitely won't be writing them.

Offline thevoiceofone

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Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2018, 02:26:12 PM »
I have a male protagonist in my psych thriller series. It sells, but the first book came out before all of the Gone Girl type books. I wish there was some other genre I could slide mine into because things have changed a lot since 2010, when I published it.

Yep there are a lot of GIRL this, GIRL that. You would think the market would be exhausted by it now.

Offline juliatheswede

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Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2018, 02:44:22 PM »
I have a male protagonist in my psych thriller series. It sells, but the first book came out before all of the Gone Girl type books. I wish there was some other genre I could slide mine into because things have changed a lot since 2010, when I published it.

While it might be about the girl missing in Gone Girl, there are definitely two protagonists in that book -- one male and one female. I would almost say the male is the main one in GG. It's a great example of a psychological thriller told from two points of view. I have written two and they both follow this "formula".

I think psychological thrillers work better with female protagonists in general because they are more about... feelings? At least, they are more intimate than regular thrillers, and definitely more character-driven. Often with an issue and told in first person.

Offline thevoiceofone

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Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2018, 03:18:54 PM »
While it might be about the girl missing in Gone Girl, there are definitely two protagonists in that book -- one male and one female. I would almost say the male is the main one in GG. It's a great example of a psychological thriller told from two points of view. I have written two and they both follow this "formula".

I think psychological thrillers work better with female protagonists in general because they are more about... feelings? At least, they are more intimate than regular thrillers, and definitely more character-driven. Often with an issue and told in first person.

Male and Females have feelings. I don't see why a female protagonist works better for psychological thrillers unless a person is trying to draw in female readers.

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Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2018, 03:30:36 PM »
Male and Females have feelings. I don't see why a female protagonist works better for psychological thrillers unless a person is trying to draw in female readers.

I've always heard that there's a larger percentage of female readers than male readers. So it's not surprising that an author might choose to go after the female demographic.

Also, while males and females both have feelings, I suspect that, in general, females are more inclined to want to read about feelings, as opposed to males, who often seem to prefer action.
     

Offline thevoiceofone

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Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2018, 04:08:32 PM »
I've always heard that there's a larger percentage of female readers than male readers. So it's not surprising that an author might choose to go after the female demographic.

Also, while males and females both have feelings, I suspect that, in general, females are more inclined to want to read about feelings, as opposed to males, who often seem to prefer action.

I understand, so I guess it comes back to what I said at the start. Most women tend to buy books where the protagonist is female because they can relate to them better than a man.

I'd be interested to hear what Adam Croft's experience has been with this being as he writes psychological thrillers and has done one from a male point of view and others from a female point of view.

Offline MaryMcDonald

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Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2018, 04:20:18 PM »
I understand, so I guess it comes back to what I said at the start. Most women tend to buy books where the protagonist is female because they can relate to them better than a man.

I'd be interested to hear what Adam Croft's experience has been with this being as he writes psychological thrillers and has done one from a male point of view and others from a female point of view.

I also have a female pov character, and another male (bad guy?) but the MC gets half the book and it's told in close 3rd person. There are also a lot of feelings in it from the MC (anger, fear, frustration, longing and sorrow--even a tiny dose of love).  Most of the men who have left reviews or emailed me have been okay with the feels.  :P Sure, there are some who don't like it, but the same can be said for women. We're all different and I think men feel as deeply as women do. Yes, they love action too, so I try to give them that, but guess what? Women like action in books as well. I know I do! It can't all be about feelings in the thriller genre.

« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 04:27:42 PM by MaryMcDonald »

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Offline thevoiceofone

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Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2018, 06:32:33 PM »
Yeah i think women like both action and feelings. Though a male protag can give that as well.

however, it does seem that the top 40 have female protagonists. Annoying but hey, if you want a chance at a book being sticky in that genre - Slap a female into the hero role and you will increase the odds.

Online ShayneRutherford

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Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2018, 01:37:03 AM »
however, it does seem that the top 40 have female protagonists. Annoying but hey, if you want a chance at a book being sticky in that genre - Slap a female into the hero role and you will increase the odds.

Readers are speaking with their dollars. Why is that annoying?
     

Offline thevoiceofone

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Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2018, 02:05:38 AM »
Readers are speaking with their dollars. Why is that annoying?

Valid point. I just wish the top 40 wasn't so heavily skewed in favor of female protagonists and there was a balance to allow authors who want to write a male protag a better chance in that genre. Maybe some authors don't want to write about female protagonists but want to write in that market.

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Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2018, 03:23:11 AM »
Valid point. I just wish the top 40 wasn't so heavily skewed in favor of female protagonists and there was a balance to allow authors who want to write a male protag a better chance in that genre. Maybe some authors don't want to write about female protagonists but want to write in that market.

I think it might just be a genre that skews toward female protagonists, the same way action-oriented thrillers tend to skew toward male characters as the main hero.
     

Offline thevoiceofone

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Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2018, 10:54:36 AM »
I think it might just be a genre that skews toward female protagonists, the same way action-oriented thrillers tend to skew toward male characters as the main hero.

Very good point Shayne.

Offline Becca Mills

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Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2018, 12:40:59 PM »
ShaneJeffery, no further posts like the one I just deleted, in this thread or anywhere else on the forum. My goodness.

Offline juliatheswede

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Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2018, 12:59:43 PM »
I think it might just be a genre that skews toward female protagonists, the same way action-oriented thrillers tend to skew toward male characters as the main hero.

This is one hundred percent correct.

Offline thevoiceofone

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Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2018, 04:13:21 PM »
This is one hundred percent correct.

Ditto. So rule of thumb, if you want to stand a chance of ranking in the psychological thriller market ( be sure to make your protagonist is a woman and possibly write in 1st person).
« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 04:21:29 PM by thevoiceofone »

Offline Adam Croft

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Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2018, 11:08:24 PM »
I understand, so I guess it comes back to what I said at the start. Most women tend to buy books where the protagonist is female because they can relate to them better than a man.

I'd be interested to hear what Adam Croft's experience has been with this being as he writes psychological thrillers and has done one from a male point of view and others from a female point of view.

Putting the horse before the cart, here, I think. Most psychological thrillers have female protagonists not because the readers are female, but because - broadly speaking - the authors are.

Ive released four psychological thrillers so far. Two had male protagonists, two had female protagonists. Of the two female ones, one went more or less nowhere chartwise and the other is currently doing very well. Of the two male ones, one is my biggest selling book of all time and the other was storewide number 1 all over the world.

And 74% of my readers are female.

Offline baldricko

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Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2018, 11:37:05 PM »
Oh i agree, it's cool to see, however, where does that leave folks who want to write about a male protagonist? ( at the bottom of the heap by the looks of it ) ;)

I'm guessing women just want to read about women.

That is probably it. I have a psychological thriller and my protagonist is a woman. I didn't write it to fit that genre, but it seemed the best fit among the categories when I published.

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Offline baldricko

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Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2018, 11:41:48 PM »
Yeah i think women like both action and feelings. Though a male protag can give that as well.

however, it does seem that the top 40 have female protagonists. Annoying but hey, if you want a chance at a book being sticky in that genre - Slap a female into the hero role and you will increase the odds.

I don't think its as easy as that. My woman protagonist was very difficult to write. Almost did my head in. I really like that book though mostly because it was my first. In case you hadn't guessed, I'm not a woman.

A new trilogy is on the way, and it's something of a satire.
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