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Ask Daphne! About a Gender Change for a MC

DaphneSuperhero2We haven’t done one of these in a while, but I got this question in my mailbox, and thought it was a great opportunity to remind my readers that I love to answer your questions, and help make the process of querying and seeking an agent and publisher a little less mystifying. The mailbox is always open at!

Sam writes:

I wrote a fantasy/supernatural novel with a female main character. I keep being rejected and was wondering if a gender switch might make the novel more desirable for readers, agents, and myself.

Thanks for your question, Sam! Have you received rejections that specifically refer to the sex of the main character as a stumbling block? If so, that might be a route to consider. Without that, though, changing character’s sex just to change it, without a strong reason to do it, feels like pandering. Ultimately, you have to write the book for you, because there are no guarantees of publication, and if the book you want to write features a strong female main character, great! If you want to tell the story with a male lead, go for it! It’s your story. Until you get specific feedback requesting a sex change, I wouldn’t change it.