First-Time Novelist Constantly Asking Wife What It's Like To Be A Woman

Top Headlines

Recent News

Siblings Each Hoping Other One Will Take Care Of Aging Parents Someday

CLEVELAND—Explaining that they simply didn’t want to have to deal with the immense time commitment and emotional exhaustion, sisters Katie and Ellen Cattell each privately admitted to reporters this week that they were hoping the other sibling would someday be the one to take care of their aging parents.

Where Your Political Donation Goes

With over $1 billion spent in the 2016 presidential race alone, campaign donations continue to cause much controversy and even confusion for their role in shaping politics. Here is a step-by-step guide to how the average American’s political donation travels through a campaign

Roommate Skulking Around Edge Of Party Like Victorian Ghost Child

SEATTLE—Appearing initially in the far corner of the living room and then several minutes later on the threshold between the kitchen and the hallway, local roommate Kelsey Stahl was, by multiple accounts, seen skulking around the edge of a house party Friday like a Victorian ghost child.

Fact-Checking The Third Presidential Debate

Presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump sparred over subjects including foreign policy, the economy, and their fitness to hold the nation’s highest office in the final debate Wednesday. The Onion examines the validity of their assertions

Man Praying Interviewer Doesn’t Ask Any Questions

MINNEAPOLIS—His mouth going dry and his palms growing sweaty as he arrived at the offices of Regent Advertising Partners to interview for an open account manager position, local man Devin McKee reportedly prayed Thursday that the hiring manager wouldn’t ask him any questions during their meeting.

Origins Of Popular Slang Terms

As the internet helps push new words and expressions into common usage, many may wonder where our most ubiquitous idioms come from. Here are the origins of some popular slang terms and phrases
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

First-Time Novelist Constantly Asking Wife What It's Like To Be A Woman

SAN JOSE, CA—Claims adjuster and novice author John Kitner is "constantly" asking what it's like to be a woman, reports his wife Becky.

Amateur novelist John Kitner struggles to write from a woman's perspective.

"It never lets up," Becky said. "Today he asked, 'If a woman were running from a burning building, what would she be thinking about?' And I don't know how to answer that. I'd be thinking about getting away from the building, I think."

The questions began when Kitner first started writing his crime thriller, Low Jack, in December of 2004. At the time, he reportedly asked occasional questions ranging from, "Would a woman want to be romanced by 22-year-old wannabe confidence man Ronnie Hodges?" to, "How would a woman feel if she were hammering a guy on the head with a briefcase full of money?"

"I didn't mind the questions at first," Becky said. "I was happy to help out."

But in recent weeks, the level of questioning has become what Becky called "really annoying."

Becky said when the two were at the grocery store Sunday night, Kitner began staring at her as she looked over the frozen-foods section.

According to Becky, Kitner asked, "What type of food would a woman try to eat if she were trapped in a walk-in freezer? How about a piece of liver? Would that be it? If I were a woman, I think that would be just perfect. But I don't know. You tell me, Becky."

Becky said her husband's questions are typically followed by him producing a small notebook and ball-point pen.

"I really don't like when he whips out the notebook and clicks the pen and stares at me," Becky said.

According to Kitner, Becky has been "a great resource" in his novel writing.


"Becky is an indispensable tool in my writer's tool chest," Kitner said. "I feel like, with her, I'm able to get under Vivian's skin."

Kitner referred to his heroine, Vivian Drake, a 26-year-old ingenue who is "thrust into a steamy underworld of intrigue and danger in Low Jack."

Best-selling writer Tom Clancy, author of Without Remorse, said Kitner is lucky to have Becky as a source of reference.

"I worked alone in my study for years on The Bear And The Dragon before I realized my female character Lian Ming was dead on the page," Clancy said. "If only I'd had someone like Becky around to answer some questions. It might have helped me figure out how women think."

Clancy said he hopes Kitner can unlock the mystery of writing female characters, something no male novelist has ever been able to do.

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and literary critic John Updike agrees.

"Someone should have thought of asking these questions earlier," Updike said. "If only Tolstoy had thought of this, Anna Karenina might have been a more memorable novel."

Updike added: "John Kitner's quest is a part of a larger one: how to write a character who is different from yourself. If he can find the magic key to this age-old puzzle, he will usher in a renaissance in human literature. For the first time, crime novelists will be able to write convincingly about murderers, even if they are not murderers themselves. Non-spies will be able to write about spies. In this new type of literature, there will actually be characters who are something other than novelists. Imagine the possibilities."

Kitner shares these high hopes for his work, but his wife, who has had an opportunity to read some of his early drafts, said it "still needs a lot of work."


Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close