Actually, to be specific, I usually avoid young female characters. Have you read The War Horn, or anything else by me, for that matter? Ever notice that there are no female characters under the age of thirty and above the age of ten?
Laugh if you want to, but I do have something of a paranoid avoidance of said characters. Don't take offense, ye y-chromosome-challenged, I really don't have anything against you. It's just a natural manifestation of my avoidance of anything to do with romance.
Inevitably, in almost every fantasy novel I know of, if there's a young male and a young female, there's attraction, and that's something I simply don't want to write. 'Sides, it's cliche and predictable. (That's what I keep telling myself, anyway.)
So I have this abnormal avoidance of female characters as a result.
However, my sisters have been prodding me to get over my weird writing streak and write some female characters. After all, they make up a full half (or more) of my audience! They say to write what you know (and that doesn't always include the opposite gender), but sometimes you have to write something that the audience will actually understand.
So I caved. Luckily for me, I was already thinking of adding a second character to my protagonist's supporting cast (see my previous post), so I decided to switch things up a bit, like, literally. I swapped the male character for the female, and viola! Problem solved, right? No romance, either; that, I can assure you. And to the realistic-ness of that romantic absence, well, I have that problem solved too, but don't ask. It has to do with a story twist. ^_^
Interestingly enough, I've noticed that writers of the female variety have no problem with writing male characters, or even male protagonists.
What about you? Do you avoid any aspect of writing consciously or subconsciously? Do you have any reason for doing so? Or do you just write what comes to mind?
And try not to laugh at me. Really.