Ask a male author about your male character traits or thoughts.

Amazon links to my stories: Autumn Breeze, A More Perfect Union, Double Happiness, The Wolves of Sherwood Forest, Neanderthals and the Garden of Eden can be found down the right side of the blog.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Alpha hero goes on a date

Here’s a man able to meet life and death challenges with the cool and quickness of a James Bond, but frets and obsesses over a date. Note: there is a natural humor to this, but it so human. Many men and women go into a fit of histrionics when preparing for a date. They’ll try on different outfits. Brush their hair and then brush it again, sure that one loose strand will lead to rejection. He’ll cut himself shaving. Ruined! They’ll practice things to say, etc.
You might think I’m talking about a metro-sexual guy. Nope. Here’s a chance to inject a touch of flaw, excitement, show him as human, as interested. It is, after all, a life and death situation. Humans need love to survive, to be fully human. No less so, the alpha hero. Just don’t expect him to be in command of himself at home preparing, or maybe on the date. He’ll put his life on the line, but when it comes to making life happen (well, not usually on a first date) he’s a klutz (or somewhere in between James Bond and Barney Fife). He could appear normal, but inside he’s a tangle of insecurities. Or perhaps his stage fright disappears as he gains confidence and takes in the beauty that sits across from him. He’s a lucky man.
Al Jolson sings, About a Quarter to Nine, written by Al Dubin and Harry Warren, published in 1935. In this video he dances with his wife, Ruby Keeler, in the 1935 musical, Go Into Your Dance.
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=al+jolson+about+a+quarter+to+nine&docid=608019009778813194&mid=CC7D557A96E0D12B3CA4CC7D557A96E0D12B3CA4&view=detail
 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Elementary: Supply and Demand 101

Supply and demand can be applied to romance. It’s true that there is approximately the same number of men and women in the world thanks to the magic of the laws of nature. It is also true that long term profitability business models seek balance between buyers and sellers. Men and women, IMO, seek balance when they hunt for a mate. For the sake of simplicity, let’s say the entire planet has ten womern and ten men not yet pared off and they’re having a party. They may fight over the same person, but it is more likely they’ll consider their own strengths and weaknesses plus that of their group of ten. Take it a step further and they’ll consider the group and individual needs of all twenty. It’s not perfect. People make mistakes. The intent, for those thoughtful enough, is to consider, perhaps at an elemental level, the survival of the species.
This is why I say: Something else is going on here. Some will reach the gut conclusion that one person in the other group was made for them. They’ll both know it when they look into each other’s eyes or have some other interaction. The other eighteen back off, recognizing this new force of nature.
What part mysticism plays in the laws of nature no one knows. You can call it, fate or they were meant for each other, or use the word soul mate. It may be a biological directive, the finger of God. Who knows. I guess I’m saying that if you are writing a normal as opposed to a paranormal romance don’t forget to sprinkle a little uncertainty into the love equation. God (or nature) knows. We don’t (too well).
Examples of how you handled this are much appreciated.
I’ll give an example from one of my stories. In the story, the heroine is in a bar and walks over to a complete stranger and plants a kiss on him (that they’ll never forget). She walks away.

As Time Goes By, from Casablanca, 1942 Song by Dooley Wilson

https://youtu.be/kiG_7tauZJA

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Thighs Fall Apart

Not to my none RWA readers: apparently, last week, I, in informing my RWASD chapter misspelled "Things." What followed was a ground swell of support for today's blog. True, this isn't quite the male POV although as a Catholic boy I can say that the girls shoes did interest me, or rather the character they reflected.

Thighs Fall Apart is the long awaited sequel to The Girl with the Patent Leather Shoes, the world wide best seller. Tan Tric has done it again.
For those who have not read The Girl with the Patent Leather Shoes it is about the struggle of a teenaged Catholic girl who is taught that the proper birth control, approved by the Pope himself, is to take 1 aspirin, place it between your legs and hold it there. We follow her teen years as she struggles with sexuality and her only viable outlet, exhibitionism.
In the sequel, Thighs Fall Apart, the young adult heroine leads an athletic life and is forever dropping her aspirin, especially around the football team. She discovers that there is more to life than the reflection off her shoes. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who has ever had a headache.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Entropy

Entropy and other related thoughts:

I’ve talked about this before in a different way. Things Fall Apart, written by Chinua Achebe is a good fictional handbook on how things go wrong from conflicts in society, ones-self and outside influences.
For the hero of a romance, things should go wrong when he fails to focus on the heroine. First there’s doubt by the heroine, then there’s her friends and family who chime in. It seems no one lives in a vacuum and because we are social beings we can’t and often shouldn’t ignore the outside influence. However, this sort of problem adds tension to the plot. Will she fight for him? Will he find his way back to his focus on her?
I call it a “lay down” when the heroine ignores the warning signs. The HEA will occur. Unfortunately, many romances read this way.
Once upon a time, there was the perfect bachelor (on The Bachelor). Ben proposed to one of the most gorgeous women I have seen, Lauren. He kept putting off the wedding date. Lauren, so in love, did not push hard enough for changen or did she issue an ultimatum. ( I believe therapy was tried.) Anyway, she eventually left him and now has a boyfriend. Of course, she’d get a boyfriend as true as I breathe.
Contrast this to the latest couple on The Bachelorette. Rachel wants a winter wedding and what do you think her fiancĂ© said? “Whatever the woman wants she will get.” We’ll see. Some have said of Bryan that he wasn’t her best choice, that he won’t be true. I say he’s light years ahead of “the perfect bachelor.” Maybe Ben is perfect...as a bachelor.

Rachel and Bryan's interview on Access Hollywood. August 2017.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDucmjuwYyM


Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Pearl of Great Value

A Pearl of Great Value
Alternate title: Take out the trash
Is it only fantasy to have the hero decide to change his life and dedicate himself to the heroine? No, it happens, perhaps not too frequently.
How does it happen? Start with the hero wanting to make her happy always and in all ways, because he’s crazy about her and top over teakettle in love. To do this, he needs room or time in his life. So he must take out the trash. Trash, in this instance, are those minimal, useless or harmful habits that eat up time. Suppose the hero is into video gaming to a fault.
We know of many married men who don’t like suggestions from their spouses about what to do around the house. But, for the hero of our story he relishes the opportunity to please her. He’d rather literally take out the trash than play Counter-Strike.
It’s not just about chores.
The hero can learn about her likes and try to like them too.
He’ll then learn to share her joy.
The hero might even learn to have fruitful conversations.
He might even watch a Hallmark with her, etc.
He’ll look for every opportunity to make her feel loved.
In the parable of A Pearl of Great Value (likened to Heaven) the person finding the pearl sells everything he owns to possess it. For us men a woman is the closest we’ll get to heaven on Earth.

All or Nothing at All, 2104, Switchfoot.
https://youtu.be/_PrSVusfnWo

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Love

Love

Their arms rapped around each other, their bodies a perfect fit, her head on his chest. He wondered why he was so lucky. He peered down to see her eyes looking into his. A little out of focus, maybe dreamy. She was content if this was the right word. Did she love him? She had never said so.
He had first seen her in a crowd of hundreds,  maybe fifteen years before and was struck by her pull on his body, mind, spirit. Never before had he felt such a momentous tug. But he couldn’t get to her that day. The only thought he remembered, and it was as if someone was whispering to him, “someday she will be your wife.” He didn’t know her name, never saw her again until five years ago when they met at a local Brooklyn coffee house.
They developed an easy friendship. He marveled at the way she acted. Zany, sweet, challenging, laughing at his lame jokes, big eyed enthusiasm for life and for him. But friends they remained until today.
He was certain she felt the same tug on her soul, that she loved him as much as he did her. Today, he had decided, would be the day he’d find a way to get to the truth without disturbing their friendship. He decided to hug her a bit more intimately and longer than ever before.
So far she liked it. He took a chance and kissed her forehead. No pull back. Yes. Now all he needed was the courage to say it, but she interrupted him. With the same dreamy eyed look on her lovely face, she said in a completely relaxed voice, and you got to know this girl doesn’t relax much. She said, “so this is love.”

Til Then, the Mills Brothers, 1944
https://youtu.be/gPdidRreduM
https://youtu.be/gPdidRreduM

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Great American Pragmatist

Before I start, you may, while reading this think I’m talking about a non-fictional person. In the front pages of many novels before the story starts, the author or editor says something like, any resemblance to someone real is purely coincidental. Just to have fun I’ll say deliberately coincidental
Is your character a pragmatist or idealist? Pay attention to the core values of your hero/heroine and other characters because it goes to what motivates them. Infusing philosophy helps tell a valued story. How strongly does your character hold these beliefs or lack thereof?
Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition popularized in the United States around 1870. For those philo geeks, there is also the closely related Utilitarianism. Nobody claims to be a Utilitarian because it’s too hard to spell or pronounce.
Put simply: what is useful is good and what is pragmatic is good. They seem interchangeable but there is a subtle difference. Pragmatism is a more active philosophy. They choose to do something that will reap benefits for them. A utilitarian chooses something to take up or take because it is useful to them. Somebody else may have already done the work. Stealing said work is often done by the Prag/Uti character, if they think they can get away with it. If they think… Both philosophies are egocentric.
These philosophies may seem glorious statements of what made our Country great but they are at odds with the Constitution. All men are created equal if it is useful or works to the character. Many religions condemn these philosophies, calling them false gods. The struggle for the character’s soul is a human condition that transcends national boundaries.
Every day the character makes useful or pragmatic decisions. Is it better for health to eat more because it tastes good or should there be more strictness about cholesterol or sugar? Does a character go to a wedding 2500 miles away, spend the money, or focus on work and make money needed to survive or live more comfortably? Innocuous actions creep up on them when it comes time to make a really important decision that may involve moral values. The problem moral steadfastness starts with habituation. It’s hard to change and so they choose to make a moral mistake hardly noticing that they have become the Great American Pragmatist.
Some characters observe the world and see that those who grab the gusto or perhaps bend the rules to suit them (pragmatism at its core) get ahead in life. They make money. Some take it a step further and get pleasure out of besting another human being. Substitute screwing for besting here, if you like.
American politics and business are the most obvious places to go for examples of American pragmatism. Many of our leaders cherish and fully understand the constitution because they live their lives by core values in which they treat each human being fairly. All men are brothers, right?
Write it.
Your character can demonstrate his/her core beliefs through habitual action, willfully wrought or not. They also can grow or change. One often needs an arc for this, LOL. The heroine sets out to tame her man, as an example.
In pragmatic politics and business or life in general not constantly confronting, reflecting on the moral value of habits, can land the character(s) in jail or worse.

Fifty Shades of Grey, Promo for movie