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, October 15, 2017

First love is a forever love

In last night’s Hallmark movie premier of Love Struck CafĂ©, one of the characters claimed that a first love is a forever love. This thought is to be considered while writing YA (young Adult) or Middle Grade. It may also show up in an adult romance as backstory, as in the movie. And well done, indeed.

Points for the statement:
1. Hormones are at their highest in life, making everything about love and bonding so intense, the hero and heroine can’t get enough of each other. Every moment is treasured and looked forward to with abandon.
2. Experiencing anything for the first time becomes an indelible marker for life.
3. The process of engaging in new ways of living and doing things, breaking old habits (things of a child), makes for unforgettable memories.
Points against:
1. The kids don’t know what they’re feeling (puppy love).
2. The kids confuse passion or sexual excitement for love.
3. The kids are naturally more egotistical and may not have empathy enough to really know each other.
Personally, although the points against have their lure, the first three for love being forever fit better with scientific studies on the subject.
No matter the portrayal, the writer needs to seriously consider these ideas in developing a romance for any age. At least, the story will have depth.
In the Hallmark movie, in backstory we see the youngerr versions wrestling with going off the college. The hero breaks up, without explanation, in order to not hold back his heroine. Many of us have been there and done that or have heard of such break-ups. BTW, her heart was broken, she blamed him, but oddly he never questioned his decision or at least it wasn't shown.

If  I Could Turn Back Time, Cher, 1989.
https://video.search.yahoo.com/video/play;_ylt=AwrSw7wgC.RZP2YALVb7w8QF;_ylu=X3oDMTByZWc0dGJtBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDdmlkBHZ0aWQDBGdwb3MDMQ--?p=If+I+could+turn+back+time&vid=6471304a635d5c9184860ad452b57311&turl=https%3A%2F%2Ftse2.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOVP.fxePL3ZqwZwpEMfTWA30awIIFa%26pid%3D15.1%26h%3D346%26w%3D520%26c%3D7%26rs%3D1&rurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DBsKbwR7WXN4&tit=Cher+-+If+I+Could+Turn+Back+Time+%28Official+Music+Video%29&c=0&h=346&w=520&l=248&sigr=11bukttb6&sigt=11n61doj6&sigi=12r2gk346&age=1346610773&fr2=p%3As%2Cv%3Av&fr=vmn&tt=b



Sunday, October 8, 2017

Job versus romance

Job versus romance
Some traditional writers see a HEA (happily ever after) as a chance for the heroine to leave her job behind and become a mother and housewife. Although this is a legitimate choice, and every one has the right to choose, it minimizes conflict. Consider also, that God gave us talents and wants us to maximize them, if the mother has time, LOL. This applies to stay at home dads, as well.
In most modern romances, the hero and heroine struggle with career and each other. They want the best for their partner. They want to support the other without reservation, no matter the choice. Through the difficulties of the story and character arcs they show this capacity. The conflict enriches the story.
All I’m saying is consider these dynamics. Would you consider it a good choice if a M.D. heroine gives up helping the sick and dying to solely raise a family?? Probably not. A traditional writer would likely not choose this background for the heroine.
Giving back to others, aside from family, is love, just like romance. Ain’t we writing about love?


Sade, Feel No Pain, 1992
https://youtu.be/yoLoEw8D0Bg

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Kiss Me in the Snow

Kiss Me in the Snow
I read this romantic comedy by Rich Amooi (funny name) on my vacation. I loved it. Rich and his lovely wife, who is also an author, recently joined RWASD.
It reads like a Hallmark movie. His subtle turns of plot and fresh dialogue was a distinct treat. The funny here is not in whether Rich is a comedic genius or not, he underplays the humor in any given situation. No, he tells a story in which both hero and heroine (plus a secondary romance) are at odds in all ways, always, right through the black moment.
Some of my readers have expressed concern about writing comedy and I thought of them, often as I read through the story. If you can put your protagonists through challenging situations in which people are not getting knocked off you write with natural humor. The heroine starts by making a list of “A list” dramatic actresses she wants to bump off, but she’s just expressing her frustration about only being an action (top-grossing) heroine. Her loving sister makes a suggestion of a get away over the Christmas holidays. Each swear off men and the plot roles on from there.
Note: I remember fondly our Mary Leo’s wonderful Harlequin Flipsides, like Stick Shift. By the way, both titles are naturally funny and it is hard to say why, because perhaps it’s just me and my search for double entendre in everything. Dear Mary and Rich, tell me it ain’t so.
If you just stick to the basics of getting your hero and heroine into embarrassing or challenging situations and up the stakes, as in every other novel, you’re there.
For another thing, get a cover artist who works in this genre.


Just follow the road map laid out by Aristotle and people will laugh their asses off.

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