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, January 29, 2012

The finger in the socket look 1/29/12

Natural Beauty

Stop the presses. I was going to talk about straight line thinking, when I saw this.

Kacie B on the 2012 Bachelor (ABC-Mondays) goes all natural. It's not what you might think:

"Just the natural finger in the socket look. . . .It's just exactly what he wants to wake up to every morning. Right?" She asked.

Well, Mr. Guy POV, what do you have to say for yourself? In no particular order I love (crazy about) this woman's sense of humor, her sweet affectionate and loving ways (pure heart), her (I don't know how to describe her deep? eye sockets and eyes and make a reader picture it. Help somebody.) eyes, her peek-a-boo dimple, her laugh, her smile, her face, figure, and yes her unruly finger in the socket hair, especially her hair. But, this isn't about me, all those adjectives and more can be found on fan websites by both men and women. Personally, I like women of all races, hairstyles, ages, and with or without make-up. It's the heart which shines through a woman's charms which makes her beautiful.

If Kacie is that uncertain, she should consider showing Ben her hair or try different hairdos on him if she wants, but if I were her man, I'd say, "suit yourself honey, but I love that bedroom look." She looks even better, before she combs out her naturally curly locks.

I (and most fans) picked her out from the other girls as my favorite after watching her react with Ben. When she smiled broadly and laughed I was stunned and I couldn't see anybody else for Ben. So Ben, don't be a schmuck, select who I want.

Okay, so what's my point, aside from slobbering and short circuiting my laptop. My point is sometimes a guy doesn't need a gal to dress up or doll up or wear make up. Your male POV character could take on an extra dimension if, as a character trait, he tried to scale the walls of female fashion. Kacie will look gorgeous no matter how she dresses or gets made-up or wears her hair, because her loving vibrant self shines through.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Guys are introspective 1/22/12

Before I go on . . .

Last week we talked about Chick Flicks, but some our more popular than others.

Less popular with men (in my case, I have yet to see Beaches, Steel Magnolias, etc. BUT, I know they’re excellent films. Well someday.) Less popular are mostly women in sad endings where the romance is not the driving force.Much more popular with men are romances and romantic comedies.

Listen up. This week I want to touch on communicating. Studies say women speak 20,000 words a day, and men, 7,000. But men are more introspective to make up for the lack of words. Yet many writers want the male POV to be straight forward, logical, and short. Consider all that was left unsaid, which a male would mull over during or after an encounter.

GUYS ARE INTROSPECTIVE (or, yes there’s something going on in there)

An example from a romantic comedy:

A girl who is attracted to a guy friend walks up to him in their place of business and says, “It’s warm in here.” She just wants to talk to him and breaks the ice. (Joke, unintended)

The guy really likes her and wants to protect her (yep men do that) so he says what might be thought of as the dumbest thing by the gal. “Well look at what you’re wearing.” said with the warmest smile. She’s wearing a sweater.

“It was colder over there.” She becomes defensive.

He starts staring at the ceiling, inspecting air ducts (to figure out if there’s something wrong with the air-conditioning). She walks off feeling unloved and wondering why the guy thinks she doesn’t know enough to take her sweater off.

The guy might mull over all sorts of things in an effort to repair the relationship. He’d think about how she might interpret his words, if she felt sad, rejected, etc. About how he could have said it better (maybe, “I know I just took my sweater off, and then the air-conditioner, you know, will kick in again. He’d likely reject asking her to take all her clothes off, as too bold. He’d worry about how to make it better for her. He’d worry if she’d think he was showing off as smarter than her because he took his sweater off first. He’d wonder if he could ever explain himself, since his thoughts are so complicated. He’d think: well maybe she didn’t want him anyway, and fine if she thinks so little of him. He’s liable to have all these thoughts occur at the same time and then sort them out.

In a later post, I’ll talk about straight line thinking.

Will our too-hot heroine and hero get together? Well, you’re the writer. I have a feeling, they’ll lock themselves in the boardroom and damn, their productivity will suffer . . . or will it?

Okay, some men can get carried away with their thinking. Remember he’s your hero. Guys are introspective. Whatever choice you make with your hero regarding the amount of interior monologue, if you bust a stereotype, make sure your male POV is deep enough to not only show his way of living, loving, and thinking, but you’ll write the POV so well, people will think of you as the next Judith McNaught. . . .

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chick Flicks 1/15/12

I’d like to do a little clean up before my new post. Being new to blogging in earnest I’ve responded to comments with a comment rather than replying. So, for those who are following me I have written back to you, and in the future will reply directly….And there might be some more points about the male POV in those responses you may find helpful or thought provoking. It’s all about getting a hold on your male POV by moving away from stereotypes.

Chick Flicks.

Finding the right man might come down to research and education. Imagine a world in which couples dating, ask questions or observations based on their life needs. In a previous comment, I mentioned how important it is to be educated about sex, marriage, and how to treat someone with love and respect.

Chick Flicks, a derogatory term used by men who are either bored while sitting through them or responding to pressure from their peer group (beer buddies). Remember GREASE, Danny on re-meeting Sandy is at first excited, then noticing his gang, backs off and says, “That’s cool baby, you know how it is, rockin’ and rollin’ and what not . . .”

Romance novels are something only women read, right? Googling this subject shows anywhere between 9% to 30% of romance novels are read by men and the range goes up for romance movies, especially romantic comedies.

It’s true, these movies and novels are primarily* directed at women in the same way action/adventure flicks are directed at men. *But, Hollywood knows how to build a story to entice men. Some men enjoy romance more than action/adventure. Why not our heroes? A man who appreciates the beauty of a woman, revels in the way she thinks, moves, feels, is dedicated to giving his woman the best of pleasure, life, and happiness should be considered as an evolved hero (perhaps at the end of his arc in act 3).

You had me in act 1.

Some men enjoy YOU’VE GOT MAIL and similar guy gets gal themes over some action flick.

Remember even tough guy Danny loved Sandy.

A great example: Ask Melissa Cutler to send or post her synopsis to her upcoming romance novel. You’ll be treated to an evolving hero in the ways I wrote about above and a great synopsis example.

For now, and for my geekettes, the ‘research’ posted below is mostly just fun:

And for a more serious approach:

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Male POV myths 1/8/12

. . . and men answered "I want somebody who loves me." This is pulled from the Ph. D. research at the bottom of this blog. Let's investigate a myth.
 Big BOObs
Look at the header to this blog. You’ll notice that one word seems out of proportion. Sure the OO attracts our attention, but does the word look funny or wrong to you? As you will read in the research portion of this piece, some men prefer them . . . and some don’t.

We as writers need only concern ourselves with our hero’s and heroine’s preferences. Some authors, without explaining the hero’s motivation, have them attracted to someone not considered their type. As examples, in MATCH ME IF YOU CAN by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, we have a physically perfect hunk (the Python) matched with Tinkerbelle or in her NATURAL BORN CHARMER, we have Dean (the star quarterback, also perfect) matched with a girl in a beaver suit, who is thought of by him in this way, “She hit him with grape lollipop eyes, one of the few curvy things about her.” Love this.

Think about your audience and what they want. Think about your hero and what he really wants in a woman when he’s ready to marry or even what he is attracted to at any time. I believe you are more likely to find in the following types a preference for proportion, for the Golden Ratio, for the way God made women (which didn’t include silicone): artists, Renaissance men, intellectuals, physically and mentally gifted (which often go together), the very successful (rich), those with an esthetic sense, those who appreciate beauty in all things, etc.

I loved Phillips stories, wouldn’t change a word, but please consider, when it fits your story, to have the male POV address this issue and also undersatnd that Phillips may have marketing reasons for not writing this issue via dialogue or interior monologue:

Don’t apologize for your hero. Consider allowing your hero, through interior monologue and dialogue, to explain his preferences (when the time is right), especially to a woman who assumes she’s out of his league. Men are often analytical (and visual) and would naturally think about such things. I do (all the time).

Although Marilyn Monroe was very popular, many men preferred Audrey Hepburn. The same today is said about Sandra Bullock, and in 2011, Ashley Hebert, The Bachelorette.

FURTHER RESEARCH for those who need more convincing (or are geeky).

June Machover Reinisch, Ph. D. wrote:

“This month, our myth is that most men prefer women with big breasts. And you would certainly think that’s the case, considering what you see in Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler, most of the men’s magazines, that’s what you would believe to be true, certainly at least for American men. I’d like to tell you that the French say all you need is enough to fill a champagne glass, but that does not appear to be the American point of view.

“Now, before we answer that question, I’d like to tell you about a study that asked what were the physical attributes that men find most attractive. And I’m going to give them to you in descending order, and it will start to give you a hint as to what the answer is to this myth. Number one was face. And if you have been following these myths, you will find that that’s also very true for women in regard to men – that is, people’s faces are very important. And that shouldn’t be surprising because communication is very important to humans and when we are communicating we are looking at each other’s faces. So anyway, number one is face. Number two is legs. Men find legs very attractive, and they are number two. So, face had 32 percent of men saying it was most important physical attribute, and 24 percent of men said that legs were the most important physical attribute. Third was breasts, at 18 percent. Fourth was hair, at 5 percent. And last but not least was backside, or bottom, at 4 percent. Backsides are very high on women’s lists of physical attributes that are sexually attractive, so that’s an interesting difference between men and women.

“Now another study asked what men found most desirable in women’s bodies, and they then asked them about breasts. Now in this study, 50 percent of men did mention breasts as an important factor. So then they asked them what kind of breasts are most attractive, and I think you’re going to find this very interesting, because as you can see from 50 percent, only half of the men said that breasts were very important physical attractive qualities in women. But of the 50 percent that said that breasts were important, only half said that big breasts were important. And the other half said that they preferred small breasts. Now what that tells us is that only 25 percent of men prefer large breasts. So clearly the myth that most men like large breasts is not true, because only 1 in 4 prefer large breasts. Now, this does not mean that men do not like to look at large breasts, or breasts in general, because of course that’s not true – men do like to look at breasts. In fact, women like to look at breasts. And that’s not surprising. Breasts are certainly one of the major sex differences, and we’re all interested in the differences between the sexes. They’re one of the distinctions between men and women, and they are very interesting. And humans, like all animals, are very interested in what makes men men and what makes women women, what makes females females and males males, and they’re certainly one of the most interesting parts of the body. So it’s not surprising that the men’s magazines focus on the differences, and one of the obvious major differences are women’s breasts. And so there are many photographs of breasts that people look at, and big breasts are certainly interesting to look at. But when men are asked what do they want to take home with them, only 1 out of 4 say the most attractive aspect of a woman, and what they’re particularly attracted to sexually, are large breasts.

“Another study asked men what is the most important attribute you want in a woman. And these men reported that first and foremost what was most attractive in a woman was that she loved them. I think that’s a very good answer, certainly for a lifetime. I don’t think that you can maintain and continue and have a relationship based on just several square inches of a woman’s body, even if it’s several square feet of a woman’s body – I don’t think it is the basis for a relationship. But having somebody who loves you is a very good basis for a relationship. And it’s interesting to me that when a study asked in a general sense, not just a physical sense, what’s the most important attribute for you in a woman, that you are looking for to be attracted to, and men answered "I want somebody who loves me." I think that’s a great answer. So that’s how we bust this myth about large breasts being the most important attribute that a woman can have for a man.”

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Testosterone 1/1/12

Okay, lets get this subject out of the way, up front.


My dad is one and I work at it with more and more success . . .

The first casualty of aging is often ego. At a RWA San Diego meeting, 2011, I said vainly, "My abs are better than that guy on the cover." I was kidding, being self-effacing, ego-less, (but deep down I do try to take care of myself-no longer the butterfly champ). Yet I got an instant nurturing response, "You certainly do." Now, mind you I didn't have my shirt off, and if I had and you were wearing a hood, I'd look pretty good.

Points to consider about older men:
They make up for less hormones with more experience.
They may be more loving and nurturing and less focused on sexual conquest or seduction.
Oh this one made me think. They may suffer from sexual identity confusion. This can be helpful in developing a comic character. Hey, remember I said this blog is not based on me.

Points to consider about younger men:
Their desire for the heroine is overwhelming.
They fixate on the physical and physical attributes, at first.
There may be a disconnect between their moral standards and the way they act (at times).

These points are guidelines with exceptions. They're meant to ellicit your comments.

Unless you're writing the next NOTEBOOK or a baby-boomer romance use these points for your supporting crew.