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, February 5, 2012

Mr. Right (in front of you) 2/5/2012

SORRY, today I must lecture:

Before I start, I want to clarify from last week’s comments:

I may be talking about third act heroes, not necessarily the first act misanthrope alpha hero who throws the heroine down into a slimy dungeon.

Some of you are considering giving up on men, or so I sense from your words. Writing romance is not all fantasy. Life is not all loss. If you give up on yourself, men can read it all over your face. If you are cynical they can feel it. Men and women have a sense for the inner struggle in people. Yes, it’s ‘a learned over a lifetime’ skill, but some young people have this sense already developed.


When a man looks at a woman, he has many ideas of what he likes physically.* These ideas are both instinctual and learned. Instinctual physical attractiveness for both men and women is based on the golden ratio. God’s little building block if you like.

But men and women rapidly learn they can’t have what they want all the time because of competition and their own desirability and they also learn how valuable a smile can be, empathy, a laugh, someone who gets them. Many are starved for affection by that someone special but put up walls.

There’s a great scene in the movie A Beautiful Mind in which the guys enter a bar. They all want the blonde (I don't see it). But if they all make a play for the blonde, the rest of the women will be hurt, and the blonde will see this hurt. She'll leave with her girlfriends and no one will get a date. Of course the answer and the Nobel Prize went for collaboration (and a complex fromula used by business, but applicable to all sorts of matters (like choosing a partner)). What I mean, we all learn to weigh such things, as competition, loyalty, group dynamics, etc. in making a choice.

A famous experiment involved people rating their physical desirability and then choosing someone with a number from 1 to 10, all pinned on them in a large group of women and men. Of course, this is a bit silly, because the human animal has so many hidden assets. It takes a precocious young person to identify these assets. Wonder why the divorce rate is so high? I said this before, how important education is. It should at least diminish the amount of mistakes. Some churches have many months long waiting period filled with tough-love seminars and retreats for their engaged couples.

But, you say that’s not the purpose in investigating the male POV. Partially true, I sense your frustration with ‘heroes,’ both real and imagined. Well, how about a character that believes in digging deeply into a relationship via retreats and such? I did this in one of my stories. It lent sparkle to the novel.

*When I was a precocious 14 year old, I decided ankles were a secret ingredient in choosing my eventual mate. I chuckled to myself and wouldn’t share my discovery with my guy friends, because I wanted an edge. I knew about the Victorian fixation, but I saw something more. I saw French curves. Go ahead and laugh. It wasn’t the only curve I noticed. I also differentiated between short term friendships, good times, and a mate. I started the long search for a life partner. My eyes were always open, because I wanted that perfect (to me) mate to have children and a life with. Believe me when I tell you, it ain’t just me, who at least keeps in the back of his mind a match. These alpha heroes may have turned cynical when they threw the heroines into the dungeon.

1 comment:

  1. Great point! And wonderful information to keep in mind when crafting our heroes and keeping them true to life. It also often makes a better story if the hero's life experiences don't pave the way too easily to his perfect mate.