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, March 31, 2013

In Your Easter Bonnet, March 31, 2013

In your Easter Bonnet, EASTER PARADE
It's Easter. I'm reminded of simpler times when I hear Bing Crosby or Judy Garland and Fred Astaire sing 'Easter Parade' by Irving Berlin. I enjoyed Judy and Fred's scene below in which some subtle (pre-equal rights movement for women) play is on display when Judy and Fred reverse gender roles.
It's a bit of a stretch to work in the male POV here. I could say that I love the romance and am building my own blog memory of what attracks me, which is true. But I also believe a good romance can also have some fun with role playing. Who doesn't enjoy a story with a tom boy or a tom boyish scene. But can the same be said for a metro-sexual male (like Fred Astaire)? More power to the writer who can sell a "beta" (not alpha) male or show an arc for the male character changing from beta to alpha or somewhere inbetween. Was Fred a beta or alpha? His screen romances certainly sold.

Judy Garland was hounded by the studios to lose weight, which led her to drug addiction and eventual suicide. Judy had a natural beauty that shouldn't have been messed with. Besides her primary draw at the box office came from her singing and her history as a child actress. The producers missed the point to why the public would go out to see a Judy Garland movie.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

How to write a novel in 9 minutes, March 24, 2013

At the So Cal RWA 2013 conference, I attended many amazing classes. In particular, Chris Green had us listen to a short instrumental in which we wrote down the basics of a novel (conflict, black moment, climax, opening hook, inciting incident etc.). At first I was sceptical, but I wrote two story concepts that I could easily convert to novels. We had fun sharing some terrific ideas.
For those of you who hadn't attended, try listening to Rhapsody in Blue* (1924 original) and let me know if you've created something you'd like to turn into a novel. *I choose this masterpiece because it never fails to inspire me.
I'm picky when it comes to renditions of Gershwin's artistry. It's hard to find a laughing clarinet like you'll hear in the opening. It's never been done better, IMO.

Did you just listen to the music and not write anything down (because no one's there to watch over you)? Sorry, try again. Gershwin tells a story and it doesn't have to be about New York.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


A scene is worth a thousand emotions.

Once in a while a reality show’s character takes the cake and becomes a minefield for a romance writer, but I’ve never seen anything like the finale of The Bachelor (3/11/2013) when Sean proposed to Catherine.

I lost count of the emotions going thru her mind*. *Mind = body, face, and words, and maybe a little intuition on my part.

Catherine said that whatever happened—at that point she had basically a 50/50 chance (two girls left)—her life would change forever and she tried to prepare herself for it.

For writers who don’t harvest ideas from the show or just don’t like it, it would be worth your while just this one time to see the short clip of the proposal below. Let me know what emotions you spotted if you like or just feel it. Kleenex alert.

There will be a televised wedding in June and Sean has accepted an invitation to be on Dancing with the Stars.
For those who don't watch the show, please try not to be too critical of Catherine's numerous "Oh my goshes" after the proposal. She's an extremely intelligent and funny lady with a huge heart who was overwhelmed with emotion IMO. Besides, what would you say while the whole world was watching? Answer: collect yourself.

For those die-hards of the show, here's the prequel of the above. Right before the proposal Sean reads a letter from Catherine with some voice mixing of the two of them. This was beautifully produced.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Help me, maybe. March 10, 2013

Help. I need the names of male agents or editors in the romance novel business.

I’m in trouble. When I first entered RWA, I met some polite resistance from agents, editors, and some writers. Because I’m a guy. I understand the prejudice and I love you all, but I’m getting full manuscripts rejected in which I’ve been told I’m a strong writer but my tone isn’t what they’re looking for. IMO, my tone suits the genre/story that I’m writing, therefore I must believe I need to write a different story (and I’m working on that).

About prejudice:

1.      I suppose guys in Hollywood who dominate romantic comedy writing, might feel the same way against women, but then there was Nora Ephram, etc. (For novels, how about Nicholas Sparks?)

2.      I know many men spoil it, for those of us who love women, with derisive things to say about “chick flicks.” See clip at bottom.
3.      Prejudice is a generalization that predisposes a person to subconsciously reject the efforts of the one they are prejudiced against.

4.      Some men are artists or ambidextrous or use both sides of their brain. Shoudn't creative types be excluded from prejudice or is it too strong to overcome (without your support)? IMO, prejudice should be dropped when recognized.

5.      Many men love women and some try to understand them.

6.      Some read minds!
7.   Men write differently than women. This too is a generalization. I want to be considered as an individual.

Do I have to hide behind a pen name when writing to an agent or editor? This practice is discouraged as unethical.

I’m thinking as a start, maybe I should find male agents or editors. I need your help with names. I already know of Christopher Keeslar.


This doesn't mean I'll stop trying to acheive a contractual relationship with whomever is qualified, no matter their sex.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Pop quiz.

What three movies over the years have won the top five Oscars: Best Movie, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay?

Hint: One of them was a romantic comedy, sometimes referred to (especially in this case, as a screwball comedy). Answers at bottom.

I want to talk about Romantic Comedies. They aren't usually nominated in any of those catagories. Take Sleepless In Seattle. It was nominated (did not win) for "best writing, screenplay written directly for the screen" & "best music, original song."

You've Got Mail - nada, but more about this some other time.

I've said this before (Aristotle turn over in your grave). Comedies are considered weak sisters to tragedies these days. Happily ever afters are not tragic, their life affiriming. What does that say about our society? Is the business male dominated? Is the more blood spilled the better? From one guy's prospective, it should be the other way around.

The only romantic comedy and the one of three films to win the top five Oscars: It Happened One Night, 1934, Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Frank Capra (director), Robert Riskin (Best Writing, Adaptation).

I recently revisited this great movie and loved it once again. The U.S. National Film Registry selected the film for preservation by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." You don't have to know American history to appreciate this. My wife, from the Philippines loved it (even if it was in black and white). Like our writing, black type on a white page.

Here's a famous scene from the movie:

The ladies' POV: a scene known as the Walls of Jericho from It Happened One Night

The other two movies which won Best Movie/Actor/Actress/Director/Screenplay are:
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)