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 29, 2013

I can't give you anything but love, baby. September, 29, 2013

Sign up to rescue your damsel, right here. (spoken with a New York City accent)

Guys whether they be alpha or beta or crappa-outa want to rescue damsels in distress. Some may fumble trying which is also the stuff of romantic and screwball comedies.

It’s built into our DNA. Guys want to protect, come to the rescue, help. Knowing this trait and how overwhelming it can be is a useful tool in developing reasons why the guy is attracted to a gal and/or part of why the romance gets started. The hero might ordinarily overlook the waitress/secretary until he finds out she’s a divorced mom. The heroine needs a man. I’ll be so bold as to say this hero will rationalize his attraction so that he could help her.

So why would a guy who normally likes Asian women go for the down on her luck red head? Because by serving, he proves his worth, he has done a good deed. He has found somebody who would appreciate him.

Being loved back is the most important consideration of a guy. The heroine will see him as a knight in shining armor. This strokes the male ego and rewards both parties.

I guess what I’m saying is try not rely on physical attraction alone. Besides, building in these tropes and traits makes the story more interesting.

Can you think of some prime examples?

Here’s one: “It isn’t everyday a guy saw a headless beaver marching down the side of a road, not even in Dean Robillard’s larger-than-life world.” Thus starts, Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. What upstanding member of the male human union would not want to rescue a headless beaver?

Here’s another example:

 
BRINGING UP BABY,  Katherine Hepburn & Cary Grant, 1938
 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Can you tell it's a guy writing the romance? 9/22/13

A question has often been asked, does a man write differently than a woman? September 22, 2013

I’d like to reframe the question, does one person write differently than another? Here, the answer is a definite yes. It’s called the author’s style. A good feeling for what I mean by style comes from recalling great authors like Susan Elizabeth Phillips or Harlan Coben. If you even read the tiniest of passages from them, perhaps with the help of context, you likely recognize their writing. (This is not author intrusion or showing off, but rather the vibrancy of a great artist applying his/her master strokes.)

It is true that any individual man would have more difficulty getting into the head of a woman and visa versa or more difficulty applying whole brain versus right brain problem solving techniques. BUT, not for the great authors. In my opinion, a great author has the ability to slip into any character’s mind and action and deliver a story we’ll never forget.

Just for fun who wrote these tiny, obscure snippets from best sellers? If you fail to get any, congratulations, you are normal. If you get all three, slow down, it is possible you may be reading ‘too’ much.

Who wrote?  . . . he took her hand in his and she felt the way it warmed her the whole way back. (to her parent's home)

The answer to the above will be the subject of the attached video at the bottom of this blog post, but for the next two I’ll leave them without answers, unless you ask.

Who wrote? . . . and he pressed her hand lightly as he took it to place in Note’s. As he did so, the child moved within her, and she winced because the movement was so sudden and so firm.

Or? . . . He had her over a barrel, and he knew it. She took in the messy motor home, the surly teenager, and the fussing infant. Then she gazed at the big, roughneck of a man with his broad shoulders and devil’s smile. Did she want to stay on the run badly enough to put up with all this?
* * *
There’s something else all three of these snippets have in common. They’re all plain English. I believe the most important part of any individual style is clarity. It has to be, if readers don’t understand something they might start drifting. If they start drifting, they may stop reading. Great writers, male or female, retain large audiences.

 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

To our brothers and sisters 9/11

September 11, 2001

In honor of those who died on 9/11

NINETY-NINE STORIES
By RW Richard
A wall of searing blue flames pressed Hussam to the melted and broken windows. He couldn’t breathe and the heat was hell.
“It’s you,” the pretty girl from personnel ran up and said. Over the months, he had stolen glances of her and she did the same, both gutless wonders.
“I’m Hussam Fayyad, your boss’s boss.”
“I know. Save your breath. I’m Sarah Bernstein.” He knew.
They locked their hands, tight. Leaned out and hesitated. Then, Sarah’s wavy auburn hair caught fire.
“Marry me.” She screamed from the pain, tears evaporating. Taking off his jacket, he wrapped her head.
“I will. . . . I do.” Holding hands tightly, they jumped out from the ninety-ninth floor.
 
“I do,” she tried to say—her breath pushed inward by the rush of air—not that he could hear her anyway. She closed her eyes, he held unto her like a vise, as if they were one. Perhaps now they were.
"Mom and Dad, I’d like you to meet my fiancĂ©e, Hussam Fayyad.” Her folks' home, a big split-level in Oradell New Jersey, had beautiful large tile floors, a modern kitchen, with a menorah on the table. The candles had pooled on the tabletop.
“I guess it’s stupid for me to tell my daughter she should have chosen a nice Jewish boy?” Sarah’s mom asked rhetorically.
“We’re soul mates,” Hussam said.
“We’re besherte, mom.” She put it in Yiddish terms.
 
He dared not open his eyes and lose this vision of her mom and dad. He had always thought about Sarah, trying to get up the nerve to ask her out. Worried of cultural, political, and religious differences. He didn’t believe in treating women like second-class citizens, not at work, not in marriage. His hiring practices and office policies touted the heart of a modern liberated Muslim.
“We’ll always love the thought of you,” her mom and dad said, hugging him.
“We have to go to the wedding now,” Sarah said, pulling his hand.
 
At the wedding, Hussam’s little brother carried the ring on a purple pillow. Sarah always knew Hussam would come by, lean on her desk, ask her out. They’d marry; have three kids, two girls, one boy, or the other way around. They both wanted to be outvoted in either case. These gorgeous kids would grow up brilliant and loving, real menches; oh yes, two dogs, just right.
“I am so happy to have you in my heart.” Hussam’s parents, both a little portly, hugged her by the orchids stationed at the first row of seats in their garden.
Tears turned to rivers. Images rifted through her of falafel, lamb kebob, along with gefilte fish, Manischewitz Blackberry for the toast. Bruce Springsteen’s band struck up, ‘Here Comes the Bride.’
“He took my hand,” she explained to his mom and dad by way of apology.
“Thank you, pretty Sarah. My son, he always work, work, work.”
Sarah wished the world a better place, maybe a little less work, a little more love.
“He needs a strong Jewish girl to love him,” his dad said. They kissed her cheeks.
“I always had and always will love him,” Sarah said. She had harbored a tiny love, like a seedling, hoping to water it. No doubt about her feelings, now.
Martin Luther King without thinking forgot to add one word, Muslim. “. . . when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews, Muslims, and Gentiles, Protestant and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: 'Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.'”
Sarah’s heart beat the rhythm of Martin’s words. She felt Hussam heard and saw Martin with her at the Lincoln Memorial, because he squeezed her. He’d never let go.
I am within you, Sarah.
I am within you, Hussam.
“Great Grand Papa.” Isaac Bernstein was gassed at Auschwitz, yet thin, young, suspendered, a silly fedora, munching on a pipe, his eyes opened to heaven.
“You bring the right man with you, mazel tov. Hussam’s great grand mom and pop are at the bridge table with your great grandma, waiting for me to come back. You see, I’m the dummy. Those two died in Gaza. Bam, to pieces.” He splayed his hands.
At the wedding, Cyndi Lauper spread her many orange, red, and yellow petticoats on the back step. With a sad face, she sang, 'Time After Time.'
The Rabbi and Imam smiled from under the canopy on this day of brilliant blue. They finished with one voice, “in death you will start, because love is eternal.”
 
Almighty God, Allah, blessed them, opened his arms, and said, “Kiss already.”

We kissed
 
 
 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Bizarro World, September 8, 2013

Bizarro World

Last week I wrote about a strange rift in the space time continuum, otherwise known as male/female relations. I wrote about the beach. Funny, at dog beach, all the dogs seem to know it’s neutral territory. The Jets (bulldogs) and Sharks (tea cup poodles) (refer to West Side Story for more) have no problem mixing but don’t mix it up. For humans it is not neutral territory, it’ds vortex of sensuality that sucks you into each other.

Well if you got my driftwood, boys and girls and men and women find it easier to approach each other. Maybe because the adults aren’t wearing much in clothes and the kids just love to play.

There must be other places where this phenomenon can be observed. Yes. At any Romance Writers of America function. Why is this not proof of an alternative universe?

Good news guys (males). The business of RWA is to further the careers and promote excellence of romance writers. So they talk shop. Shop is about craft. Craft is about the happily ever after, except sometimes in the case of erotica which only makes the conversations spicier. So they talk love, and sex, both sweet and graphic. They had no problem when I first joined. They paid me no mind as penises and breasts, hearts and souls filled the atmosphere. I kicked myself. The sweet romance writers and the bawdy also had no problem sharing a table.

It was never personal, although once in a while a face would bloom red.

I worried that I would fit in or cramp their style but they treated me like one of the girls and we were definitely in the locker room.

I’ve got company but if anybody responds I will write concrete and very funny examples to amuse you. So male type people, whataryawaiting for, come on down to the next RWA function and join into a strange world where men and women have no problems taking about the most intimate things imaginable. You should be so lucky with your wife, or maybe you’d learn how to be so lucky with your wife.

I have to run, but I found out the hotel survellience tapes recorded our meetings. So guys, what are you waiting for?

 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The male POV over time


Does the male POV change over time? (or for that matter, the female POV)? September 1, 2013

When I was a boy my family vacationed in Wildwood by the Sea (Wildwood Crest), New Jersey. I played in the surf. A girl hopped over tiny waves in front of me like she was doing a hula hoop.

“I’m jumping on crabs, before they can bite me,” she said.

“Me too.” We jumped together laughing and holding hands. We ran to shore to build sand castles because we both knew the crabs would only take so much pounding before they’d get mad and bite.

When I was a young teen in the same surf, a girl in a two piece, mostly straight up and down stood near me. She was shy, so I said, “Watch out for the crabs.”

“How do you keep from getting bitten?”

“You have to float on your back and never touch the sand.” I taught her how to float. After a while we slid onto the shoreline by making little paddling motions with our hands. We were safe, we figured. So we built a sand castle at water’s edge. No crabs were allowed.

When I was an older teenager, worrying about crab bites was beneath me. A young lady in a bikini swam past, stopped, and pirouetted while jumping over each small wave.

“The water keeps pulling me away from my family,” She said offering her hand.

“Don’t worry,” I pulled her gently, “I’m a life guard. You are safe with me.” I don’t know about her heart, but mine was pounding. Instead of sand castles we forgot about her parents and mine and took a walk.

When I was a young man, I ventured out to catch the first breaks and body surf for long rides. I surfed upside down and performed all sorts of tricks just to see who was boss, me or the Atlantic Ocean. But a far more dangerous entity approached. She jumped in and out of the water like a dolphin. Her sleek body and bold nature caught my eye. She had the fast stroke of someone who was on a swim team. But I had the eye of a lifeguard and worried for her safety.

“You’re good.”

“I was hoping you could teach me how to body surf.” That was all I needed to know. I bragged about being a lifeguard and assistant swim team coach, but mostly I helped guide her body into the waves. The touch of her was magic to me. There in the water, she kissed me saying thanks. We body surfed every day and walked the boardwalk at night, ending each night in sweet embrace.

When I was an old man, well I am one. I strode out with wild abandon to body surf the biggest of waves in Carlsbad. Sometimes I shy away from the cruel crushers that just rise up ten feet and flop. Sometimes I take the ride anyway, still tossing in some upside down moves. A woman approached me, jumping and pirouetting in the surf. I was amazed. Her figure was perfect. Her face showed the lines of a long and happy life.

“Those waves are too scary.”

“I vaguely remember being a lifeguard, not to worry. You have to dive under the white right before it hits you or you’ll be pulled into shore.”

I soon left her in the surf, once I realized she was practicing safe wave avoidance, and joined my kids, grandkids, and wife on shore. I hoped she didn’t think she was slipping. She was just a girl playing in the surf who didn’t want the crabs to bite her and was just a boy showing off.

The Beach Boys, 1964, Surfer Girl is an ode to the beauty and charm of women and the sea. The song captures the way a boy idolizes (POV) his gal in a natural setting.
 

 
The replay below is for the guys out there and for the way I remember, Christie, Margie, Lois (and that gal in Carlsbad) and the beauty of God's most wondrous creation.
 
Again, The Beach Boys singing Surfer Girl