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 27, 2013

Lydia Michaels talks about writing entirely in the male POV. Oct. 27, 2013

Award winning author, Lydia Michaels, has kindly consented to allow me to turn her inquiry about this blog into a guest spot in which she discusses the male POV. She has just published a very interesting and unique romance. Entirely in the male POV. 
   
I wrote Simple Man because I heard a song (Some Nights by FUN) and the story came to me. It came to me in male POV. I also saw some reader forums where women were searching for the ever hard to find male POV, so I figured I'd go for it. My Character, Shane, is a man in his 20's with no reason to act like an adult (not an uncommon situation). When I wrote Simple Man I did so in a matter of 5 days. It was one of the easiest stories I've ever written and while editing I found myself cracking up, because, let's face it, men get to say things women characters can't always get away with.

When I first pitched Simple Man I was told the title was "not sexy" and almost changed it to Unsung Hero, but the song Simple Man spoke to me and that was what I was going for so I kept it. Then I was told Shane was simply "unredeemable". You see, he's very irresponsible in the beginning. He's also selfish and burdened by financial problems and the like. He isn't the typical "book boyfriend". His priorities are beer, making sure no one smokes his stash, and getting laid. He thinks like a man. Us women like to fantasize about our heroes being perfect, but real men aren't. They aren't built like gods, they can't last forever, and they hardly say what we expect or hope. Yet, we direct our real lives around love, love for the real man. My characters, not just in Simple Man, but in other books I've written, have a tendency to be "real". My latest bestseller (SKIN) is about an obese woman who hates herself so much she can't recognize genuine love when it's staring her in the face. I've had more success with my "real" characters than my "fantasy" ones and my readers now look for them in my work.

I watched men and thought long and hard about what makes them tick, what motivates them to grow and mature. There is a need to work, to provide, to be self sufficient. Where romance seems to motivate females, men are directed by the simple power of pride. The male ego seems to be the driving force in all decisions, yet there are hidden vulnerabilities woman may not see or want to see.

Simple Man is a romance and as such, I played on those insecurities. Is he making enough money? When he's laid off is she judging him? His reluctance to get government assistance vs. his need to keep his home, which is a meager trailer. She has a nice house and he's afraid to go inside because it will kill his mood. The thing is... there's now a child involved and Shane must step up and swallow his pride in a lot of ways to be the hero he needs to be for his defenseless nephew. But when his happiness is threatened, all his attempts and little successes come tumbling down and he breaks in a way.

I think it is a truly realistic story and one readers (so far) seem to really enjoy. I'm attaching a blurb and excerpt here for you to look at and if you have any other questions I'd be happy to talk some more. Thanks!

Here's the book trailer if you want to take a look:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwSnY5u_sak (Preview)               
Simple Man isn't on Amazon yet, but will be available there on Monday. The link is http://www.amazon.com/Lydia-Michaels/e/B0071ZV41G/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1382787561&sr=1-2-ent

Called to Order
Calling for a Miracle
Destiny Calls
White Chocolate
All for You
To Catch a Wolfe
Chasing Feathers
Breaking Perfect
Sacred Waters
 
Thanks so much and best of luck with all of your work!
~Lydia Michaels
www.LydiaMichaels.org
 
 
Thank you so much, Lydia.
 
You all know I like to present a video at the end of the post. Reading Lydia's comments led me to choose one of many driven young men with defects . . . Johnny Cash.
 
Walk The Line: trailer, 2005
 
 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Writing down the bones, October 20, 2103


Writing down the bones, October 20, 2013

I’ve recently had the good fortune to read a first draft romance as part of a swap project with my first draft. I quickly realized that things were missing from my swap partner’s manuscript. What wasn’t missing was the bones (the necessary character and scene development). Using this technique, you write each scene you want and quickly. You pay attention to the dialogue and interior monologue but go swiftly or sparingly through what might normally slow some writers down, like research, description, the senses, the who, what, where, why, and when.

How do you write your first draft?
 
Sometimes you don't have to do any research at all and your work can be a hit! Both my nine and six year old grandsons know the words and sounds to this, this, well see for yourself the most viral video in the world today.
 
 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A hero who plows straight ahead, October 13, 2013

Your hero takes a surprising turn.
Does your hero walk straight ahead? If so, he’s not a real man. Heroes (and heroines) must adjust to circumstances. It’s better if the character arcs have stops and starts, up and downs, not necessarily scene by scene. A story that is too smooth is boring, monotonous. For instance, a couple may have decided on principle to wait until they’re married but sometimes the plot or circumstances draw them into each other’s arms before they say I do. The complications resulting from their ‘compromise’ is a story in itself. We’re here to entertain not make stereotypes or stick figures as stiff as cardboard.
I see this type of writing as Baroque art: The Baroque is a period of artistic style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted details to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, architecture, literature, dance, and music. (Started in Rome around 1600 . . .)

Try not to create your hero like this guy did using dead parts from here and there.
Frankenstein, 1931

 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

To indie or not to indie, October 6, 2013

Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don't much care where.
The Cat: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go.
Alice: …so long as I get somewhere.
The Cat: Oh, you're sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.
 ..............................................................
I stand before a fork in the road.
I have just finished a great course on indie-publishing which left me conflicted about which direction to take. Over two and a half years ago I joined RWASD to meet fellow authors/agents/editors, take classes. Get better at craft. I did. Plus I made friends. I have met my idols close up, starting with Mary Leo. I have submitted ‘fulls’ to various agents/editors, but so far no takers. Apparently I write in a different tone. I ascribe that to not yet being all that I can be as a writer, not to being male.

At one point I was asked by an editor if I wrote like a male or a female (we were partially joking around). I tried to explain that I could mimic a female writing, but I now know that was the “buzzer” bad answer. I write like an experienced writer!

Yet I’m conflicted. I’m sitting on four romance novels. Three of which have received very high marks in contests. The first one I wrote, not so much. Unless lightning strikes I’m, going to publish over the next year all four through my own company (of one) WEB press.

There’s my plan. I’m not driven by dollars or fame, but I do want to see my babies born. I’m an artist and believe my work has value. Secondarily, I intend to land an agent/editor for whatever I’m working on at the moment (when it’s ready) and if I don’t I’ll hand the ms. over to me, owner of WEB Press.

I do have a question. What do you think about a banner or back cover statement about a division of WEB Press which publishes guys who write romance, along with their mission statement? Is any publicity good publicity?

An apropos scene from Disney's Cartoon classic: Alice in Wonderland