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 9, 2014

Why people sometimes take the wrong path

The Dichotomy of Man

This might seem like a boring lecture, but if it gives insight into why characters act the way they do, you will have forever more grounded your stories.
In my blog post, Jan 10th, I made a little fun of Alpha Man. In my research for the post, I connected some anthropological ideas that will today’s arguments over just what does it mean to be human.

All humans, in varying degrees, are studies in contradictions. They are both fighters and peacemakers, monogamous and not, selfish and sharing, loving and hateful. Saints make decisions to always stay the course, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have urges.

There are ways of understanding this. Good and evil is a religious aspect of man. You may have been taught that you are the salt of the earth (spice) and are the light of the world (discoverers of truth and inventors of change).

Some paleo-anthropologists posit that man for hundreds of thousands of years, most of the time on the brink of near extinction, sought out strangers to strengthen their numbers, sought out multiple partners to increase offspring. About fifteen thousand years ago things changed. Populations started soaring with the advent of farming. Fences or borders caused problems and man has been at war ever since, but he has not forgotten his peaceful routes. Many scientists see a progressive swing (with bumps along the way) toward civility in all facets of human nature. I believe we are more good than evil.

So your hero, whether he be alpha or beta has these contradictions deep within his genes and/or soul. So does the heroine. Women and men approach procreation differently, but that’s a subject for another post.

Writing a nuanced character, means investing in these human contradictions, whether it be in dialogue, direct or indirect thought, or the environment chosen.

Call me a fool, but shouldn't we be dancing rather than shooting each other?

US Nationals, 2014, Davis and White dance to My Fair Lady


1 comment:

  1. Good insight into male and female differences. Thanks for the line about dancing. Also for the clip of Davis and White. I watched their performance at the Olympics. I haven't been so thrilled since Torvill and Dean and they were British.