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 30, 2014

COVER ME, PLEASE

Sometimes an artist presents himself naked to the world.

I'm waiting for some Beta readers to report back in on this novel, one being a world famous author, yay. I can wait for you if you'd like to read it; so send me a request via my email or by commenting below and the novel is yours free of charge with two provisos. Please ask this week and either comment about the story to me or write a review (from outragiously wonderful to full stinky) when it gets to Kindle and/or Createspace.

So naked I present my comedy, but what do I mean? An artist should not look for something to hide behind. He should share, hopefully putting a smile on your face It's not for picturing me naked—which would be a like reading a Steven King story—scary, but for displaying the contents of my soul in every word I write.




Draft cover: DOUBLE HAPPINESS
 
 
 
GOING TO THE CHAPEL OF LOVE by the Dixie Cups, 1964
I like presenting the original artist as far back in time as I can find them. But I couldn't resist what follows. This next one is extra credit for those who must hear the song (by the Dixie Cups) one more time. While the song is sung, a collage of wedding photos over the decades (starting in the 1920s!) has been put together likely as a mix of retrospective and social commentary about marriage over the years. Try it, you'll like it.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Why not proposing marriage can be the gallant and difficult thing to do

The Bachelor Oddities

Nearly everybody has condemned Juan Pablo, the single-dad bachelor on The Bachelor 2014.

He had told Clare (runner-up) he didn’t know her except that she was very good at something sexual. He later explained he wanted to get to know her more. An American Bachelor would have and has often said that they love/like someone else more ( a more diplomatic positive spin).

Although they are on the show for months with nothing else to do but eat, sleep, drink, absorb love, the show has its flaws but so does life.

Many couples walk off declaring their everlasting love (and may mean it) only to suffer through having to keep the result of the show secret for months (until the last episode airs). Some couples, after the show, struggle with geographical undesirability. This is one of many reasons why JP Rosenbaum (contractor NYC) and Ashley Hebert, (fledgling dentist, Philadelphia) found each other (early in the show) and are now happily married (Phila & NY are close).

Back to Juan Pablo, he showed his disinterest in the third place gal, Andi Dorfman by not asking her anything about herself. True, this is not the American way of treating a woman who has gone on a long journey with the bachelor. Maybe, his English skills failed him or he was far too blunt for any woman. [Andi Dorfman, Catholic, father who would hunt down anyone who wrongs her. LOL She's an assistant DA, Atlanta, portrayed as a kick ass gal—for those who like to write their heroines as raw and refined in a gorgeous package, you may find the upcoming season must watch because she’s The Bachelorette.

Nikki (pediatric nurse) won the final rose and nothing else.

Juan Pablo and Nikki are still together as of today despite the spurious stories which feed hatred for this overly frank man. Like I said two weeks ago, Juan would refuse to give Nikki a ring because Nikki’s father had told him to please not propose until he was 100% certain. When you decide to hate Juan, consider the tree and the fruit it bears. Consider his culture.

Here's the famous nonproposal, ABC, The Bachelor 2014 Nikki and Juan Pablo:

 
 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The unreliable male hero

AN UNRELIABLE MALE NARRATOR

The term, unreliable narrator can be confusing. It should mean a character’s thoughts or actions don’t reflect reality, at times. Writing a character like this can be unsuccessful because the reader may think they've learned something about your fictional world and may become unhappy (with the writer) when later they find out the truth.

Here's a couple male point-of-view examples, but note, sometimes human errors in thought can apply to the female point of view. But don't admit this, guys.

Many guys misinterpret female attention as an invitation for sex.

Suppose a guy is being pushed on his arm by a gal who is reacting to something he said, or a guy is hugged by a relative stranger (welcoming or congratulating him). Many guys will immediately assume the gal wants him sexually. There may be some innocent attraction here, but that is way different from the female prospective as wanting to have relations.

Let’s say in the hug, the guy notices the gal’s nipples become erect or popped out afterwards or her eyes dilate, etc. Again, even in this case, he may have read too much into it. It may just be physiological (the way God made us). So blame the Almighty, guys, and then run like hell. It may also be that the attraction is buried under the weight of what is right and worng (for a woman).

People often take as fact the correctness of the religion or political party they chose. Many of those untrained in logic and deduction will hold onto a ‘fact’ no matter what. “Are you crazy, sir? The Titanic will not sink.”

One way of telling the reader your character is unreliable is through author intrusion. Not recommended. A better way is to, at some point, shift point of view to another character who observes the other character’s strange views or actions and comments and/or thinks about them. The third way is to show some measure of doubt, via interior monologue, in the unreliable character.

Alternatively, writing fiction can be so fun when you twist reality/story to conform to the unreliable character.


Enjoy the Trailer for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 2013, starring Ben Stiller.

 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

How to handle alpha heroes from a different culture

EEES OKAY

Why foreign alpha heroes may act differently than an American alpha.

I’ve said it before; The Bachelor (ABC) is a treasure trove of dialogue and emotions for a romance writer. If you think it’s scripted (impossible because of the many hundreds—not one has said this happened). Remember: you script your novels. Novel dialogue is a step(s) beyond normal, fluff is taken out, drama is increased. It is more likely the producers cut and paste for maximum emotional content. Does this sound like something a romance writer does?

Juan Pablo (from Venezuela) is a single dad who tomorrow night will pick (orsay no to both) one of the two remaining women. Some of the rejected women have leveled charges that he’s not honest (is he on the show for fame?). This has happened with some past bachelors, less so with the bachelorettes. Before you decide on his honesty or consider writing a heroe from another country, consider excerpts from a fan letter about South American culture. Cultural research is a must.

Fan: South Americans hold harmony in relationships as more important than expressing thoughts directly. BTW, Juan’s ‘eees okay’ has its American counterpart in the pop psychology adult-adult relationships (some adults act as parent/child/adult to other adults). Obviously adult-adult is best for our day to day lives. See book “I’m Okay, You’re Okay.”

Fan: In Venezuela, the collective feelings are more important than individual feelings. On the show, some girls felt slighted by him. He ‘had’ to be honest in how much emotion he invested in his meetings with those now off the show. He was always polite and concerned for them (RWR).

Fan: meeting the family is not a big deal. Take this thought under advisement. Or watch and see.

Fan: They don’t pick up on some body language (and verbal language) and speak when it’s considered inappropriate. Hum, watch and see for yourself. ( Fan: Americans take turns in conversations.)

I have said this before, romance sells because people want to see love created, struggle and bloom into a happily-ever-after. There’s something to be said for the struggle and if Juan Pablo doesn’t find love on this show for whatever reason, eees okay Juan.
 
My favorite gal, Nikki, is a pediatric nurse with a wicked sense of humor.
 

Just a note to Bachelor fans. Nikki's dad asked Juan Pablo to propose to his daughter only if he was 100% certain. The show twists hearts if nothing else. The bachelor or bachelorette has feelings for more than one person. Over time, the feelings diminish, but what do you do when you are down to two, do you take a chance and propose because you have more feelings for one? I predict that won't happen this time, because Juan Pablo respect's Nikki's father. An American alpha is not likely to do this.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?

WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?

This is not me asking you. This question is about what your reader wants from you. When someone writes a book, they usually do it so that they might lift spirits or entertain someone else. Hopefully many someone elses.

There’s a rare bird who will say I write for only myself. This post isn’t about that person. Once you decide you write for more than yourself you must consider what others like. To know what others like you must realize that tastes are constantly changing. Therefore, it is wise to keep your finger on the popular pulse. Goning-by-the-way-side are the days when a publisher will dictate what you should write, partially because they’re not elastic enough to change quickly (this is changing) to keep up with people’s tastes and also due to the growing interest in indie-published books (truly elastic marketability).

You might say, ‘I’m not a whore.’ I’ll tell you, we are just haggling over the number of people (‘price’ in the old joke).

Hollywood has huge resources they apply to knowing what the public wants and giving it to them. Whether it be a Screwball comedy set in the depression where a down and out meets a rich girl (It Happened One Night) or take a look at the best picture nominees (today). I.e. Twelve Years a Slave is a good example.

On TV the average age of the viewing public has jumped from 41 in 1993 to 54 in 2014 (baby boomers rule and spend).

Records or songs have always been bought by the young. Many of these are love songs and quite beautiful or entertaining. Although the young buy records, the older listen as well and so should the writer of romance listen.

Keep your finger on the public’s pulse. Hopefully, when you write what interests you, you’ll also write what interests the readers. So you can afford to buy a record, see a movie, read a book.

I’ll leave you with a true story (and then a song). I wrote a romance novel which used 9/11 and NYC as backdrops. I waited to query agents/editors until after Hollywood gave the green light to movies that also used 9/11 (Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close) and TV (Blue Bloods) etc. After major disasters, the media typically waits ten years, as was the case with the Titanic (anyone remember?). I was told no thanks because the subject was taboo. Someone wasn’t keeping their finger on the pulse. Plenty of romances have war and horrid events as backdrops. So what did I do? I’ve hired a Harlequin freelance editor to work the story over. I’ll give the agents/editors one last try and then I’ll publish it myself. Those of you who have read it or portions of it know the story has merit and IMO is a terrific romance.

WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME by Adam Lambert (a San Diegan) can also apply to the artist’s struggle to make love to his audience, whether it be the fantastically talented Adam or you. 2009.