This blog is for educational purposes (although I feel like I learn just as much from your comments). Dig into the male POV (point of view) for hero and supporting cast, for good guys, bad and inbetween. Find gems or alternate ways of writing male POV.
When I give an opinion, it will be based first on scientific research (I was a research scientist).
THE ROMANTIC NOVELIST
Having temporarily run out of Male POV ideas, I'm blogging about things that will get you rejected by an agent or editor.
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.
By space, I mean the world the alpha lives in and uses to
his advantage. If you’re writing alpha males, you need show this, especially at
the beginning of their arc.
As an example, let’s reflect on something most of us have
experienced. We get married and then must learn to live with each other’s (silly)
habits. Naturally, an alpha male, who knows all, sees his mate’s actions as
inferior to his own. He then feels compelled to teach her how to do it right,
which can lead to arguments. Most young couples have small kitchens and get in
each other’s way. The woman recognizes this but also sees the advantage of
intimacy. The alpha will be aggravated until he becomes civilized and begins to
see the world through his lover’s/wife’s eyes. Hopefully, all this can be
worked out during courtship.
The Lord of the manor yearns to be king.
Does your hero order for both at a restaurant, not consult
on where to go on the next date, talk about himself and his aspirations or does
he listen, enjoy and support her?
What about alphas who have a strong religious or moral code?
The heroine must conform to their way of thinking. Somehow they see last the
humanity of the other, in this case, the object of their desire.
These aren’t generally neatniks but more likely control
enthusiasts. They don’t care about the things around them as long as the things
help them achieve dominance. That is, everything is there for them.
Food for thought: In many Romantic comedies on TV or in the
movies the heroine rejects this type of male in favor of someone more loving.
In many romance novels, the heroine tolerates and decides to change the Alpha
or decides he will change after falling desperately for her. There is no right
and wrong way here. Don’t be lured by the everybody-does-it-that-way argument.
For no particular reason other than education on alphas and that the following song makes my wife laugh: Justin Bieber, 2016, Sorry
Handsome Ben at 26 wants to find the love his parents have.
This 6’4” Renaissance man was a star quarterback, loves basketball, and yet is an avid traveler and a
champion of varied cultures. He has worked at a zoo in Peru, traveled through
the jungles of Bolivia and even hiked the spiritual trails of famed Machu
has time off from work now and has committed to focus every day on finding
love. He found too much.
gorgeous woman, Amanda, 25, divorced, with two little girls is compelling with
a nurturing, funny personality. Ben's heart, being infinite, has more than enough room for Amanda and her two babies.
other woman*, Lauren, also 25, is the cutest girl ever. She’s funny and
empathetic. Both women live by the Golden Rule.
to societal rules he must choose one if he wants to be married, (the rare
alternative, polygamy, is not attractive to any of them). Therefore, he must
shred his own heart, break someone else’s and never look back. Be a man, but it won't be easy.
can a man or a woman be in love with two? Love is infinite, but earthly life is
finite. Think back to the days you were dating and I bet you can identify a
point in time where you were uncertain as to which direction to take.
good news. Dedicating to one person does not mean the other will be miserable forever.
A woman with great qualities will get over it and find someone else. Love is infinite.
great news. Dedicating oneself to finding love is also a matter of education and he's going at it, 24/7. Here
the advanced degree on life will reap unending benefits for the couple.
I'm going beyond my simple point to say that his also-rans, girls three and four,were amazing women as well. *Actually at the time of this writing, there are four women left, so the two I chose, as if I had a vicarious interest are just that, Bob's choices, not Ben's. The four remaining are, each in their own way, terrific catches.
Here's a promo for ABC's The Bachelor that fleshes out my thesis above and gives you a chance to ogle via the privacy of your home computer, Ben Higgins and his possible mates.
Some called them kick ass heroines, when they’re spies,
Some say they know what they want and how to get it. These
women are successful in business but are they successful in matters of the
The younger you ask the guy, the more likely he picture his
future unknown mate as a nurturing, affectionate, loving, kind soul, gorgeous and
sexy (naturally), totally dedicated to loving him (toss in—makes him laugh).
Someone he could have and hold, love and protect. Nothing wrong with that. This preconception stems partially from
stereotypes with a dose of insecurity typical to a boy turning man. He enters a
confusing world of adult responsibility and the propagation of the species.
My Renaissance man can be alpha, beta or gamma but always
knows a good woman when he meets one. He’ll shuck off his immature ideas of the
ideal woman when he gets to know her. Perhaps she’ll save him from financial
ruin, rescue him from terrorists; teach him the value of love. It doesn’t
matter. A real hero has no fear of who is boss in any given situation, in fact,
he thanks God he found her, because they make a great team and he finally
understands the true meaning and can feel, love.
Last night, Hallmark premiered, Valentine Ever After, starring, Autumn Reeser, Vanessa Matsui and Eric Johnson. In the movie, the writer adeptly explores these concepts and how they change people. (30 second promo)
I'm happy to introduce a recent addition to RWASD, a great writer and another male point of view, Joel Dorr:
Real Men Write—and
How often have you picked up a novel to find all the male
characters were as vanilla flavored as a Carnation Instant Breakfast? They have
no purpose other than to be a man prop character to push the story along.
You’ve read them, the boyfriend who cheated on our heroin for unknown reasons
or how about the doting, layered fiancé who works all the time, leaving our leading
lady alone wanting more sex. Vanilla characters have their place—getting the
back story out and even as a dialogue dummy for our main character, but how do
we add a little flavor to the same old boring breakfast?
As a male and writing from a male perspective in romance, I
find it helpful to develop comical and quirky traits that make us laugh at these
Y chromosome characters. Perhaps it’s the funny way he suddenly breaks into a sweat
whenever he spots someone’s mini-wheat adorably licking an ice cream cone and
fumbling it through their five year-old fingers within splattering distance of
his Michael Jordon Nikes. Or the uncontrollable, yet nerdy predictable way, his
head spasms to the right craning up to look at ceiling tiles, whenever a pretty
Asian gal tries to start a conversation with him.These idiosyncrasies not only build an interesting
male character, but the quirkiness is also relatable to the audience and memorable. Can’t you feel the anxiety of a child nearly
dumping his ice cream cone on your $300 pair of shoes? What do you do when
someone you find extremely hot walks up to you? Let’s use that as an example and dig into the neuroses of a character
--let’s call him Bob, the same name as the host of this blog--and discover what
makes him avert his attention away from..let’s say attractive Asian ladies. Some
writers might naturally toss out the cliche explanation of a childhood crush on
a sexy Asian teacher… Would anyone like a little dry toast with your Instant Breakfast?
Every character has the potential for a shareable moment that moves the story
along and adds some flavor. One method I use is to think like the readers of
grocery store tabloids, searching out the juiciest and most ridiculous of possibilities.
In my imagination, Bob’s issue would look more like this: While
Bob was a tween of fourteen, he was chasing after an errant Frisbee, overthrown
and clearing the fence, landing in the petunias under the bedroom window of the
grumpy next-door neighbor. As Bob rummaged around looking for the Frisbee,
careful not to trod on the old Asian woman’s flowers and get grounded again, he
glanced inadvertently into the window. Sleuthiness turned into horror as he was
frozen like a character in a Stephen King novel. The
old Asian woman was nearly naked!
to move he stared at her, clad only in her stained bra and grannie underpants,
pulled up over her large, double tummy roll.
had never seen anything so revolting—well, there was that two-headed baby on
the cover of the Enquirer Magazine,
but this was real life.She screamed and
Bob forgot about the Frisbee, making a beeline for his home, hoping she was so
shocked or too old to realize it was him. Unfortunately for poor Bob, that
image would be burned into his retina, an unwanted visual recall for a lifetime.
dong, Bob’s days are numbered the doorbell seemed to chime. As predicted, the
old woman came to the front door and he awaited her trumped up, stalkerish tale
of their encounter. Bob mumbled under his breath, “If I were going to be a
peeping Tom, why would I be looking in her windows, when we have two MILFs in
Bob’s parents called in unison and he marched toward them trying to get his
explanation straight for a reduced sentence. Using his full name was never a
Wong brought over this package for you. It seems the postman made a mistake and
accidently left it at her home. She was hoping to give it to you in person, but
I didn’t know you were home.”
Maybe she didn’t realize it was Bob. Or
perhaps she didn’t see him. Whatever the case, he was home free. Or was he? The
next afternoon while playing Frisbee in the front yard Bob saw Mrs. Wong on the
front porch. She turned catching his eyes and…sent a wink!Yes, definitely a knowing wink confirming the
events of the previous day. He would never forget the image of hospital-issued
underpants pulled up over human fat inner tubes. And that disgusting discomfort
would stay with him forever, tied to any encounter with an Asian woman,
beautiful or not.
Ok, now which explanation is more fun and interesting? Crush
on a pretty teacher or old woman in granny undies? And even if this is your
main character, it makes him human and kind of adorkable, for having such a
silly quirk. If it’s a character you don’t particularly want your reader to
like in the first place, then your layers make him even more of a pathetic,
loser-like jerk. Either way, chasing the laugh may help you enjoy adding some
personality to your male character making him much more interesting. And come
on, we can all relate, to some ridiculous idiotic tick we’ve manifested as a
result of a simple, yet traumatic event, which happened long ago, so wouldn’t
I used this technique a lot when writing my new romantic
comedy Those Crazy Notions of Otherwise Intelligent
People. Yes, it’s true, real men
also write romantic comedies along with the ladies. I have the “real man” pedigree growing up in Montana and Wyoming, where as a young boy,
my brothers and I raced by horseback across the grass pastures of my
grandfather’s ranch. There is no video game that can match the exhilaration of
riding full speed on the back of a galloping horse. With a full access nature
pass, I swam, rafted and fished many of the lakes and rivers of Wyoming.Early inspiration hit when I located and
walked down the same dirt path Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid used to
hunker down in their Hole in the Wall hideout. My brothers and I carried
fishing poles, instead of guns, that is when we didn’t have a pretend posse
chasing us. I was able to put myself through college playing basketball,
getting degrees in Theatre and Broadcasting. Later I began writing and
developing stories for film and television, until 2006 when I became the Editor
of Dramabiz Magazine, a theatre
business management monthly. How does a writer
describe himself--with a story, of course? About 20 years ago, I flew to
Wyoming to visit my family. Seated next to me on the airplane, was a gentleman
with long, white hair, pulled back in a ponytail wrapped in leather ties with
beautiful beads. We fell into an easy conversation telling each other our
“stories”. He spoke of his tribe, their history and traditions. I countered
with my clan, cowboys and Irish and German ancestors. In true “cowboys and
Indians” fashion, the conversation turned to the Battle of the Little Big Horn
and “Yellow Hair”. Generations of Dorrs living in Wyoming and Montana heard the
stories—and not the kind you read in history books. We had much disdain for
George Armstrong Custer, the great injustice the U.S. Government put on the
native Indians and the fiction portrayed as historical fact. Finding common
historical ground, the gray haired man shared how this too is a story passed
down through the generations in his family, in fact some of his relatives died
as they fought the American encroachment led by “Yellow Hair.” At the end of
our trip, my new friend revealed that he was the official storyteller for the
Oglala Sioux Nation. He expressed honor in meeting another tribe’s storyteller,
which struck me. He said that I, just like him, was destined to be a
storyteller, and that it was my responsibility to pass down my tribe’s history.
Years later, I have come to realize what he meant. I have always felt a need to
tell stories, as did my father and his father. Ironically, as I reflect back, I
remember that I wrote my first play after my father took me to the battlefield
at Little Big Horn and explained the truth behind the Indian Nations last great
victory. I was in third grade. Who am I?My name is Joel Michael Dorr and I’m a storyteller from Wyoming.
Thanks so much, Joel, but did he have to be named Bob? The elderly lady I saw was dancing naked under the moon. Oh, I almost forgot.