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 27, 2016

“You are My Person.”


She couldn’t imagine a better human being. He was not only tall, dark and handsome, for his 26 years he showed an amazing maturity. Driven to love by the golden rule. Funny, empathetic, thoughtful. He was her person. Yet he had so many women chasing him, but he found ways to reassure her during the dating process. Part of what he liked about her, she knew, was her wearing her heart on her sleeve. She accomplished this by communicating through verbal and physical cues. She’d show and tell. Just a reflection of her heart and upbringing.

To him, she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, but her heart far exceeded her beauty.

When the time was right and there was only one girl for him. He brought her to the seductive shores of a Caribbean island.

She must have known. Beaming up at him, she finished her greeting with, “You’re my person. I love you. I love you.”

He had waitied long enough. Down on one knee, he proposed. Her radiant smile lit his world, he would dedicate his life to her, if only she would have him.

She cupped her face, her smile bigger than the sun. “Of course, I will.”

He rose. They embraced.

“I'll have you my whole life. My whole life.”

“Lauren, You’re my person.”

“You’re my person.

“You’re my person," he teased. “I love you.”



Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Little Nash Rambler

I write, therefore I am.

I’m running out of ideas for how to portray the male POV in fiction.

But.

I published the first (acceptable) 101 blog posts as 101 Tips, Primarily on Writing the Male Characters. I know I can get out 101 more and am more than half-way, but then I’ll either say goodbye to this premise and blog or change its focus. Some men stop and ask for directions. I stop and ask for your advice.

I want to thank my mostly professional RWA women and some men for their support of this blog. For those who are curious about blog effectiveness I can offer my own numbers.

1. I get between 100 to 600 hits a week. I don’t know how to compare this to other blogs, but I’m happy in my own little world.

2. The blog is partially responsible for a Harlequin editor requesting a full manuscript of A More Perfect Union, a somewhat tongue in (cute) cheek, satirical romance in which the male and female nominees for President of the U.S. fall in love.

Okay, Bob; what about the male POV?

Not too many romance authors write male professors or scientists as their heroes because they aren’t typically Alphas. A sensitive, introspective man is better equipped (or educated) to solve the world’s problems, but what about divining a woman’s heart? In sculpting this problem, lies the fun. Are they more likely to be attuned to the feminine mystique or will an arc of story/character-question be your technique?

I’m not always going to suggest you try something different (like a Beta hero). You may be under contract to publish cowboy stories, etc., and that’s great because the truth to any story, no matter how many times and variations in which it is told, is in the development of a character the reader will fall in love with. The development is always unique, but is it unforgettable? You might consider toying with a little role reversal in a character trait or two. More of that next week.

So what is the little Nash Rambler? A song, yes. A way of writing or blogging by rambling, perhaps. A way of looking at male characters in a different light, yes.
The Little Nash Rambler is better known as Beep Beep, by the Playmates, 1958. The song is an example of accelerando, in which the tempo of the song gradually increases throughout the song. So goes some romance fiction, if you can picture that. So my fellow writer, can you get your writing out of second gear?
Beep Beep: (If this doesn't click open go to YouTube and search for the song and click on the video with a million+ hits.)
https://video.search.yahoo.com/video/play;_ylt=A0SO80LXE.9W2WMArgxXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEydWMxZXJyBGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjE3OTJfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=beep+beep+song&back=https%3A%2F%2Fsearch.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%3Fp%3Dbeep%2Bbeep%2Bsong%26ei%3DUTF-8&fr=%26fr%3Dsfp&turl=http%3A%2F%2Fts2.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOVP.Vb3f76b9a2acb62128cbf22b1f85d555a%26pid%3D15.1&rurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DenqNl7tdLR4&tit=BEEP+BEEP+%7E+THE+LITTLE+NASH+RAMBLER+%7E+The+PLAYMATES+...&l=198&vid=5b3cb5e7c419bf184891a7e2e7b35c8a&sigr=11ba3lv63&sigb=11p6m48bn&sigt=11nibkadh&sigi=12bc1ruq3

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Hero and Heroine Don't Understand Each Other

It’s not just the English and Americans who are separated by a common language. The younger the fledgling couple is, the more likely they will miss the cues or clues to understanding each other’s motivations. Empathy and understanding grow with experience, which usually translates into more years on the planet.

Many married couples come to appreciate each other like a fine and aged wine.

Your young hero is built to save the world. Therefore, he’s especially prone to see compromise as weakness. This can ruin a budding relationship in a novel. Think back to all the fights you had with that wrong-for-you prospective mate. Just perhaps, if he or she became thoughtful for only a short while and reflected on the inner motivations of his or her candidate for marriage, a different outcome might have presented itself.

But, it’s dangerous and difficult to write the young hero as precocious in this way. Something about realism. That’s why many use the sidekick/mentor/wizard as a guide to a HEA (happily ever after). Besides, it’s funnier to see a young couple who the reader wants to see succeed; stumble and then the reader can’t wait to see how he/she recovers.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

A Diverse Hero or Heroine

We’ve all seen and heard the dissension lately about the lack of diversity on some TV but mostly in the movies. The old way of thinking goes something like the majority of people watching (or reading) are white so give them white heroes and heroines. This has always been short sighted, as so many TV programs have shown. Nowadays, young and new adults are colorblind. The majority of people in the US will soon be non-white, so why not reflect the real needs of Americans.

What about what's right or wrong?
 
I confess, I marched for civil and equal rights. We older writers might notice things differently than our younger readers. A liberal writer might feel guilty not seeing any other race in the lead role. The same might be said, nowadays, for a cultural conservative. They’d say let the most talented rise to the top. These are people who love Doctor Carson. The point: We all might see color, our younger readers won’t. This is why whoever you write as your hero or heroine, make that person and their problems compelling and be colorblind.

Is the Academy of Arts and Sciences prejudiced in practice? I don’t know.

Is the popular TV franchise the Bachelor/Bachelorette failing to be diverse? I do know. Paul Lee, ABC Entertainment Group President and The Bachelor producer, Mike Fleiss are tweaking the system for choosing the next lead, not by simply picking the one who has the maximum exposure. Near and dear to my heart is the gorgeous half-Filipina woman, Caila, who is expected to get the nod as next Bachelorette. My wife is Filipina. Please know that the show has had many people of color on it, they just haven’t won with the notable exception of another Filipina, Catherine, who married her “Bachelor,” Sean.

Hallmark Romance TV movies (there are hundreds of them) has always had white heroes and heroines. It’s embarrassing (as I have remarked before).

So, consider that your younger hero/heroine is very likely to be colorblind if you tell the story true.

Pitfall for writers: infusing your young characters with the mindset you carried through another era.