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).
Typically, I present videos from YouTube to bolster the point.
Bob (RW Richard) aka THE ROMANTIC NOVELIST
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.
A nine or ten-year-old girl asks her nanny how do you know
if you’re in love.
“You’ll want to share something beautiful with him.” (As
seen in Hallmark’s October Kiss).
Of course, the nanny wanted to simplify for the girl, but it
was obviously emanating from her heart. There's a lot to her words.
Let’s elaborate from the male POV.
A guy’s in love. He wants to share something he finds
beautiful with his gal.
He wants to think up interesting things to entertain or
lighten her mood and show he cares. He’s focused on her happiness. He’ll always be thinking about how he can make her happy, make her feel wonderful. He’ll anticipate her needs and he’ll think outside the box
to discover something to tickle her fancy, to make her laugh.
He'll revel in her femininity and thank God every day for his fantastic creation.
Yes, where is this guy? Well, IMO, he’s much more likely to
be a Beta than Alpha hero.
Not that Alpha’s, so driven, can’t wake up. The arc just has
to be deeper and described (shown) without shortcuts.
Your heroine’s renaissance man awaits the author’s nimble
One example of the opposite of personal love in a guy is
demonstrated by a man who marries or seeks a gal just like good ole’ mom, i.e.
hoping his laundry, food etc. is taken care of and his ego is soothed. We all know too many examples
of guys who never straighten their room in college or anywhere or anytime else. He’ll
wash his car, not the tabletop, because his priorities are ego-centric.
Here’s a kick-ass song by Jennifer Lopez called I Ain’t Your Momma, 2016.
Chemistry, fireworks, head-over-heels, falling, crazy for,
mad about, heart pounding, dizzy are all clichés. But what’s a writer to do? Trying to describe that
inexorable attraction between a man and a woman is nearly impossible because
nobody understands instinct completely and abstractions are at best hazy
Don’t fight the way God made you, enjoy it. Submerge
yourself in the feeling, in being human.
Whether a male hero is Alpha, Beta or Gamma, he shares an instinctual
preference for the visual. As an example: Two strangers are in close proximity
at an event. They keep stealing glances of each other. So much so that they’re
both caught. The Alpha must introduce himself or he’ll go crazy. Beta and Gamma
may be more reserved, offer rationalizations to themselves or a sidekick. For
any man, the instinct to couple with this particular female is as strong as
survival. Why? Refer to God.
The guy will notice that she is also interested, perhaps
equally interested, since their glances are in sync. That’s important for most
men. Thousands of tiny messages are sent between them in split seconds. He will
know at a base level that they’d get along fine and he’ll yearn for it. She’d
share his passion. Of course, heaped on by society, are tons of ‘must haves.’ A
sense of humor, a caring heart, same religion, politics, station in life, you
name it. The Alpha has already made up his mind. They will like each other
because he knows her before he meets her. None of those societal
recommendations are necessary to make a successful couple. However, I hope you
write that they’ll both care about their fellow human beings, unless the story
is about Bonnie and Clyde.
With the broadest smile, he’ll approach her and she him,
like two stars in a tighter and tighter orbit (it won’t take that long) they’ll
destroy and remake each other into something greater than 1 + 1 = 2. They’ll never
be the same. Th way they saw the world before is forever gone.
Readers have a hard time understanding abstractions and too
easy a time with clichés. The writer doesn’t have to answer the why. It’s a
given that a man and a woman will fall in love if they’re right for each other. The Alpha will take the lead. He knows her
before they speak a word. Like the song says, millions of people walk by but I only have eyes for you.
So how does the romance writer avoid abstractions or clichés?
Not entirely possible. Be fresh but completely understandable. If the writer
gets this portion of the story right, everything else will fall into place,
because the reader will identify with and participate in the feelings the hero
and heroine are sharing.
Anybody care to give it a try? It ain’t easy. Would you
prefer your reader to fall in love with your characters just as the hero and heroine fall for
When something is missing from a character's life, how does he or she seek fulfillment, even if they can't identify the problem or know it exists? Here's a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, who nonetheless has the same problem we have just discussed, because she has the same instinct as everybody else. America's SweetHeart, 2016, Elle King:
Doubting Thomas or any other character a writer pens
increases when the author is female. No matter the experience. As you may know,
my position has always been that a writer is a writer no matter their sex.
Let’s just take one Thomas, for now. He’s trained in logic,
the sciences and even understands that the rest of the world prefers to solve
problems using emotion. They don’t always get it right. He can describe to them
why they’re wrong using Boolean or Aristotelian logic, QED/legal arguments and evidence,
scientific principles, the laws of nature and pure insight borne of brilliance
why they are wrong. He can lead them to the right spot where the body must be
buried but no one wants to lift a shovel.
To the heroine, he’s insufferable. That’s a good thing. But
can a female author dawn Spock ears and create a male not driven by emotion seem real or
likable? Of course, right your character somewhat emotionally flat with some zany flaw or two and give the job of humanizing
him to the heroine.
Why should she want to?
Besides being outrageously handsome, good in bed, he
realizes that the best result in life comes from unions. He understands the Golden
Rule transcends religion, and that the idea of treating people like you would
want to be treated is an a priori
truth and the basis on which all his science lies.
Where’s the change, the arc?
The change can come from compromise. Since a large portion
of the world doesn’t believe him, in order to effect change, he must proceed
incrementally. Science is sometimes handicapped by current theory, which someday
will prove insufficient. The heroine can lead the way. That’s just one take or
example. So if the heroine doubts Thomas or the hero doubts her etc. or if the author doubts her ability to render this rascal, have faith.