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, April 24, 2016

I Ain't Your Momma

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 fingers.

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.



Sunday, April 17, 2016

Chemistry...

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 writing.

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 each other?
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:



Saturday, April 9, 2016

Ipanema


I'm on vacation so I thought I'd dust off the following while I'm enjoying some sun shine...

Homage to The Girl From Ipanema sung by Joao Gilberto & various






When I stroll the beaches

for the girl from Ipanema

She is there, really there

I find her in the eyes of girls

in their sway and their swirls

They dance with sand

while the sea plays samba

They touch the waves - mermaids - all



But their eyes seem so familiar

something beats my heart harder



Anywhere a woman sways

her beauty she displays

No matter where I am from

there is always someone

She stands with me, don’t you see



Tall or small or young or older

the girl stands beside me, and I see



When I stroll the beaches

of Ipanema she is there, really there

I find her in the heart of girls

in the way they smile thru their curls



They dance with sand

while the sea plays samba

They touch the waves - mermaids - all



But I notice their eyes

I’ve seen them before

Anywhere a woman walks

The beauty you seek is there

with you now. It’s really there.



Ooh, I walk on gladly

Pulling my arms

she holds on firmly

And I do see - I really see.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Doubting Thomas

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.