Monday, March 26, 2012

Guest Post on Male Character Point of View: Author Chris Redding



Please welcome Author, Chris Redding to the blog today. Enjoy her guest post on the male point of view for your characters.


Today I want to talk about how men communicate. You can use it when writing yoru male characters.

Communication is about independence and intimacy.

            Men tend to focus on independence. They give orders and tell people what to do. Women crave intimacy. For instance, a man will make plans without consulting his wife. (Not all men) He will see no reason to “ask permission” of his wife. He actually views it that way. He would see it as not being able to act independently of her.  He sees at as being the underling if he has to ask permission. Even though is isn't really asking permission, but consulting the wife about her plans. (Which is how she would see it.)

            Here you can add conflict. The hero makes a unilateral decision be it about a social event or in the heat of running from the bad guys. He doesn’t see why he needs to clear it with the heroine. Of course she wants to be in on the decision-making process so we have conflict between the two. He doesn’t understand why she needs to be part of making the decision.

            It is the same mindset when men go out and spend money. They don't feel they need to “ask permission.” My husband once bought a car without any input from me. He was going through a rough time and I think he needed to assert his independence not so much from me, but from his job. I didn't make a big deal about it, but the next time he bought I car I mentioned it. And of course he had no idea that I would feel that way.  Until I told him.

            Intimacy says we're close and connected. Women bond with each other, especially through talking. In feeling connected, two women feel symmetry. They are equals.

            Independence is connected to status. Men like independence and their lives are about status. So status and independence are asymmetrical. Both people in a contest cannot have the upper hand.

            Imagine someone other than the hero interested in the heroine. There would be an automatic competition between the two men. Conflict! Not huge conflict, but enough to show another side of your hero.

            In ancient societies, men protected women. It is still in their biology to do that. There aren't man-eating animals that women face on a daily basis so they do it other ways. (Quick story: In a bar recently with a mixed group. Someone else we knew asked one of the guys in the groups to help her get this guy off of her. Now he doesn’t even like her, but she was clearly scared of this other guy hanging on  her. So my friend asked the guy to leave. Twice, nicely. The guy, of course, gave him a hard time, and they almost came to blows. My friend was willing to protect this woman merely because she was a woman.)

 A mother naturally protects her children.  But when a woman extends her protection to a man he bristles at it. He sees himself as a lower rank, a child. Since I was a kid in the age before widespread seatbelt use, if my father had to brake suddenly he would put his hand out to protect whoever was in the front passenger seat. I developed the same habit driving.

            Fast forward a few years. I begin delivering pizza and using a seatbelt on a regular basis. I'm driving with my boyfriend (the one who convinced me to wear a seatbelt.) and I have to break suddenly. My arm goes out. He thought that was the most ridiculous thing. He made fun of me for it for awhile. Looking back, it wasn't about me. It was about him feeling as if I'd lowered him in the hierarchy of our relationship.





Bio:

Chris Redding lives in New Jersey with her husband, two kids and various animals. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. When she isn’t writing, she works part time for her local hospital.



You can find Chris Redding:







This post is an excerpt from her workshop Show Up Naked: Writing the Male POV.



 
Back cover text for Blonde Demolition

You just can't hide from the past...

Mallory Sage lives in a small, idyllic town where nothing ever happens. Just the kind of life she has always wanted. No one, not even her fellow volunteer firefighters, knows about her past life as an agent for Homeland Security.

Former partner and lover, Trey McCrane, comes back into Mallory's life. He believes they made a great team once, and that they can do so again. Besides, they don't have much choice. Paul Stanley, a twisted killer and their old nemesis, is back.

Framed for a bombing and drawn together by necessity, Mallory and Trey go on the run and must learn to trust each other again―if they hope to survive. But Mallory has been hiding another secret, one that could destroy their relationship. And time is running out.

Thanks,Chris for great tips and information on your book. It is on my summer reading list already.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a very interesting post. I have not tried my hand at fiction yet, I write a weekly essay about my family but I could see how these tips could help when giving voice to a male character. Thanks!

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