Hopefully you've benefited somehow from this workshop in your ability to create better male characters and write from THEIR voice.
http://whitewolfwriting.blogspot.com the second to most recent post detailed my weekend of more pain...no excuse but an explanation.
So far we've learned that men are emotional, at least as much if not moreso than your typical woman appears and to write from that point, we need to become familiar with the types of men out there, meaning the archetypes.
EVERY man fits into one or more of those archetypes mentioned. If he doesn’t appear to, then it’s harder to tell how he might function, etc. But with men we have clues. Just as you look for a mate based on appearance first (our eyes see more than clothing!) and shoot those impulses to our brains which creates anything from a fantasy (god I’d like to find out how yummy he is!) to potential reality. (He looks like a slob/banker/car salesmen) How he walks speaks volumes about himself. A confident man walks upright, keeps himself clean and well groomed (does NOT mean well dressed always) and looks people in the eye when he talks.
I would love to suggest for all of the women in this course to try and spend half a day imagining yourself as man. What benefits would you enjoy? What disappointments would you find? What thoughts would come into your mind and how would they differ from what you’d normally think? Look down at the ground when you walk, see what you miss, thinking from both genders. Then stop the behavior! Think about your primary focus in a crowd, that hot little number across the way, or the beautiful weather we’re enjoying in some parts of the country. Hint, as a man it’s NOT going to be the weather lol!
Why? Because the man’s focus appears to be sex, but in reality it’s propagating the species as a general rule. All men want offspring and families, it’s their legacy of greatness. So again, we have a motivational factor for his behavior.
Can you even objectify someone properly? By that I mean to suggest that not all men see women as a piece of ass, but instead categorize them. If I haven’t mentioned it before, men tend to compartmentalize things. And the importance of that as a writer is in how you use that compartmentalization in your hero’s mind to further your plot.
If a man’s got a stack of bills to pay, a time sensitive workload, stress at home and a woman he’s focused on because she’s either disarming him and breaking down that wall OR it’s become obvious to your readers (and our hero) that she has become the ONE thing that is greatest among all, do you know which one he’ll choose? Well, in your story he could NOT choose her out of fear because he’s just not the bravest soul, but that could be bad and piss off your readers. Or make them emotional, there is a difference.
In real life, he’ll almost always choose the woman. We may not see it, but he’ll always choose her over other stuff because he believes she can nurture him. This statement is reinforced in everything from movies to T.V. and magazines and of course, our wonderful romances
If you take away that one thing men believe they want, then you create a mad man. Example: Vin Diesel’s character in A Man Apart didn’t go mad per se, but he was wreck less because someone had taken what he believed was the greatest thing in his life. His wife, of course.
I know an author who was so upset over the loss of his Mistress that he became self destructive because even though his life was good and he had his physical needs met, he felt spiritually that his emotional needs would never be met again because that One Thing would nurture him.
We’ve also learned that the character creation worksheet shouldn’t be so deep that it takes longer to write than the novel! Short, simple and filled out, this powerful tool touches on key things for our Hero and his voice.
Let’s spend a moment talking about that voice.
Some men are very well spoken, others aren’t. Some are profane and NOT offensive, others are profane and offensive. Why? We were all taught the same English (based upon our regional differences lol!)
Again, that voice came from years of conditioning and our environment. I just learned what it means to “go dumb” when I lived in Hayward, because the youngsters listen to Rap music that’s different from where I lived. In the southern part of the country, going dumb is sort of an equivalent to “crunk”
Now does your hero talk about going dumb in the club? Maybe, because he’s a player type. He could be that Charmer we referred to earlier.
The key would be to spend a great deal of time listening to other men talking. That same Charmer will probably behave differently at work, but we can’t follow him everywhere and see, can we? So we’ll have to guess based on other factors, area he lives in (which you create) his background (again, created based on your knowledge) and the like. If you’re talking about voice in relation to slang, your homework is important.
I just learned that a fairy in the Bay Area is an effeminate man, in Albuquerque, NM it’s a pretty fag hag.
We’ve learned about goal/motivation and the differences involved in getting our Hero to that point where he’s chasing what he needs and realizes it.
We’ve discussed emotional differences and behavioral patterns though if we went into more discussion it’d be weeks before we finished lol! Though there are no emotional differences, it’s how men react/respond differently based on the SAME emotion behind said reaction/response than women do. Make sense?
That’s it for today, Our last lesson will be posted Thursday Friday along with a thank you for your participation