What’s up, man?

Hello friends. Here we are again with a new post and cool advice on how to write with brains. I’m happy my friend Ella Quinn is joining us today. Ella has several finished projects on her desk, historical romances like The Seduction of Lady Phoebe or Lord Beaumont’s Bride. In the following, she’ll teach you about the little difference between male and female POV, with special focus on men. Because, hands down, they always need a special treat. 😉

Welcome Ella!

Thanks, Piper.

Male POV tends to be one of the hardest things female writers seem to contend with. But don’t feel alone, I’ve read plenty of books by men that can’t get female POV right. My critique partners are used to comments from me such as “remember, this is a guy talking.” And cutting out rearranging whole areas of dialogue.

I’ve got one critique partner, who, when in a guy’s mind, has him thinking of the flashing blue eyes of another guy. What’s wrong about that you ask? Men don’t think like that. They’re lucky if they remember their lady’s eye color, they sure don’t give a damn about another man’s, unless they are gay that is. Same goes for most of the rest of how another male looks. They will notice if he’s taller or has an awesome tattoo. In other words, men notice only the most obvious things about others of their species.

What about women, you ask. Obviously, they notice a lot more, but, sadly, most of it’s physical. Nice bottom, hair, breasts. Their initial thoughts upon seeing a woman are more likely to be sexual rather than wondering what kind of mind she has or what she does for a living. So I you have your hero noticing how nice she is to an old lady, think again. He may notice that, maybe, but his first thought is going to be how nice she looks bending over helping that old lady.

Male dialogue seems to be a particular problem. Men, even historical men, don’t use as many words as women do. Their sentences are shorter and terser. Please don’t have your straight guy saying something like, “It’s utterly lovely. Or that robin’s egg blue is the perfect color.” Apart from particular periods of history, where it was considered fashionable for men to know the difference, to them, blue is light blue, medium, blue and dark blue. You get the picture.

When a man is confronted with feelings, he will tend to act more physically than a woman. A lady wants to think about it a bit. If a guy realizes he’s in love, his first reaction is likely to grab the woman and kiss her. I’m not saying minimize their feelings, because their feelings are real and deep, but make your character respond appropriately. Men don’t, as a rule, talk about their feelings, either externally or internally. There is a reason they really liked the whole idea of capturing their lady love and riding off with them, it avoided the need to have the discussion. You can still meet the need of your readers to know what he’s feeling by just making that part shorter.

So the next time you’re writing in your guy’s POV, think about if it sounds like something a guy would say.

8 thoughts on “What’s up, man?

  1. Great post, Ella! You’ve definitely captured the dynamics between men and women! It took me a long time to be able to write male POV and now I love it! Prefer it, actually. Certainly makes writing military romance easier, lol. Thanks for sharing with us today!!

  2. Great post on male vs. female POV. They certainly should notice different things and sound different. Same goes for children’s POV. I’ve read a book recently in which an 8 year old girl sounds like a 30 something woman. Just didn’t seem right.

  3. You’re absolutely correct. I’ve had to remind more than one person that eight year-old boys don’t know that the flowers on their mother’s dress is a peony, or talk about flashing eyes.

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