Friday, December 16, 2011

Déjà vu Blogfest

Hosted by DL at Cruising Altitude
On December 16th all of those taking part will re-post their favorite blog offering, or one that never received the exposure it should have.

This post originally appeared May of this year, but as I continue to get hits and comments, I thought repeating it would be good.

Writing From a Male POV  

Writing from the point of view of the opposite sex can be challenging. Viewing the world from another perspective requires that we abandon our natural instincts. Since the books in my series, The Circle of Friends, featured a male lead, I had to understand the differences.

I read dozens of relationship books, seeking to comprehend the distinct qualities of the male gender. The books that provided me with the most insight were Men Are From Mars, Women From Venus and the Connecting With Your Husband/Wife series. Men and women really do view the world through different eyes!

- Men are not detail-oriented, at least not in the area of observation. They are focused on the big picture. When a man walks into a room, it’s doubtful he will notice the pattern on the couch or the smell of flowers by the window.

- Men tend to process information internally. While a woman will discuss her situation with friends, a man will privately think through his problems. Men tend to internalize rather than verbalize when seeking an answer. If he does discuss the situation, he wants answers not support.

- Because men normally do not discuss their problems, they use fewer words than women – by half! They tend to verbalize facts and opinions rather than feelings, too.

- Men focus better than women, who rely more on ‘diffused awareness.’ Once a man selects a course of action, little can distract him. While women multi-task with ease, men tend to focus on one thing at a time.

- Due to the amount of testosterone a man’s brain receives before he is born, he cannot think both logically and emotionally at the same time. Thus, when a man offers a logical explanation, a woman’s emotional reasoning simply doesn’t compute. And when a man grows angry, rationalizing with him is difficult as logic has gone out the window at that point.

- Men are not as emotionally expressive as their female counterparts. They are simply not wired in that manner.

- Last but not least, women seek to connect emotionally while men seek to connect… physically. The stirrings of love in a man come from physical attraction and contact first, emotional attachment second.

While all of that may appear to be stereotyping, it does provide a fundamental base for the male POV. Environment, background, and basic personality type also factor into the equation.

Armed with this knowledge, I found writing from a male perspective much easier. It was refreshing to discard my women intuitions and interpretations and just deal with the basics. I’d say it was almost liberating!

Are you comfortable writing from the opposite sex's POV?

Today is the last day for the Christmas Special Giveaway!

29 comments:

Jemi Fraser said...

Great choice for a repost! As I write romantic mysteries, I do write from the male pov. I think teaching boys and having a hubby and son help in that department! :)

vanyelmoon said...

My WIP has a male lead. It has been challenging to say the least. I sometimes feel like my lead could come across as a lesbian :) Thanks for the tips, this may help clarify things. Have a great weekend.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I grew up with older brothers. I definitely feel comfortable writing the male POV. LOL!! In fact, it's my favorite to write although I do tend to make them more emotional than the norm. But hey, it's fiction. :-)

Laura Marcella said...

Great re-post for today! It's always helpful to have a boy or man read any work I write with a male POV.

Jules said...

Great choice, sorry to say I laughed my way through it. Aren't men the simplest thing we know and yet do not know? :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

See? I'm a man of few words for a reason.

Julie said...

This is a great post! My WIP has a male lead, and even though I know these fundamental differences, I hadn't thought of them in relation to my writing before. Very helpful!

Arlee Bird said...

I remember this post. I do have some difficulty writing from a female point of view, but I have written some shorts stories like this and I don't think I did too badly.


Lee
Tossing It Out

Donna K. Weaver said...

Great stuff here. I want to write a sequel about one of the secondary characters in another book. But a guy. This very thing has me concerned.

DL Hammons said...

I remember this post...and its a perfect selection for re-posting. I don't know why, because I haven't done any research, but I'm comfortable writing from a female POV. Not only am I comfortable, but I'm told from others that I'm believable.

Thank you for taking part in the blogfest and helping to make today so special! :)

LD Masterson said...

Perfect timing - I'm working on a short story in a male POV. This post will help a lot in the fine tuning.

baygirl32 said...

thanks for the giggles :)

cleemckenzie said...

It is a challenge to climb into another's skin, especially one of the opposite sex. But it has to be done unless you want to people your story with only females or only males. How about writing from the perspective of an elderly person? Or someone very young? Those are equally challenging, but part of the author's job.

I enjoyed your deja vu.

Lydia Kang said...

I'm not, and I've never written from a male POV so this was really enlightening.

Thanks so much for joining the Blogfest!

Margo Kelly said...

I love this post! I was just discussing with my critique partner the other day about writing from a male POV. We have to make sure we don't project our female emotions, actions, and reactions onto our male characters!

Steven said...

I am making the rounds for the Deja Vu Blogfest, and really enjoyed your post. As my wife says, I am "weird" for a man, and I will attest that what you wrote here is true about the vast majority of men. Writing from the perspective of the opposite sex is challenging, as is writing from the perspective of another culture (aren't they so similar?)and both require you to step out of your skin.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Great re-post, enjoyed the read. I sometimes get my son-in law to read my poems before putting them on line, he used to do alot of writing.....He wrote a space book but never published it.

Yvonne.

Jenners said...

That is a wonderful post to rerun ... and full of good reminders about why my husband drives me nuts sometimes.

Sarah said...

Nice to meet you, Diane! I'm pretty comfortable writing from the male pov, but tips are always appreciated!

M Pax said...

It's hard. Men and women are wired differently. I work with a lot of men & have male crit partners who aren't shy about telling me when I get off track.

LynNerdKelley said...

I missed this the first time around, and I'm glad you reposted it. This is excellent. I'm comfortable writing the opposite sex for minor characters, but not ready to write an adult male's POV for the MC. Having raised a son and being around lots of nephews, I'm good with writing from a boy MC's view. Thanks for this post!

Nicki Elson said...

Aha! "logic has gone out the window at that point" - I knew it! A long time back I went to see Defending the Caveman, and it was quite enlightening regarding the differences between men & women. As is this post - thanks for rerunning it. :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Oh my! Sorry, I had a lot of commitments today, but I will visit everyone tomorrow.

Margo, it's so easy to do that. I've always run my work past my husband, just to be sure I'm not making a male character sound too feminine.

Steven, my husband approved the list before I ever wrote this article.

Nicki, my husband agrees with the logic thing 100%.

K. Turley (Clutzattack) said...

Great post. I've tried to pick my husband's brain for tips on how to capture the male POV and you've summed it up so much better than he did.

Vicki Rocho said...

Great information! I've got a male lead, too and I wonder if I'm getting the voice right.

Nancy Thompson said...

Great topic! I've always been much more comfortable with men. Most of my friends are men and I understand them much better than women. So it was only natural for me to chose a male for my protagonist. While my novel is told from multiple POVs, two of them women, the story is about the man. I felt much more comfortable writing from his perspective than I did from the women's. Yet I am all woman myself. It doesn't really make much sense to me, but that's the way it is. My second novel will also be told from two POVs, both men. Go figure.

The Golden Eagle said...

I have a lot of male POVs in my novels; it's probably equal to the number of female characters. Thanks for the post--I'll have to keep these points in mind.

Botanist said...

Great perspective! Two of my MCs are female, so I guess my answer is "yes". But that doesn't mean I'm doing it right :)

Sarah Pearson said...

Late again, but I've made it :-)

I have one story written from a male POV. I know it's not quite right but I couldn't put my finger on it. There's some things here to keep in mind when I finally go back and look at it :-)