by Teagan Berry
Writing is difficult. The carefully crafted plot, the perfect climactic moment, the creation of three-dimensional characters. All of these and more are required to make a believable and plausible novel. And then there’s the point of view (P.O.V.). I’ve already written here about the different points of views out there for authors, along with their benefits and drawbacks, but then the gender of the character speaking plays a role as well.
In my current novel, I’m writing a split-P.O.V. between a 21-year old girl and a 25-year old boy. Now, you might say, But you’re a girl, how can you write as a guy? My response? To be perfectly honest, I don’t know if I’m any good at it. I guess we’ll all find out in due time.
All joking aside though, I do believe it is possible to write in the opposite sex’s viewpoint – it just requires a little more dedication. My biggest tip? Research. Research is key.
Start off by having conversations with a guy. Find out the way they talk, the way they think – in particular how they react to certain situations. Perhaps you may know a particular scene your male character is facing, so ask them what they would do if faced with that issue. I know it’s not necessarily the same, since most likely the person you’re talking to isn’t identical to your character, but at least it’s a start.
Another suggestion? Don’t just talk to one guy and call it quits after that. Like any other kind of research, you’re going to need to do some thorough digging before you come up with something concrete. So get out there and talk to lots of guys. Guys of all types, too. The more variety, the more realistic your male character is going to sound. You want to know all the options out there before you pick one which will work for you.
I’m sure that by now you’ve realized that there are some major differences between how a guy thinks and a girl thinks. To just throw some out there (and keep in mind these are just generalizations – so in no way do I believe all men are like this):
- Men talk less. WAY less. So if you find your male lead is out-talking his counterpart then you might want to re-visit his characterization.
- Guys don’t tend to notice details in the same way girls do.
- Men try to act like they don’t have “feelings” – even though we all know they really do so keep that in mind while you’re crafting your emotional scenes.
- A male character is going to notice more visually than his female counterpart, which means you’ll probably spend more time describing things than monologuing about thoughts.
- Guys DO NOT always think about sex. Yes, it does cross their thoughts, but most men are not sex-driven. They will, however, always notice a girl, regardless of whether or not they think they’re hot.
- On that note, the first look is one of instinct; it’s the second look, the double-take if you will, which really matters. This is the look which means they’re interested.
So there you have it. A short and quick guide to writing from the male point of view.
Guest post contributed by Teagan Berry, alternately titled “Writing the Male Poing of View.” Teagan writes books, watches sports, and reads. She started her blog initially to beat writer’s block, but it’s turned into so much more.