I loved what Michael Offutt from SLC Kismet had to say on his Thursday blog: Understanding Men To Write Fiction.
I found myself nodding my head, agreeing with absolutely everything he said. I’ve read a lot of submissions on our blog, written by women, in a male’s p.o.v. It’s great to try that, however, not everyone can jump in a fella’s head—unless you’re a fella.
I’ve had male friends all my life, best friends. I’ve hung out with them, drank beer, fished, whatever, and no matter how much I’d like to think I know what it’s like in the male brain, I’m wrong. If I’m writing something strictly for a female audience, women can get away with writing how we think a man is, but when it comes to writing for the larger audience, we need to make sure we aren’t creating an “Edward”.
I think women like to think they know exactly how a man might act or say, but we really don’t have a clue. Michael mentions Twilight and why it resonated so much with young women and not men. I couldn’t agree more. I hated Edward and just because Jacob had a bizzillion abs, didn’t make him any more masculine in my eyes.
I don’t want to tell you too much about Michael’s blog because I want you to go out and read it yourself. I think he’s spot on and for female writers looking to develop their male characters more, go over and snatch a nugget or two of what he has to say.
I laughed a bit as I read his post because I recently had an experience I knew I had to blog about. I was lucky enough to step into a new world recently and for the love of chocolate and peanut butter ice cream, please don’t make me go back.
The laundry mat is a horrible place filled with weird “after fuzz” and questionable remnants of the load before yours that make me shudder still. After our washer died, I loaded my sorted clothes into several washers, making sure blacks were with blacks and whites were with whites. I measured my soap and let ‘er rip. Meanwhile, a young kid comes in with a laundry hamper. He grabs one arm full of clothes and stuffs it in one washer, dumps some soap in and moves on to the next. He doesn’t bother to sort, measure the soap, or anything. He just does his business and that’s that.
I catch a glance from another mom from across the room, our scowls of horror. How could he? Doesn’t he know how to do laundry? Didn’t his mother teach him?
I blamed it on his youth and left it at that, and then Mr. Tight Pants came strolling through the door. He lugged in black garbage bags of clothes and I couldn’t wait to see what he’d do. He was a contradiction first of all, with his well-pressed duds and yard bags. He looked good, so naturally he cared, right? He wasn’t going to integrate his clothes, right? Please? Nope. He grabbed one handful after the next, overstuffing the washer, plopped a dab of soap in, and walked out.
My head whipped around to the fellow mom in the room; we exchange a wtf sort of look. Then, lucky me, another dude came strolling in. I hadn’t seen him earlier, he had already stuffed his washers full of nonsense and was ready to fold his clothes. He grabbed a rolling cart and opened the dryer, pulling out whites, reds, blues, blacks, a rainbow of colors. He didn’t bother folding his clothes; he put them in his own garbage bag and left the mat.
I’m not suggesting that all men don’t separate their laundry, it’s just a lesson to show that just because someone does or thinks one way, doesn’t mean it holds true. We are two vastly different groups of people. And that’s okay. I like it that way. It makes things interesting.
Do you think you got a handle on the opposite sex in your writing? Do you agree with Michael?