Well, folks. It was fun while it lasted.

As you can see, not much has been happening on this blog lately.

There are several reasons for this, but I will only hit on a couple:

First: It's amazing how much can change in a couple of months--both in our personal lives and on the writing front. A couple of us have signed publishing contracts, and so the need to write, edit, market, promote HAD to take preference over this blog and the services we were providing.

Second: Running this blog, critiquing submissions, providing feedback...well, that's a LOT of dang work. We weren't getting paid for this service. We had a concept and we went with it--for free--not realizing how much time it would involve with very little (nothing) in return for our effort.

Third: Probably the biggest factor that made us come to this decision, was the fact that a good portion of the submissions we received just weren't ready. They needed more revision. We were wanting to give out reviews on AMAZING, fully complete, well edited novels. 90% of what we received didn't come close.

So we've shut it down. We've moved on.

If you liked our comments and our posts, you can check us out on our individual blogs:

Angela Scott: www.whimsywritingandreading.weebly.com or @whimsywriting on twitter or http://www.facebook.com/AngelaScottWriter

D.S. Tracy:

Kacey Mark:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Skeptical Hook'er's Corner: Blog Feature

Posted by Ready, Aim, Hook Me at 9:24 PM

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?


Michael Offutt on September 15, 2011 at 10:50 PM said...

LOL thanks for the shout out. Keep in mind that I'm no psychologist so these are just opinions of some dude that has done some thought about the way his male compatriots behave.

I also wanted to add that I recieved some interesting questions. One of these was from Ciara Knight who pointed out that the Hunger Games is a female point-of-view yet resonates with men and she asked me my opinion.

I wanted to clarify that point-of-view in my opinion doesn't have to be male for it to resonate. The story of the Hunger Games is just that...it's a game...and the stakes are extremely high. This means winning is extremely important and those that win "are somebody". This theme is very powerful and goes along strongly with what I'm saying.

So competition, winning, being somebody, being a winner no matter what the cost <== guy things.

My two cents.

Marc Mattaliano on September 16, 2011 at 7:23 AM said...

Great post, though as a guy that does my best to break the stereotype of the dummy who does things half-ass, I have to argue, ;-)

My parents didn't teach me to do laundry because I was very spoiled, however when I moved out, my fiancee taught me how. So, we separate our clothes into darks, colors and whites/lights. We don't do separate soaps for each one, separate settings for each one, we just separate by if a pile is dark, brightly colored or light to lightly colored.

So, to summarize, we're two-fold: 1) she's a girl and she doesn't freak out about making quadruple sure that that everything in the black pile is black and not navy, that they get hot/cold instead of hot/hot, whatever. It's good enough keeping colors separate, doing everything in cold and using one detergent for every load we do. 2) I'm a guy who doesn't lazily just stuff everything together, because while enough whites will get ruined with enough bright colors, quite frankly, if one six-year-old pair of red bikini bottom panties happens to get into the whites? Won't cause the world to end. Any spare ink on it has already come out and the whites will still stay plenty white enough. Doing laundry is a science, yes, but let's not be freaking maniacs about it?

Here's the point of my story. In life, there are ALWAYS exceptions. All of us have some idea of how "women" act and how "men" act. We can fall back on those things when we write characters, but ultimately, if your characters fall into those stereotypes too much, they end up being either cliche or unbelievable. I mean, ask yourself, if every guy in your book was a macho muscleman with no feelings, and every woman was a snarky, smartmouth, independent soul who kills people while putting her makeup on (you know, like in real life), it'd be really boring or too far-fetched to make sense, or just plain stupid.

You have to take into account where a certain person is in their life, male or female, and put yourself in their shoes. What would be important to you if you were in that position?

As for men being "simple?" I wouldn't entirely disagree. I'm a Libra male, so I'm notorious for being indecisive. Yet, when my fiancee has trouble making a decision (because as a chick, she's even MORE notorious for being indecisive), I make one for us. Everyone fights their nature, everyone goes against their instincts sometimes. It's the way life works. We're all different, sure, but we all do many of the same things. We all love, hate, lie, hurt, steal, swindle, comfort and care. Maybe a girl does it slightly different than a guy, but with so many women wanting men to find their feminine sides, and men wanting more women to be comfortable watching the game and relax while chugging a beer, is it wrong if there's crossovers?

It really depends on what a person is simple about and what they're complex about. You want it simple? Men think, women feel. For the most part, ;-) There's no solid answers...

You just have to know a wide enough variety of guys and girls in your life to see what REAL things they have in common, and where they differ, and make up characters that make sense. :-)

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