I saw a question the other day on a Facebook group, as I zoomed around on my own seemingly interminable mission impossible to catch up. “How do you write like a man?” I only noticed it peripherally. It had many responses, so I never felt the need to comment, as I always do when I see anything lurking lonely and unanswered. I carried on with the zooming, but it has crept in, and keeps popping up whenever my guys in Shadow People say anything, making me wonder now if my characters are “manly” enough.
Considering my confusion when I am confronted with a new cyber friend with only initials in their moniker, or one of those genderless first names, I can’t say that there are a lot of differences between man and woman. I quickly add that I only mean writing wise, before those hairy and rippling chested ones among my friends hasten to point out any obviously dissimilar bits. I think that in a book, you get to see who’s a boy by the way the writer describes the character, and not by said character saying anything particularly macho. I’m probably going to be shot down in flames for that so I will now offer the testimony for the defence.
My father died when I was six, and my later acquired step-father travelled a lot so was seldom around. I therefore was brought up in a particularly feminine environment, having mostly those perfect movie men as my male role models. Apart from being my excuse for the above remarks, this is probably also the cause for my unfortunate, but firm, early belief that all men were really cool, handsome, heroic, and did the right thing every time. I blissfully planted this belief on all my early boyfriends, some of whom I’m pleased to say, manfully tried to live up to my silly expectations for as long as they could, before crashing and burning. It took a while, and many broken hearts along the way, but I eventually figured out that apart from really looking good in manly ways, they were only human after all.
They do have a very small few character traits particular to their gender, some of which I can in no way find attractive. Like adjustments. Really guys, do that outside! Or feeling the need to mark their territory in anybody’s yard, when they’ve had a few, and the loo is just too far away. Apart from that I do love the boys. When we are young they are really fun to play with. They’re really fun to play with when we’re older too, as well as being very handy with the fixing, lifting and dealing with nasty things, like untangling smelly dead rats that have electrocuted themselves in the fuse box.
So ladies, lay off with the men are from Mars, and women are from Venus thing. They’re just people like us, with the same thoughts (not counting those hormonally induced, and apparently occurring every three minutes), same dreams, and same desires to be liked and loved. And that’s the way I will write them.
Till next time friends. xxx