Friday, January 1, 2010

Who likes a wimpy warrior?

I know I seem to only write about my editor's comments, but it's so easy and entertaining! I hope she doesn't mind.

Today in her notes to me, I read that my my huge, gorgeous, hunk of a warrior (who becomes a main character) sighs too much and seems too effeminate. At first, I laughed. Then I was grateful she picked up on that. I certainly don't want a girly warrior on my hands. I have a tendency to make my women witchy (I would have used the other word, but I need to keep this PG) and my boys feminine. It irritates me that I do that, but it's hard to think like a boy. I've never been one, you know.

As my fourteen year old son read my ms the first time, he would frequently turn to me and say, "No boy would ever say that." I guess I imagine that everyone thinks like me, men and women alike, which I know isn't true. I have been married for fifteen years, after all.

It makes me wonder how many others do that. Is this why so many people struggle in their marriages or other relationships? Because we expect everyone to "get" where we're coming from? I can't count how many times I've had to fix something I've said, explaining what I really meant. How can we be so off? I'm lucky I have a husband who "gets" me. He lets things roll of his back and hardly ever gets irritated by things I say. Could anyone else be more perfect for me? I doubt it.

Well, off to editing I go with the intent to make my men more manly and my women a tad bit nicer!


C. K. Bryant said...

You are not alone. I have the same problem. When it's time for my male character to take the POV reins, it sometimes takes me 2-3 days to get into his head. I have the hardest time writing from his perspective and sounding like a man, especially when it comes to emotions. I have a scene where he finds the love of his life beaten and bloody and he loses it (yep, he cries). You don't think that was hard to do? Good luck with your edits.

David J. West said...

That is funny, I too have to remember to put myself in other peoples shoes.

I definetly want to read your book. But yeah He-Men don't sigh we brood.

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

David, I'll have to remember that. Brooding, yeah, that's good. Any other advice? Those dang men's heads are hard to get into!

L.T. Elliot said...

Thanks for this post. It will make me more aware when writing my male POVs for sure!

Bethany Wiggins said...

My husband did the same thing as your son. He'd very gently tell me that no man in his right mind would say such-and-such. But it sounds so good, I'd say. Yep. Sounded so good it was girly.

Have a great New Year!

Julie Wright said...

I make everyone sigh a lot. It's terrible. I have to edit out sighs as much as I have to edit out dead words like "was." You are not alone. :)

M. Gray said...

Ah, brooding, brooding, brooding!! It's a hot characteristic! Love it!

Annette Lyon said...

This is one area where it's turned out to be a VERY good thing to have both genders in our critique group--we have guys to tell us when our male characters aren't acting masculine, and we call them on it when their women aren't being feminine. SO many times they've pointed out things I never in a million years would have noticed or known!

Kimberly Job said...

Yep, I do it too. Thank heaven for the lone male member of our critique group. He keeps us grounded. And the poor guy has four of us telling him how a woman would carry a purse, how long it would take to put on makeup, etc.

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