The male character goes into detail about the batteries, how the thing works, how expensive it is, etc. He ends the monologue with, “Don’t break it, lose it, or take a shower with it.”
As a female reader, and a female in general when men go into techno-talk, all I hear is: “Now this fudlamadoo comes from Hezostan and the batteries are biddlinesick, they work like poof. This thing costs a million-kazillion dollars. Don’t mess this thing up or else…”
I hear the money part. And then I hear the part where I’m not supposed to touch it. The rest of it is in a completely different language.
Generally my response is to nod my head and look awed, then say something along the lines of, “Coool.” The male is satisfied with my response, and I’m satisfied that we can move on to something I’m more interested in.
Now I can’t be sure, but I think my response is pretty on par with the rest of the female population out there. That’s why I loved Evanovich’s rendition.
It brought to mind my struggle with this chapter. It was hard for me to come back and redo because it’s the first chapter I really go into detail about my main male character. In my head I have a pretty good idea of who he is, and how he would react to things, but on paper? I just could not, could not, could not, get him right.
One of my best critiquers thus far hit the problem on the nose: “Why does he sound so young?”
My answer back then, “I don’t know? I can’t tell what I’m doing wrong.”
But now I’ve figured out a huge key to writing male characters. Y’all are going to read this and say, “No duh, Deb.” But I’m throwing it out there anyway, for any of you writers who’ve not put two-and-two together with this yet.
Today’s inspiration is a writing tip:
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When writing female characters, it’s totally okay to go into their heads. To explain what they’re thinking, how they’re feeling, why they feel that way, etc.
When writing male characters, it’s not at all okay to go into their heads. They definitely have thoughts, emotions, and reasons why they feel those emotions, but they’re not easily going to open up about it.
You have to show, with men. If they’re upset about something happening, you don’t say, “When Fredrick saw the dog pissing on his car, he was angry.” You say, “When Fredrick saw the dog pissing on his car, he balled up his fists and pulled his boot back to kick it across the street, but the dog saw him coming and skittered away.”
When you get too much into your male character’s head, he sounds young and often-times whiney.
This is not always the case, and I’m not an expert writer (yet), but in my experience it helps to stay out of a man’s head. When he pauses for a response you nod and say, “Coool.” And then the story moves on.