Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Need some answers boys.

The piece I'm currently revising is from a female POV (first person, present tense). My other piece that I'm dying to get back to is in two POVs, one female and one male. I kind of like writing in a male POV, but I'm worried being--ahem--a lady, that it's not authentic. I think I can see some things from a guys perspective (I tend to feel more comfortable around the male species), but let's be real, I don't fully know what makes them tick.

Take love, for example. Some guys may get all starry eyed, with that warm feeling in their heart. They may float a little, possibly shed a tear of joy, who knows. Lots of movies and books do throw this gent out there, but is it accurate or just what we ladies wish for. I'm sure this guy is out there, but will all guys agree. It's not easy to figure out the opposite sex. I've tried. Not easy, but observe and you could learn something. I am married to one, so I can observe everyday. Plus, research is always key. Google anyone? So, here is what I found. Most of it is obvious and pretty stereotypical.

More action oriented.They do instead of thinking about it.
Hide emotion except anger
Think about sex--a lot. Skipping the small talk and getting more physical.
Like to be in charge
Less patient
More visual
Are problem solvers
Seem more confident --don't ask for directions

Now, all guys are not everything I listed. This is all general observations. Don't get mad, boys, we ladies are just trying to figure you out. So, how do we approach writing from a male POV? I go by what I've observed and read. I'm looking for feedback.

Here are some posts I've found that are awesome.

Roni Loren --Man Up Writing Male POV

L. Diane Wolfe- Writing from a Male POV

Here are the questions:
To the guys (and the ladies): Have you read any books written by a woman that is an accurate male POV?
Your thoughts on writing a male POV?

Have a great day!


  1. I read lots of books with a male POV written by women and often done quite well.

    When I write a male POV, I use my husband as a beta reader to see if I nailed it.

    We're on the same team in the campaign. Nice to meet you!

  2. I love writing from a male POV. I always get a man to crit whatever I've written however, especially if I'm having a fight scene.

    Men characters tend to internalize a lot. They show nothing on the outside, but inside they're a churning cauldron of angst -- most of the time.

  3. Hi there fellow campaigner! I actually write primarily from a male POV and love it:) We're on the same campaign team so I'm looking forward to getting to know you better. Good luck with your male POV:)

  4. Hi campaigner, thanks for stopping by my blog. Writing male POVs can be tricky -- and I often feel my lack of confidence in that area is because I am a woman, but we writers must get over that :) Having male readers always helps me when I'm not sure I'm portraying an accurate male mindset. Looking at how other books in my genre handle male POVs can also be instructive. You may also want to check out this post from the Bookshelf Muse for some more tips:

    Happy writing!

  5. I prefer writing in a male POV. In a way, I find them less complicated to write emotionally, at least that's how I perceive them. They tell you what they think, they mean what they say, and they're pretty self-absorbed most of the time. I think us women could take a lesson from men!

  6. I keep toying with the idea of writing from the male POV. I think I could pull it off, but it's still intimidating. Maybe I need to adopt some of that confidence, aka swagger ;)

  7. All guys share one innate desire. They all want to be somebody. This drives everything that they do. They play video games not for the need to socialize but for the need to do better than others and thus "be somebody". They collect their girlfriends in the same manner. If they don't feel that their significant other allows them to "be somebody" then there is no passion there. Yes, guys think about sex a lot. But it goes beyond that in the sense that they really like it when others know they are getting sex with someone that they know other guys would like to be with because again, "they can be somebody." So in a sense, you can say that guys do everything in their lives for all the wrong reasons. They pursue careers, social relationships, politics, religion, and spouses all so that they can be somebody as opposed to any of the obvious reasons behind those things.

  8. Good for you! Writing from the male POV is murky water that nary my toes shall meet. Okay, I did write one chapter that was male POV and that book is vaulted at the moment. It is not easy, that's fo sho! And so I have little advice to give you--however, I did just read Kait Nolan's new novel 'Red' which is written from both a male and female's point of view. In my opinion, she absolutely nailed it. He was far from effeminate and extremely believable. Hope this helps!

  9. Ack Blogger just erased my Looong-ish comments *cries* Wait, maybe you still see it?

  10. The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler is a good example of a woman writing from a man's point of view. You should check it out if you haven't read it.

  11. Christine, I write from the opposite end, at times--from the female pov. I don't think there's as much difference between the two, to be honest. Also, I've written as a black guy (and I'm not) and sold a story to High Plains Literary Review and years later met the editor (he's a black man) and he was taken aback. Said he thought I was a black writer... Sometimes, I think we worry overmuch and think we're much different than we are. It's almost like if we wrote as an animal character and worried that other animals wouldn't believe us as a fellow animal...

  12. You think we're tough? I wrote my first female character for my last book and it was a task!
    C.S. Friedman does a good job.
    Some of it's in the wording. Girls use words that guys just don't.
    Oh, and we focus better.

  13. Kirsten mentions Anne Tyler, one of my favorite authors. The Accidental Tourist IS a good one for this. I think if I were going to write from a male POV, I'd run some questions by my 41 year old son!

    Interesting post, Christine, with some good links.
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

  14. ...also something to consider is the age/maturity level of the male in question. This would have to be your first task. For instance, take a fella in his early twenties, do the research and figure out who this guy really is...what tricks his trigger. Then, just when you're confident you've figured him out, toss him into a time machine and move him forward a decade. The person you'd be looking at would most likely be a completely different person, with an all new sense of values and maturity.

    Hope this helps ;)


  15. Great topic. Usually I write from a female POV, but my latest WIP has me writing from the perspective of a male teenage pothead -- pretty much the opposite of me!! I'm not sure if I can pull it off, so I've had to do a lot of thinking about issues like this. I want to avoid resorting to stereotype, but I also want to make sure it's an identifiably male POV.

  16. Hello, fellow campaigner! I'm not in your group, but I still wanted to take a look at your blog. Awesome place you have here!

    I understand your dilemma. I had a hard time when I started writing female POVs. But you know, guys aren't all that complicated. We can be sensitive and emotionally driven, too. Depends on your character. Best of luck to you!

  17. Hi fellow Campaigner! I'm writing one right now and it's a bit tricky. I'm glad I have a teenage boy to read it and see if I'm totally off!

  18. Great questions, Great answers. I just copied the whole thing! :-) Paula S. Jordan here, just dropping in from the campaign. Good to meet you all!

  19. I was terrified when my first novel came to me with a male protagonist. Absolutely terrifed. I don't have any good tips though. My "research" came to the same results: boys brains work differently and they are all about the sex and the swagger (not showing emotion on the outside).

  20. I would love to try a male POV, but I don't think I could do it successfully.

  21. I have written from a male/feral mix (sci fi) but am about to start a modern day naovel with both a male (I'm not) committed christian female (i'm not) am hoping to pull it of with the help of friends of both persuasions help -

    I think men are the same as us, their language is harder (not so many soft words) less complicated and devious that us, They are often socilized diff. than us not encouraged to 'talk' things out!! as to emotions they love hate, laugh and scare the same as us - nice people , men

  22. I haven't tried this yet, but I'm planning a future book from a male POV - so it's great to see this post and all the comments! Thanks for sharing.