Writing Male Characters as a Woman

Today I am posting as part of the Beauty of a Woman Blogfest! Please take a look at the fest page to read others’ posts and potentially win a fabulous prize!

 

Waterolor beautiful girl. Vector illustration of woman

Waterolor beautiful girl. Vector illustration of woman beauty salon

 

I’m a new writer. I have written all my life, of course, in school and for pleasure. But never as an official author until 3 years ago. I took the plunge in part due to the encouragement of my friend and publisher, Kemberlee Shortland. She gave me the confidence to write my travelogues into a travel guide for Ireland, and then one for Scotland. She held my hand through this alien world, answered my stupid questions, and bore with my ignorance.

 

Another reason for me writing was to tell my parents’ love story, a 30-year search for love that finally came to fruition in Better To Have Loved.

 

After that, I wrote two historical fiction novels set in Ireland, my soul’s home. I loved it. They tripped along and came together more or less as I planned. And then I came to the third book. I decided to challenge myself.

 

I wanted to write from a male point of view (POV). But I wasn’t a man. How was I going to believably write a man’s thoughts?

 

I asked my husband’s advice. He simply said that make sure the man thinks about sex, food, more sex, and perhaps some fighting. And then more sex. I laughed, thinking it was a joke, but he said it really wasn’t.  My husband told me that women occupy his thoughts about 22 hours of the 24 day (including dreams). I didn’t believe him. I asked other men. While the percentages varied, they definitely verified that women, sex, sexual relations, occupy far more of men’s thoughs than men do of most women’s. Of course this is a stereotype. However, though I had such a small sample size, I thought it might be true.

 

My main character became a young man with women, gambling and drink on his mind. He would grow throughout the tale, but women would remain on his mind. Perhaps focused on ONE woman by the end, but still foremost in his thoughts.

 

My previous female characters were usually quite hesitant and unconfident. I tried to instill confidence to the point of arrogance in my male.

 

Then came the very hard part – writing a sex scene as a male.

 

I had to get into a male mind to think about what he sensed, what he felt, his sense of abandon, his goals (obvious, that one). I am still not sure if I got it right. Time will tell, I suppose!

 

I almost did it too much. I had a male beta reader who said the male was insufferably arrogant. I toned it down a bit, and now he’s a bit more believable. He still seemed hopelessly obsessed, but to men, he read true. That was my goal.

 

It’s odd jumping into someone else’s head. I’d done it before, but was still on my home ground, female thoughts. Male thoughts are alien territory. I’m a little more comfortable with them now, but there is so much more to learn. I can almost forgive some of the male authors their horrible treatment of female character personalities, seeing some of the shifts of thinking that is required.

 

*****

I write historical fantasy novels, mostly set in Ireland, and a contemporary romance based on my parents’ 30-year search for true love. Don’t miss information on Celtic myth and history, as well as practical travel planning tips, and hidden places, in my travel books.

– Better To Have Loved – Contemporary romance based on the true story of my parents’ 30-year search for love

– Legacy of Hunger – Historical fantasy set in 1846 Ireland

– Legacy of Truth – Historical fantasy set around 1800 Ireland. Prequel to Legacy of Hunger, due out June 15, 2016!

– Stunning, Strange and Secret: A Guide to Hidden Scotland

– Mythical, Magical, Mystical: A Guide to Hidden Ireland

More info at Green Dragon Artist :: Home ,
Christy Jackson Nicholas, Author , and
Tirgearr Publishing – Christy Nicholas

Green Dragon Artist Blog

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I am an artist, accountant and author living in western New York, transplanted from Denmark, Michigan, Florida, West Virginia, Pennsylvania (in that order!) I love the beauty of the world and sharing it with others through jewelry, photography, digital painting and writing.

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Posted in Writing
6 comments on “Writing Male Characters as a Woman
  1. lynnkelleyauthor says:

    Wow, Christy, kudos to you for challenging yourself and learning to write from a male POV. I can’t imagine how I’d ever pull that off! Wishing you much success with your writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on jumping outside of your box to try something new. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that you challenged yourself to take on a man’s POV, Christy. There’s definite beauty in stepping out of our comfort zones! I also appreciate that you pointed out the stereotyping that happens. It’s amazing how much guys and gals are encouraged or believed to think in ways, based solely on gender — and so much of it isn’t authentic or innate, but societally driven. (Another topic I could talk for days on! And practically do. ;)) Thanks so much for participating in BOAW!

    Liked by 1 person

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