Writing Male Characters

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As a girl, I must admit that writing a male character is a bit challenging. Why? Well the answer to that Watson is simple! I. Am. Not. A. Man.

Reading other versions of what women author deem as “hot” male characters makes me wonder. What in the world do women fantasize in men? And how in the world can we take the “being a girl” out of our writing?
Don’t get me wrong there are some really good versions of an “alpha male.” As Miss. Siliva Day likes to call them, and that is how she makes them!

Gideon Cross is very much an Alpha male, not a bit of “lady man” there.

What do I mean by “lady man”?

Well that is tricky. For one men don’t cry and in my world I don’t think they should. Yes, there are certain circumstances where they should wail like a baby. Having said that, I believe that when the “love of his life” threatens to leave him, there shall be no tears. I prefer descriptions like “he cleared his throat, and cleared it again. Held his hand over his mouth, wiped his chin, then looked down before speaking again.” This passage clearly shows he struggles with his feelings, but doesn’t cry.

If the book was something about him losing his wife in tragic accident or his child or even his damn dog sure he can cry but not over something silly.

Another thing that seems to kill the “perfect” male character is dialogue. There are certain things a guy would never say. For instance if he is a “guy’s guy” and he is super “macho” there is no way in God’s green earth he is going to say, “I just want to make love to you.” 

Um..what? I doubt any guy says that! Now having said that I have heard a fellow or two murmur that but usually during certain times in a relationship and not in those words. Its more like, “Wanna make love.” or “Baby, let me make love to you.” But never the above.

I think the one way to make the ultimate man, that we can all fantasize about, is  to either people watch or watch manly movies. Let’s see what kinds of movies!

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“The Notebook.”– this was also a good read. Should I mention this was written by a dude! I included this as an example of a male crying and how it isn’t silly.  The male character cried at the appropriate times not at the drop of a hat!

“Snatch”-This is just a good movie. Guys being guys. And no tears, even when the sh*t hits the fan seven ways till Sunday. This movie is gritty and shows you the life of man from the streets trying to make a living.

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“Death Wish”-A movie about a man getting vengeance. Now this is a guy’s movie!

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Now those were movies obviously written by men, so I am going to give you books written by women that I think write great male characters.

“The CrossFire Series.” Silvia Day.

“The Outsiders.” S.E. Hinton-perfect again for a male character from the streets.

“Frankenstein”  Mary Shelley.

Now that I have given you examples let me tell you what a girl needs to know when writing a male character.

  1. One thing you should do is really dive into his head! Again you can do this by using your imagination combined with people watching. How to guys act? When they are alone or with their friends. Trust me guys act differently with their guy best friends and their girl best friends.
  2. Again don’t make your male character cry at the drop of a damn hat! As I said above! I know that we all want to change how society feels when it comes to men crying but the truth is it is a macho thing, and guys just don’t do it.
  3. Really give him a powerful conflict. His feelings is not one of them! For instance, as in “Snatch” he is over his head in trying to make money. Or in “The Outsiders” the male characters are just trying to survive the streets.
  4. Guys do not go into their feelings. In fact most guys it is like pulling teeth just to get them to acknowledge (allowed) that they love you!
  5. Even as a manipulative person guys are straight forward. Unlike girls who are constantly thinking that someone is trying to either fish for a compliment or is making fun of her. (Think “Mean Girls”-“Oh my God I love your bracelet.” ) When a guys says “You look nice.” that is it. he doesn’t have a deeper meaning, nor is he hoping you will say, “You look nice too!

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There you have it, writing a male character! I hope these tips help you in your writing. If you have your own tips that you want to share sound off in the comments!

Also, if you try these out let me know how they work for you!

Until next time, keep writing!

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One thought on “Writing Male Characters

  1. I have the same problem only in opposite world, glad to see someone else who admits it’s because I’m not one! I find more often than not when the opposite sex writes the opposite sex as a character it often becomes some romanticized fantasy version!

    4. i kinda have issue with it’s not that “Guys dont go into our feelings”, “it’s more of we are hopelessly controlled at the mouth, by our gut instinct, and tend to choose action over hitting the share our feeling button” women often mistake this as being emotionless drones there to build them building to live in!

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