I love my men – my written men.
Folks who know me but haven’t read my novel would be surprised at the amazing the guys who inhabit my word worlds.
So, where do these fictional men come from?
As a romantic teenager scribbling furiously on notebook paper, a #2 pencil clutched in my fist, my written men, like the devil, assumed pleasing forms. The Disney princes come to mind. Broad shouldered and iron jawed, they appeared in scrawls of graphite, ready to save my narrow ass from the living hell of teenage metamorphosis. My first alien darling was a classic Disney derivative. He stayed in perfect stasis for decades, preserved in my imagination like Snow White, until I resurrected him with a key stroke six years ago.
I found my unearthly fantasy all grown up, a struggling and battered man, who, in spite of slavery and torment, prevailed and flourished in my first novel. Of course, he had not lost his glamour but he had gained intelligence and developed something critically important in a man – a sense of irony and humor.
In the same novel he was joined by a human, a driven man of questionable morals. Filled with ambition and recklessness, this character was selfish and unpredictable. He broke hearts without a thought and threw his trusting protégée in harm’s way to save his own skin. But, somehow I made it impossible for the reader to hold that against him for long.
Only a writer can manipulate life this way!
And now, my written men have changed again. They aren’t always gorgeous loving men or even sassy bad boys. Some of them are scary, glowering killers. Their behavior isn’t always decent or conventional. They vacillate from assassin to philosopher, from murderer to rescuer. But, it works.
Over the years, I’ve learned that, testosterone or estrogen aside, the brains of men and women are surprisingly similar. I can describe the world from a man’s point of view because, as humans (or humanoids :)) we have the same needs and desires. We have the same willingness to test the deep water and the same fear of getting wet.
But, that being said, I still have a lot to learn. I’m sure my husband would agree.
Who are your written men and women? How did they evolve in your storytelling?
Snow White and her prince: Freepix