Thursday, June 17, 2010

MEN WRITING ROMANCE?

There are those who would say that a (straight) man trying to write romance is like a martian trying to play the piano.  I do not believe that the statement is accurate, but I do acknowledge that the perspective is different.  Women, in general, read romance for the distraction and for the emotional exercise.  Men, on the other hand, could care less about the emotion exercise and take their distraction from weapons, machinery, exotic settings, and nakedness.

The complexity of emotions and the need to use them is one of the basic differences between men and women.  By way of example, when composing a document, have you ever used the font color icon to create a different color of text?  If you click on that letter 'A' with the black line under it, a bar appears that says 'standard colors' and displays about ten basic colors.  These represent a man's emotional range.  Now if you go beyond the 'standard colors' and click 'more colors', there are two pages upon which you can create an infinite variety of tints and shades that vary from the most faint and delicate to the most intense and vivid.  These represent a woman's emotional range.  It is not my intention to besmirch either men or women, it is just an attempt to explain hormonal biology.  Those obvious differences will stand out at front and center when a man writes romance versus when a woman writes romance.


Let me set up a scenario where a hero and a heroine are riding horses across the wide open plains. A woman writer will climb into the hero's head to find that he is intensely attracted to the heroine, finds her to be the only woman in whom he will ever be interested, and that he is mentally planning how he can spirit her away so that together they can build a house by a stream, plant acres of crops, raise herds of livestock, nurture children, and live happily ever after in their little house on the prairie. A male writer, by contrast, will enter the hero's brain and discover that he's thirsty, his ass hurts, and that he thinks she has nice tits. Hardly heroic. So the challenge to the male writer is to put on his 'true love' cap in order to endow our miscreant hero with an uncontrollable passion for our heroine; no small task given the male's internal programming to avoid, at all costs, uncontrollable passion for anything but sports. We must grab our hero and whisk him away from his world of pizza, Monday Night Football, and burping out loud, and deliver him to be 'reconditioned'. As a reward for his attendance at our 'hero boot camp', our hero-in-training will be transformed from an average guy with bad habits, a receding hairline, and limited mating prospects into a tall, handsome, muscular, alpha warrior chick magnet with a deep voice, a full head of flowing wavy hair, and the ability to remove an enemy's head with a broadsword while galloping at full speed on a large white horse. Not a bad deal. The catch is that he must learn that any resistance toward the heroine is futile. He must become completely enchanted by her to the point where her face fills his thoughts and dreams. He must dedicate himself to remembering her eye color, the first place where they kissed, and he must unfailingly remember her and her Mother's birthdays. He must be willing to battle all enemies and to freely surrender his life, should that become necessary, to protect her. Even more importantly, he must give up watching football. She is to become the focal point of his life and his reason for existing. THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is our romance hero from a man's perspective.

Now, if I may pull my tongue from its position deep within my cheek, let me tell you how I wrote MY hero. My book is called Magnificent Man, and my hero is named Coyote. He has most of the usual hero attributes (handsome, muscular, brave, etc.), but he's not really an alpha. In fact, he's a damaged man with a number of limitations. His heroism is not on a grand, world-changing scale, but rather it is the many, many good deeds that he performs on a daily basis that define him. He works quietly below the radar assisting forgotten people in a desolate land and it is those people who acknowledge his heroism and greatness. When my heroine, Cassandra, encounters him, she is confused and uncertain about this very unusual man who bursts into her life. As she comes to know Coyote as a noble and gentle man, she finds herself inescapably drawn to him. Just as he changes Cassandra's life, Coyote increasingly finds himself bound to Cassandra and the fulfillment that she brings to him.

I have regularly used a line to describe Magnificent Man as my attempt to prove that a straight man can write a touching and deeply emotional romance story without turning it into a Chuck Norris movie. I do feel an obligation to inform you, Dear Reader, that there IS a caveat. No matter how hard I struggled, cajoled, begged, pleaded, and threatened, Coyote steadfastly refused to wear a kilt. Sorry.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Randall Lang grew up in the tough coalfields of southwestern Pennsylvania where nothing comes easily. It is a world of limited opportunity and few roles to follow. Dreams are quickly vanquished in the shadows of necessity and creativity is usually buried beneath an avalanche of cynicism. However, epiphanies come in all shapes, sizes, and in a wide range of locations. In the dark and quiet world of the underground worksite, the stories within him began to take form. Years later, Randall Lang is the author of eight books of erotic stories published by Renaissance E Books, has contributed to two erotic anthologies, and the recently released Magnificent Man, an erotic romance published by Midnight Showcase.

Randall’s erotic works include the five volume Trailer Park Nights series and three books of erotic short stories. These are available at http://shop.renebooks.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat-120. His newest release, Magnificent Man, is available from Midnight Showcase. You can watch the book trailer by clicking here. Visit Randall’s website or his blog. Randall now lives historically on an historical island in historic Wheeling, West Virginia.

5 comments:

Molly Daniels said...

Bravo:) (Standing Ovation)

Several years ago, I sent a seduction scene to my best male friend and asked him how well I 'got' the male POV. He laughed and said I'd gotten it completely wrong, then proceeded to describe HIS thoughts nearly completely like your 'he's thirsty, his ass hurts, and she has nice tits' comment.

I learned not to seek his advice ever again, LOL:)

Looking forward to your work:)

unwriter said...

Guess I'm not the 'normal' male. I hate sports and horses. I prefer a symphany to a football game and I'll take ballet over baseball any day. My favorite color is lavender. I'm as straight as they come but I only read material that is g rated. I despise erotic material.

Oh, I also do most of the housework here and I babysit for my beautiful granddaughter.

Janice said...

Oh so true. I have trouble writing men's emotions too, especially since hubby doesn't want to admit he has any.

And yeah, a man will notice a woman's tits before he even notices she has eyes.

Janice~

Randall Lang said...

Thank you ladies for your comments. As you have already learned, the average man has four moods:hungry, thirsty, sleepy and horney. Feed him, give him a beer, have sex with him, and he'll fall asleep a happy guy. Men are SO predictable!
Yours,

Randall

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hi,Randall,

Very funny post! However, I really think you're selling men short. I've known lots of men who are as romantic if not more romantic than the average woman. In fact, very few of the guys that I've known at all well fit the hungry/thirsty/horny/sleepy stereotype.

Maybe I'm just lucky! Or maybe guys are getting a bad rap.

Anyway, I'm delighted to see men writing romance. And I wish you lots of luck with yours!

All the best,
Lisabet

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