Saturday, June 18, 2011

emotional male main characters

Yesterday, I was directed to an excellent post which was advice for women authors writing about/from the male perspective.

In a nutshell: no tears; avoid deliberations with involved emotions; get into the action.

Excellent advice. And, I try to base my experiences on the people I know well. Except, I am married to a man, who is, to quote Macbeth 'I dare do all that may become a man; Who dares do more is none.' (Act 1 sc 7).
And yet he cries. Not half as much as me nor my girls but put on 'Marley and Me' or 'A League of their own' and he's weeping by the end.

My daughters ADORE this about their father: that he feels, that he overtaken sometimes by what he feels deeply and he feels safe in their company to show it.

They also tease the crap out of him for it.

But, does he do this publically? No.
Does he allow his decisions to be directed by his kind heart? No.
He does the above in the safety and sanctuary of his home before his close allies - his family.
He might talk about his heart to others and often is compassionate but they do not see his tears (or, sometimes his anger). They see only his genuine desire to be a good person.
Last night, while discussing the above with my daughters, they said the description of a man by the advice did not fit the picture of their father. And yet, added to the qualities above they offered this from their experience of their father: faithful, honourable, honest, true, kind, strong, funny, playful, nerdy (ie really, really intelligent = he's two papers from finishing his BA and he gets As all the way), respected (from what they have observed from his work with the many things organisations he is involved with), calm on the outside, patient, understanding, slow to get angry...'
Don't you just want to have one of these?
Then Mackenna said: Oh My God, we just describe Fleance! Mum! You based Fleance on Dad. You have told everyone that he was some god-like character that you would love to run away with but you've actually got him.'

Youngest speaks: Not as good looking though.
The three of us fall about laughing while husband/father is in the other room helping others in his role as a Victim Support volunteer.
Lesson? Firstly, I'm lucky. Secondly, less tears. Even the 'at the moment perfect husband who is glowing in his current worshipped state by his wimen' says - no tears. We don't like tears. Or eyes filled with tears. Or the suggestion of tears. - I'm getting the picture!
Finally, men wants results. Men want ways to fix things. They do not want to sit about discussing the price of wool. They want to DO.
Got it.
By the way, Fleance is a bit busy at the moment to discuss the price of wool. But, I will keep all else in mind.

1 comment:

Vanda Symon said...

Oops, I forgot guys don't cry. One of my male characters does - I'm worried about that now...