Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Male POV

At the conference I was able to attend part of a class called Male POV, hosted by Randy Ingermanson. (The author who developed the snowflake method)

The class was awesome and I wish I could share my notes with all of you. The biggest lesson I learned from this class was about the male ego.

Yes, apparently this is one of the most important factors in a man's thought processes.

He's sensitive and his ego is tied to his self-respect.

I can think of a whole bunch of different ways to start incorporating this into my manuscripts. How about you? What do you think of a man's ego? His need for self-respect? Do you think it's different than a woman?

56 comments:

Tabitha Bird said...

Yes, I agree. Men are a totally different planet altogether :) Male POV's are really hard to write (I find anyway) sitting inside a male head is just plain... weird:)

Jessica said...

LOL Tabitha! Your comment just made me laugh. :-)

Jody Hedlund said...

The whole thought of male POV and trying to really get into a male perspective in my writing is something I want to pay more attention to when I start my next book. Not only do we need to take into account the personality but the male aspect of the personality! Yikes!

MeganRebekah said...

i was talking about this with my brother-in-law because he was flipping through some of my books with male POVs and pointing out what was flawed with them. Then he held up one that he thought had issues and I pointed out that it was written by a man. So apparently even some men can't write a male POV. :)

I would love to hear more about that workshop though, sounds intriguing on how to capture a male's ego.

Oh, and I've noticed that sometimes when a female author is writing a male POV character, he becomes the sensitive guy, who's not like any other guy in school (I read YA so they're in school). To me that's a cop out.

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

I had to work with/play with this a lot in my second novel. My POV was shared by a couple.

It was fun "playing" with a man's ego. :D
~ Wendy

Sandie Bricker said...

Jessica, I think the male POV is frightening. It's kinda like being friends with one of those people everyone talks about in whispers, saying how crazy they are. You don't get it ... they seem to be nice and normal ... and then one day ... WHAM! Oh. Ok. Now I get it. NUTSO.

:-) When I'm writing male POV, I try not to stay too long. As the scriptures say, with much knowledge comes much grief.

Love your blog.

Sandie

Janna Qualman said...

I definitely see that, especially if I consider my own husband. What a challenge to write from the perspective! But your post makes it a bit clearer. Thanks!

Linda Kage said...

I always figured one of the most important factors in a man's thought process was his libido. But, ego makes sense too.

That's really helpful advice. Thanks. And it fits in with the most recent guy scene I wrote, which makes me feel reassured. Double thanks, Jessica.

This'll probably help me at home too with the hubby, making sure his ego isn't wounded when I'm trying to give him my thoughts on an issue. So, wow, triple thanks!

Marybeth Poppins said...

Men have egos?

I'm horrible with the Male POV, but luckily I've got my hubby to say, "Um yeah...a man would never do/say that!" LOL

Stephanie Faris said...

I think he's right about that. My boyfriend certainly fits that.

In the 90s, I was lucky to attend a workshop conducted by Linda Howard on male POV. It was one of the best workshops I've ever attended. I learned far more than I ever thought I would about the way men think.

Kristen Painter said...

I love writing the male POV.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I do like writing the Male POV--it's the most fun! LOL!

But yeah, I have think about what bothers my husband and other men. It's very different from women. They do tend to see more black and white with little shades of gray, too.
I'm still learning...

Jessica said...

Jody,
Great point. Even if a man and woman had the same Meyers-Brigg personality, it would manifest in a different way. That's something to chew on! LOL

Jessica said...

Hi Megan,
Too funny about your brother-in-law!!!
I think you're right that it's a cop-out. My brother-in-law is an extremely sensitive, artistic guy, and yet he's also very male in many of his thoughts/actions. So even the thoughtful, romantic guys are still GUYS.

Jessica said...

LOL Wendy! I think it's fun to play with the man's ego in reality too, esp. my hubby! Glad you had fun. :-)

Jessica said...

Hi Sandie,
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! :-)
Your comment literally made me laugh out loud! Loved it.

Also, I agree with your assessment, but I thought you did a great job with the hero in Snowball. :-)

Jessica said...

Hi Janna, I agree that it's a challenge. Hopefully we'll get it down though. A strong male POV can really make a romance, I think.

Jessica said...

LOL!
Linda and MaryBeth, I totally agree that we need to take this info and run with it, esp. where hubbies are concerned!

Jessica said...

Stephanie,
I'm SOOOOO jealous! Howard is one of my favorite authors!!! She writes awesome men and women I'd be friends with. So cool.

Kristen
You did it well, I thought, in the excerpt I read of your book. :-)

Hi Jennifer,
I liked your guy too. It's fun learning and I hope we never get to the place where we know it all. Men are funny creatures, I think. LOL

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Wow, I never thought of that, but I do believe you're right, or Randy is? There is truth to a man's house is his castle then after all, isn't there.

Can't wait to get this session on CD. Off to add some ego boosting or should it be busting to my hero now for that ever needed conflict.

T. Anne said...

I'm always surprised to read a book from a males perspective written by a women but right now I'm reading two of them and about to read a third. It is soo insightful and just as interesting to me.

How cool is that to have been in Randy's session? I so wish I was there!

Cindy said...

I like this post because it's a good reminder of something I need to pay attention to in my current WIP. I'm learning a lot from this book I'm reading through church about the difference between women and men in relationships and it's really helping me see my male characters in a new light.

Jessica said...

Eileen, I might think about getting his session too because I missed some due to an appointment. :-( Starting out though was pretty funny and enlightening. :-)
Let me know what you think!

Jessica said...

T. Anne, it was very, very cool! He seems like a really funny, relatable guy, despite his genius status. LOL

Cindy,
That's an awesome point! Relationship books would be great to study for a male perspective.

Lady Glamis said...

Oh, this is good to know! I already kind of knew it, but still, it's a great thing to keep in mind, especially since my main POV character in my WIP is a male. :)

Jessica said...

I really thought the class was great and interesting!

Patti said...

That's interesting. Like Lady Glam, my current WIP is told from two completely different men's POV, so I should probably really keep an eye on voice.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Wow, how insightful.

I once had a man ask, "You pick on your husband a lot in your columns, don't you?"

"Yes," I said, "but he gets me back in the pulpit on Sunday."

I suppose he's preserving his self-respect. Hmmm...

denise petrovich said...

Hi Jess, I bet that class was fun. My hubby is full of grey areas(unlike Jennifer's). I definately think their libido and how they perform in life is tied to their self worth/esteem and point of view. Good luck ladies in your writings. As an avid reader I look forward to all your publishings. Love Mom

Genny said...

I heard at a conference once that a man yearns to be respected and a woman yearns to be cherished... I totally agree!

Warren Baldwin said...

Jessica -
Hey, I happen to think the male ego is pretty cool. Ok, it does get us in trouble sometimes.

I'd like to hear more about what this guy said about the male ego. He is definitely right about this point - the male ego is tied to respect. Men can handle a lot of disappointments, hurts, etc., but they can't handle losing respect very well.

Ever watch boys on the playground punching each other on the arm or in the stomach to see who can take the hardest hit? That has a lot to do with respect even at that age - guys respect the other guys who can take a hard hit and not complain about the pain. Don't know if schools allow that anymore, which would be ashame if they didn't, and may explain some of the more extreme forms of violence boys today take that you never saw 30 or 40 years ago.

Note that in the passage in Ephesians 5 where it says, "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" (5:25) it tells women, "... and the wife must respect her husband" (5:33).

God understands the male ego b/c he made it. Men need respect, and when they receive it, they feel valued and worthwhile. When they don't receive it, they feel shamed. That is why losing a job means more to a man than just the loss of income.

That's also why 35 year old men in community sports programs act like they are 18. Want to make your husband's day? Watch him play a backyard game of basketball and tell him he should have / could have played in college.

Love and respect is the life cycle of a marraige. If one of them breaks down the marriage could be in trouble.

Wrote more than I meant to! Good post, Jessica.

Lady Glamis said...

Warren, those are excellent thoughts. Thank you for sharing!

Jessica said...

Patti,
That's true. Each man's voice would be different, just like each woman's would be.

LOL Jen. I remember you told that story. Sneaky hubby! Heehee

Jessica said...

Hi Mom,
I totally agree. And actually, Ingermanson focused more on self-respect than someone else's opinion of a man, because if the man's self-respect is strong, then someone else's opinion doesn't matter to them. LOL I thought that was funny.

Genny,
Ingermanson actually mentioned that study but he didn't quite agree. He went into it being more about a man having self-respect. Unfortunately I missed part of the class so I'm not sure exactly what he meant. I'll have to look at the notes he sent out. Either way, respect is super important to men, not so much to women. :-)

Jessica said...

Warren, I'm with Lady Glam. Awesome comment! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. And actually, Ingermanson said the same thing about the boys in the school.
Really excellent comment Warren!

Jill Kemerer said...

I'm terribly biased. I believe men and women are unique and different. We're definitely motivated by different things, but in some ways we're just the same. Now to get that across in my writing... :)

Irritable Mother said...

Yes. I believe men are TOTALLY different.
The man who used to be the pastor of my church wrote a book and began a marriage ministry called Love & Respect. It's all about women needing love MOST and men needing respect MOST. It's really good stuff.
Sure helps me understand my guy better!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

No doubt about it. Men are different.

Have you ever read, "Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus?" It deals with this issue. Emerson Eggeriches also has a book talking about how men need respect, and women need love.

I highly recommend both books.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Katie Ganshert said...

That workshop was halarious! I learned a lot of things I didn't think of before. It'll definitely affect how I write my next novel!

Sarah Forgrave said...

I never thought about that, but now that I see it in writing it makes total sense. I'll have to think of ways to filter more ego into my male POV characters. :-)

Erica Vetsch said...

This workshop sure gave me something to think about, especially since I write romance where nearly half the book is from the male POV.

And how red was Randy's face???

Warren Baldwin said...

Lady Glamis & Jessica - thank you very much. The book Love and Respect someone rec is very good. I use it in premarital counseling, counseling, and in a Marriage & Family course I teach for a junior college. It is biblically based and full of good, common sense.

I've enjoyed reading everyone's comments here. Funny being in the position of "the other planet" :)!

Jessica said...

Good luck Jill! I'm still learning too. LOL

Hi Karen, Yeah, it does help, right? Funny men. *snort*

Hi Susan, I never read that book as an adult but I did as a teen. Found it at my grandma's house. :-)

Jessica said...

Wasn't it Katie! I'm so bummed I missed some of it.

LOL Sarah. I like how you used the word filter. That sounds like the perfect way to do it.

Erica, I don't remember but he sure was funny!

Jessica said...

Warren, you're welcome to visit our planet any time. *wink*

Tamika: said...

The Male POV- Yikes!

I am still learning my husband after six years, does that count?

I thought some about incorporating a male POV in my first book, but I withdrew, because of lack of experience.

Maybe one day...

Deb Shucka said...

Men are so different in so many ways, and it definitely shows in their conversations. Their need to fix things is tied in with that ego and the need for self-respect, and their frustration when they can't fix. They also use far fewer words than we do.

Jessica said...

Deb, I've heard that about words. Pretty interesting. :-)

LOL Tamika! I never thought about my lack of experience. You're smart. :-)

Debra E Marvin said...

HOORAY For Warren, stepping in to represent his gender as we all point out the confusing male mind.

Lots of opinions out there. Interesting subject!

Nancy said...

The publishing world is very interesting. I love how you are working on ideas for your other two books. That must be creative fun.
I didn't realize you had five children. All I can say is - Amazing. Hope you get your vacation.

Nancy said...

Yes, men certainly look at things in their own way. Reading a book written by a man helps me to see things differently on occasion.

Warren Baldwin said...

Thank you Debra for the welcoming. It is interesting to read what the "other side" says about us!

I write nonfiction, not fiction. But I follow several fiction sites, such as Jessica's, b/c I learn a lot of stuff about writing, some of which I can use in nonfiction. I don't always comment b/c I don't have anything to say. But this subject, mmm, it kind of invited me in.

Deb's observation that men want to fix things is so true, and is a function of our ego. And it isn't just "things," like cars and lawn mowers, but situations, too. My wife was telling me about a troublesome personality at her work. I calmly replied, "Ok, here is what you have to do with a person like that." And then I blessed her with my sagacious insight into the problem and its resolution. She ignored me and went on talking. I naturally assumed she didn't hear me or understand. So, I launched into another problem solving lesson, giving clear instruction of what to tell the offending party so she would never dare to bother my wife again. And again she didn't seem to catch what I was saying and went on with her story. After a 3rd attempt to "help" her and yet again being ignored, I finally said, "Haven't you heard anything I've said?" Cheryl replied, "Yes, but I'm not wanting your solution, I'm just wanting you to listen."

Ohhhh! That was an eye-opening conversation for me. Several times since then I've started to "fix" a situation for her, but then drew back. I wait for her to ask, "What would you do in this situation." Of course, she never does ask me that, but I'm waiting for when she does!

Being able to fix something makes a man feel useful. What do most men want for Christmas or a birthday? Something useful. On our first Christmas I gave my wife a dictionary. I thought she would love it. Wrong. That was 27 years ago, and now my kids tell the story, and they weren't even there! Fixing things makes a man feel useful, just like the tools or sports equipment (or even a dictionary) he wants for a gift.

WB

Jessie Oliveros said...

I think I'll stay away from male POV, at least for awhile. It IS very different. I always think it's amazing when authors write cross-gender perspectives, and nail it. JK Rowling and Scott Westerfield come to mind.

Julie Dao said...

This workshop sounds like it was a lot of fun! I would love to try writing in the male POV some time :) I think it would be very enlightening. Men are definitely a whole different animal... LOL. They always say that we are way more complicated than they are, but I beg to differ!

Pen Pen said...

ABSOLUTELY!!!
Women(well-most) seem to be fulfilled with personal relationships, and their job and/or success seems to be something they can feel they've lived a full life without. For men, They can have the best relationship in the world, but-without success-they don't have everything and seem to feel they're not being all they can be.
I DO notice A LOT that female authors don't really get male characters just right, and the same with me writing female characters. They often put feelings, clothes, and character to character actions in that are not part of the gender they're trying to write-That makes it harder for the reader to understand the characters and connect to them.

Jessica said...

LOL Warren! Your story cracked me up! I just posted somewhere else about my hubby giving me weights for our first Christmas. I guess he wanted to fix my arm muscles. *snicker*

Jessie, I agree. And sometimes I think women write male better than men write female. I'm trying to think of a guy who writes great women...well, maybe Nicholas Sparks? I haven't read his books though.

Julie,
I totally agree! They try to hide beneath the "simple" label and I think women are completely fooled by that sometimes. LOL

Hey Penny,
LOL So you think the opposite of me. Interesting. Do you read a lot of romance? I do agree that some men are so.... hmmm... just not like any man I've ever met. *snort* But some authors do a male SO well. Thanks for commenting!