1. Greta
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    Greta New Member

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    Female writing Male

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Greta, Dec 21, 2012.

    Hello everyone! I'm writing, well, rather picturing yet a friendship in between to straight man. And I'd like to know what it's like in the inside; Example: When they talk about a girl one of them actually likes, how'd the friend react?; When one of them is in trouble and, kind of, can't get unhooked from it, how'd the friend react?

    As a female I'd like to know how they show that they care for each other.
    Sometimes I see it in my head like, they wouldn't be saying "I love you bro", nope, I rather see them never saying what they feel but showing that they care for each other with facts and actions. Not words.

    Picutre this friendship is very strong and has being going on for years now. They've been for each other all the way. In real matter issues. And, of course, also the good moments.
    This means they trust each other, they can be themselves when they're together.

    (I know this question is way too big because they are "infinite" options for relationships, not to mention age, background, etc. But I'd just like to hear what first comes to your head when you read this question subjectively)
     
  2. Cerebral
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    Cerebral Active Member

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    These things would depend on the personalities of the two people involved. For the first question, it depends on what's being said about the girl and how. The second depends on what the trouble is...if I'm in deep trouble about something non-life threatening, my friends would either laugh at me, or tell me to "man up," or something. If it's like a thing where they'll have to get up in the middle of the night and pick me up (or do some other kind of "big" favor), they would do it, but they'd be cursing and moaning the whole time.

    In my experience, we rarely do. But again, it depends on personality...some dudes are more open than others are about their feelings ("Your the best, bro!" and such). Others, like the sorry bunch of people I hang with, will call a guy a "homo" if he told them that he loves them like they're his brothers. Sometimes, in my experience, just silence would show a kind of affection or gratefulness...but then it's usually followed by a quick change of subject.

    These are just my experiences though.
     
  3. thedarkknight
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    thedarkknight Member

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    The main difference between men and women is that men will usually try to find a solution to a problem by themselves and then only talk about it if they can't solve it on their own. Women will discuss it first and then work out a solution. When a man wants to "talk", he's really saying he can't figure it out and wants some help coming up with a solution. A woman will want to "talk", she's sharing and wants someone to show empathy. She may not even know if there is a problem or not.

    The problem comes in when a man and a woman "talk". The man automatically assumes she's looking for a solution and will start giving her fixes to her problem when all she wants is someone to LISTEN and show some SYMPATHY. When a man starts talking to a woman, he's looking for fixes, not sympathy.

    So if it's two male friends:

    "Hi Jack, how's it going?"
    "Great I guess. Just same old married crap."
    "Never ends. I had to tell my wife that I was going to the Tuesday night poker game whether she liked it or not. Sometimes you just gotta put your foot down, ya know."
    (end of discussion)

    Two female friends:

    "Hi Jen, you look really run down. Is everything alright?"
    "At least someone notices."
    "What's going on?"
    "Well, Jack insists on going to his Tuesday night Poker game with Ron. I just feel ignored all the time. He doesn't want to do anything with me."
    "Wow, you two seemed so happy. What's going on? Do you think he's upset with you?"
    "I don't know. Does it seem that way to you?"
    etc. etc. etc. etc.
     
  4. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Hahaha I liked your example dialogues Dark Knight :D Nicely illustrated. Generally speaking, they're quite accurate. Of course you always get exceptions though.

    It's funny because I switch according to how the conversation is going. My initial reaction is almost always to offer solutions - and then when I end up with a girl who doesn't want solutions, I switch and I offer my sympathies. I understand the need to rant, but after a while it gets really annoying. I can't stand people who complain all the time and never do anything about the problem! (I'm a girl, btw)

    Anyway since I'm a girl, I can't tell you what's in a guy's head sorry :D
     
  5. creativevomit
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    creativevomit Member

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    Well from a sensitive guy's perspective I won't be able to tell you what most guys do lol.
    I just talk things out with my guy friends. I try to offer solutions and help out.
     
  6. Tales of Anima
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    Tales of Anima Member

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    First, I highly recommend reading these two articles from ArtOfManliness.com:

    The History and Nature of Man Friendships/

    How to Make and Keep Man Friendships

    Second, my own personal perspective as a straight man: I notice among my younger brother and his circle of friends that physical affection is making a bit of a comeback. There's no shyness about it, and they will hug and jostle each other with abandon. One thing to consider with men who have been friends for years - in tune with the first article I linked - is that no recriminating thoughts of 'Am I getting too close for his comfort?' or 'Is this gonna look or feel weird?' enter the equation. They're just open and honest, and they're free to exhibit affection with no hangups because sexuality doesn't enter the equation.

    thedarkknight also made a good point: we tend to be blunt and forward about things. If we see something that constitutes a problem (personal example: my little brother doing a physical gesture as a prank in good fun that, from my perspective and that of a friend of his, could get him in a LOT of trouble), we confront the source of the problem and try to sort it out. And yes, talking can be involved, but there won't be any beating around the bush.
     
  7. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Plus, don't be afraid to write the male characters as their personalities are too. There seems to be a worry about stereotyping women characters when written by men, and male characters by women. There's so many infinite combinations of things involved on make people that it doesn't matter really about how they act. Straight men are no less willing to hug another when needed. In fact, so many men try to compensate for being a 'gentle warrior' that they become so 'macho' that it's a silly over exaggeration that's, quite frankly, embarrassing to watch.
     
  8. Greta
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    Greta New Member

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    Thank you guys so much, your answers were very helpful and really encourage me to wander around this much more deeper.
    Thank you!

    Tales Of Anima, I'll be reading those articles they seem very intersting
     
  9. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Yeah I wouldn't sweat it. I sat here for three days and listened to a writing group go back and forth about men writing women characters. Between blowing up my inbox, it didn't go anywhere. For someone to say a women would only write men to be either over macho or too emotional is a stereotyping that's not fair. As if the statements made in that constant back and forth that men write women characters as men (rambo, etc) or a sex symbol is also stereotyping. Men and women are such a spread of temperaments that it would be impossible to make such blanket statements.

    There are plenty of women who would go out there an be a warrior as they are plenty of men who'd be happy being the stay at home dad. So, don't let someone preconceived notion of how the character be written affect your writing. Write them as you see fit.
     
  10. Greta
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    Greta New Member

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    Nice words Captain, I'll keep that in mind
     
  11. Soodanim
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    Soodanim Member

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    I wrote a male a once.

    But then the internet came along and made the entire concept obsolete.
     
  12. Oswiecenie
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    Oswiecenie Active Member

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    How do you imagine such a friendship to look like? Stick with that. There really is no "right" and "wrong" concerning questions like these. People are not all the same, neither is the way they interact with each other.
     
  13. Carthonn
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    Carthonn Active Member

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    The way I write my female characters is through observation. I watch and listen to what they do and how they react to situations.

    How do men talk out their problems with other men? Good question, as a man I can't even remember when I did that last. I don't like admitting weakness to other men, it's an ego thing. If I do, it is done through self deprecating humor. I'm more likely to admit my problems to a woman, especially one I don't see as a viable mate. I might not be the best example now that I type it out.
     
  14. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    How men discuss their problems depends on the ego involved. There are men who are comfortable enough in their own skin to talk honestly about their problems, while there are the super macho types who want to settle it with fists. Once again, it's a tough thing to figure because psychology comes into play, with a bit of sociology for good measure. You just have to play things by ear. There are folks you'll be able to trust to talk things out with, and there are others you can't.
     
  15. Tanner05
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    Tanner05 New Member

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    I have the same problem. The story I'm working on has two brothers.
    At some point, I stopped worrying about if people were going to find their relationship strange and just started writing it.
    In the US (I'm not sure where most of you are from) people are more accepting of violence than intimacy between people who aren't in a sexual relationship.
    As a writer who is trying to develop characters and their relationships, I had to stop worrying about that.

    Now that I have been acquainted with my characters (which took about a year to really start understanding them) I see they are affectionate, but since they have had their relationship for so long they don't feel the need to express their affection often. Mainly, their relationship is showed in the way they are comfortable around each other.
    Oh and humor in a friendship is important, it keeps it from being intense. Most people talk to their friends lightly more than seriously, unless its something important.

    Anyways, sorry to write so much. That was just my process and it could not be working at all I'm not sure. Lol
    And I am a woman, don't let my name fool you. :)
     
  16. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    When one of my scripts was going through the funding rounds, part of the process was script evaluation. The female readers all suggested that the women were written well but the male characters needed work, and the men said that the male characters were written well but the female characters needed work. This was frustrating. People have a strange perception of how the other sex should think and behave. In my time I've come to realize that the only way to write men and women well, is to just write about people.
     
  17. mbear
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    mbear Member

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    Guys tend to make fun of each other, while having serious undertones, in my experience. They also get to the point fairly quickly.

    I would also consider the reader that you are writing for. If its a romance novel then you may get away with a little bit more as far as a deep emotional conversation, because as girls we sometimes picture the guys of our fantasies being a little more deep. But if it is geared more towards men and women, I would be more realistic. Also I would consider the location and the time period on what would be typical. But there are always people who don't fit stereo types (I had a best male friend like that and he is now a song writer), so bottom line write it the way you want and don't worry too much about it. I think the bigger issue is just to make sure that the interaction between the two male characters fit the personalities that they have. For example, a guy that you have as a super quiet and non-emotional guy is not going to flip a switch and be mr. heart to heart. I always find myself screaming at the tv screen or book when a character does something completely out of character.
     
  18. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Watch out for gender stereotypes. The differences between genders are far less than the differences between individuals.

    Stereotyping leads to flat characters. Study, and write, individuals.
     
  19. Greta
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    Greta New Member

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    Totally agree to that. And in case that something happens, there has to be a good, and I mean good reason.
    And yeah, it is dificult to stablish the line of the psychology of the characters. But I think that's one of the most interesting parts about discovering how the characters is, thinking about how he'd react to certain situations, you entering your characters mind.

    Thanks alot for the answers, they were all very helpful.
     
  20. bmacd
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    bmacd Member

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    I just wanted to say this has been really helpful for me, too. I've been writing a longer piece and the protagonist is a male. I've been worried it doesn't sound correct, but I think it's true that it's mostly about the individual and less about the gender. These tips were helpful, though, so thanks!
     
  21. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    Watch The Wire and observe Stringer Bell and Avon Barksdale

    One of the best brotherly relations in history
     

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