1. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Guys Talking about Girls

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Catrin Lewis, Aug 10, 2014.

    I'm at a point in my WIR where it'd be useful for my male main character to find out more about my female main character and to show his feelings towards her developing (whether he realizes it or not).

    Theoretically he only wants to know from professional interest, but as his informant goes on he gets more info of a personal nature. Nothing intimate, just college-years scuttlebutt on who she used to date and what the former boyfriends were like. The fact that my MMC keeps listening is intended as a clue that he's getting more romantically interested in her, as is the fact that he feels twinges of jealousy, concern, etc., hearing about the previous guys.

    Something tells me it's not the most honorable thing my MCC could do, and he's a guy who prides himself on his honor. But that shouldn't stop me from having him do it, I don't think . . . We all have blind spots and little hypocrisies and I don't want to paint him as perfect.

    But--! But--! do guys ever talk about girls like this? Does it make a difference that one of the old boyfriends is the kind of off-the-wall guy anyone would tell stories about, and the other one is a little weird, too?
     
  2. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Character flaws are all good and well and necessary - however, to have somebody go directly against something they are usually absolutely against, something that's against their own beliefs and/or moral principles - then he better have a damn good reason to go so out of character.

    For example, a man prides himself on honesty and honour. But he believes his wife might be cheating on him. That would be big enough for me to forgive the out of character impulse of hiring a private agent to follow his wife.

    In your case, since you say it starts off as purely research for professional interest - frankly that's not a believable reason to go against someone's moral compass.

    Think of something you're absolutely against - what would it take to make you do it anyway? Now apply it to your character.

    As for "do guys talk about girls like this" - I don't understand your question. What guys? It's a private agent uncovering someone's life. Do you mean would ex's talk about their ex-girlfriends? Depends on the guy and the situation. Police comes up to you and asks you about the woman in the picture, who happens to be your ex, you might talk. Stranger comes up to you and wants to know about your ex, you might just hurry home to avoid that creepy weirdo.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014
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  3. Mike Hill
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    Mike Hill Natural born citizen of republic of Finland.

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    @Mckk makes some good points. We need more information.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Do all your female friends talk the sane way when it comes to guys? All guys are different, too. Some gossip. Some make lewd comments, and of them, a good many are doing so to avoid any real feelings. Some listen quietly and wait for the conversation to end. Some listen and form opinions based on what they hear.

    Know your characters. If they dom't fit the stereotypes, they're probably better characters than if they do.
     
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  5. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is me trying to rewrite the Workshop excerpt I originally posted June 1st, where my MMC has offered my FMC a promotion and is astonished when she doesn't automatically accept it. I had him running into a couple of friends right after and bouncing ideas off them as to why.

    Fine, except that it was all wrong as to who he is and it took the critiques to remind me of that. I had him as a clueless early-1980s male who Doesn't Understand Women and the friends, who don't know the FMC all that well, try to help him out.

    That's not who he is. On the contrary, he's a guy who's grown up from his mother's knee convinced it's his calling to stand up for the women in his life and promote their flourishing (a little Ethics 101 talk :D ). When he offered her the promotion he thought he was helping her to what she rightly deserved; why didn't she act the way she usually did and reach right out and take it?

    In the rewrite he still wants to figure out why. I'm thinking of scratching the female half of the friend couple and making the friend someone who knew the FMC in college. When the MMC asks what was she like in school, he means her career aspirations, work ethic, etc. He wants to get a handle on who she really is, to decide if he should pursue the promotion with her or not. The welfare of the firm will depend on the consistency of her character.

    This is the kind of talk I have in mind.

    It only gets questionable, I think, when the friend recalls that her total dedication to her training loosened up when she started dating X. (X was and is a one-talent drunk whom my FMC took on as a reclamation project after her bad experience with the campus idol her freshman year.)

    My MMC could justify not shutting the guy up by reasoning he's looking out for her well-being. But it might work better, from the reactions so far, for him to remember immediately who the drunk is and shut the friend up because he doesn't need or want to hear anymore.

    But would it make sense that the friend would offer that kind of information, that's what I want to know. @Cogito's comment, which came in as I was composing this, might have an answer to that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014

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