1. AxleMAshcraft
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    AxleMAshcraft Member

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    Man up and write this thing!

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by AxleMAshcraft, Jan 22, 2011.

    So I'm in the middle of a writing project, a novel that I started a while back. I've written multiple novels before but this one is different. In this novel my MC is a male. But I have no idea how to write something like that. I've asked my boyfriend and some of my guy-friends but they were little to no help. So does anyone have any helpful pointers on getting my novel in motion and portray my MC as a relatively normal guy....:cool:

    -1010

    PS: if you need background info on my MC look below :)
    anything is welcomed.
     
  2. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    Do you have any sample writing of the MC? It'd probably be easy to point out what's "off" in something already written than to try and say generally just what a guy is.

    -Frank
     
  3. Teratoid
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    Teratoid Member

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    How about quirks, hobbies, interests, skills, behaviour, favourite food, relations, sexual orientation, education, job, family background, character background, defining moments in life and car he drives.
    You want him to be ordinary, take clues from the ordinary guys around you. How they go about their ordinary lives. Or try watching 'guy' films. The 'ordinary' tag on your MC makes it a lot simpler to characterize him.
    It really depends on what the setting of the story is, what kind of development you want for the character.
     
  4. AxleMAshcraft
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    AxleMAshcraft Member

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    I'm not comfortable putting my writing on here, this is the first time that I've used this forum and I need to get a little more used to it, read about protection programs ect before I start pasting my writing all over the walls here.
    I CAN give you a little insight into him though:
    His name is Sky Danon, he is 17 current day but the entire book is a flashback, and currently he is 15 years old. His parents are alcoholics, his best friend is a "rich kid" and his brother went off in the navy to play for Sky's tuition on a private boarding school without Sky knowing. Sky, after his brother left when he was 14, turned into a runner and a street rat with a punk rock, emo style.
    But I don't need necissarily need help editing something I've already written, I just need help looking for traits or thoughts the guys have that women don't know about or that they never express. Habits would be nice too, for the SCs...

    1010
     
  5. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    I understand that. What I meant was this:
    What if I asked "can you tell me what a woman thinks and feels?

    See what I mean?

    Now, you have given us a little to work on, so I can help some. I can't say this is a "male" thing - though I am male, myself.

    He's a teenager. That means "sex". At fifteen, especially, most are uncertain about it, even those who have experience. He may act like he knows how to act around potential mates, but he doesn't. Even if he happens on the right way to act around a particular girl, it'll be more luck than wisdom.

    His parents are alcoholics. Either he will be a complete tea-toddler, or he'll say "screw it" and just accept that people, including himself, get drunk. There won't be a sensible middle on this front till he's more mature, and quite probably not even then.

    His best friend is rich? How does this play out when his street friends talk about the friend in a jealous, mean way? Is the friend comfortable with your MC running around? I'm not from a wealthy background, but a friend from childhood began doing the classic "acting out" stuff your MC is, and our friendship didn't survive. The dichotomy between your two characters can easily be greater if you so chose.

    His brother "left"? That choice of word leads me to believe there's some resentment there from your MC. It also implies that the brother, though a financial benefactor, has become emotionally distant from the family himself. Why has he "left", rather than "gone on a tour of duty, but there as best eMail and phone calls will allow"? My guess is that the brother resents the parents, but refuses to disrespect them by talking to the brother while ignoring them.

    I don't know that this is a "male" view, but it may give you some ideas.

    -Frank
     
  6. -oz
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    -oz Active Member

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    Around 15, a guy begins to become independant, which you already related to by saying he turned into a runner and street rat. He might (as I've seen in male emo distant relatives this age) try to become completely independant, skipping home for a few days before realizing that it either doesn't work and he needs food and shelter, or possibly trying to live with his rich friend. (Just me thinking out loud here, if it's a rich family, they're probably in a "snooty" part of town and wouldn't like some emo kid with purple hair living there. Depends on Sky's attitude and style...)

    Especially in his situation, he will likely try to act as independantly as possible. To an outsider's view, he's shunning help, shunning his parents, and seems to want to prove he's independant. In reality, he wants help as well, wants someone to care about him. (Insert girlfriend here?)

    In reality, I'm not sure there's all that much difference between a guy's viewpoints and a girl's. (I'm a guy for the record.) Revenge is not as important to a guy, nor does he (usually) feel the need to go shopping, but otherwise, I think both sexes are pretty equal in how they think. Guys might have a better grasp on sports, but that's a generalism and might not apply to Sky. Am I on the right track answering your question, or am I chasing the wrong rabbit? A specific scenario might give you more direct answers to his thought processes.
     
  7. AxleMAshcraft
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    AxleMAshcraft Member

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    You got that DEAD ON. He got pretty angry when his brother joined the navy and that really set him off for being more of a rebel then ever.
    I understand what you mean though and thanks for the help!!

    1010
     
  8. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you can make him however you want to, simply because every person is different. A guy can like pink and shopping as well :p I feel that most of the guys I know are more practical than the girls I know, and don't focus that much on feelings (and like sport and hate shopping anything that isn't games). Doesn't mean all guys are like this.
    Unless you've never been around guys, I don't think you should worry too much about this, and just focus on making him interesting in general.
     
  9. Julz
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    Julz New Member

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    Male Teenage traits
    Having all the answers.
    The ability to summarize everything into simple terms (whether it is correct or not)
    Not understanding why girls think things are so much more complicated than they are.
    Frustrated at lots of things (when its really a sexual frustration).
    Frustrated at not knowing what is expected of him.
    (This last one is interesting, for the last 20 to 30 years there's been a strong push for women to do things - which is great. However, the side effect of this, is that men have lost their place as 'the Fixer' or 'the bread winner' or <insert typical male role here>.
    )


    I think you were wise to ask your male friends. Ask others, ones about 5 to 10 year older than your protagonist, as they'll have had time to reflect.

    btw: I'm having the opposite problem with my female protag. She's boring :-(
     
  10. AxleMAshcraft
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    AxleMAshcraft Member

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    if you need another set of eyes I (and when I say "I" I mean "us" the people of this forum haha) could help :)

    And thanks everyone for the advice!! I need anything I can get. I just need a little insight that all my guy-friends don't want to share with me to put in a novel! haha
    the advice to talk to my older friends is a good one!! I never thought to do that. THANKS!
    You guys are SO.MUCH.HELP! You have no idea :)
    Thanks again...
     
  11. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    No problem, Axel. It's our pleasure!

    If you need anything else, just ask.

    -Frank
     
  12. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are you a teen? There's a lot of things both girls & guys go through in this time, that are actually not too different. Everyone feels, develops, changes so much during this time - and tries to find him/herself, and tries to discover what they want to do in life etc.
     
  13. AxleMAshcraft
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    AxleMAshcraft Member

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    If you guys re-check this or anything maybe you could answer another question with me.
    One of traits I suppose in my writing is I describe everything. But if I'm writing a Sky (my MC) is it right to talk about his hair/skin/eyes if I'm in first person POV? Just curious...is there a more (for lack of better term) manish way to go about adding my description so that people who may or may not read won't sit there and say "that was a pretty girly way of saying that. It's obvious this author was a woman" :p
     
  14. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    Don't ask them. Just observe them.
     
  15. WastelandSurvivor
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    WastelandSurvivor Member

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    It depends on the man's personality. I will notice things like hair, skin and eyes but a lot of men will simply make the judgment of "ugly" or "attractive" and move on with very little description necessary.
     
  16. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    What do you mean by "normal" male?

    1. What is his background? Personal life.

    2. What is his motivation in the story. By that I mean what problems does he have to handle.

    3. What is his personality?

    4. Education level.

    5. Economic level.

    All of those factors is going to have an impact on how he as a male views himself and will act.
     
  17. AxleMAshcraft
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    AxleMAshcraft Member

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    Here is what I wrote in an earlier post:
    His name is Sky Danon, he is 17 years old, current day but the entire book is a flashback, the main plot line in the first half is when he was 15, and in the second half it is when he was 16. His parents are alcoholics, his best friend (Jeff) is a "rich kid" (expensive house, private schools, high education, parents who have set "plans" for him about colleges all of which Jeff doesn't question but just goes along with, which annoys Sky, if that helps with characterization) and his brother (Matt) went off in the navy to pay for Sky's tuition on a private boarding school without Sky knowing. When Matt comes back a year later on shore leave and tells Sky about the boarding school, Sky goes slightly insane and "disowns" Matt (I'm currently working on how they are going to get back together and un-disown each other) Sky, after his brother left when he was 14, turned into a runner and a street rat with a punk rock, emo style.
    He kind of gave up trying to be a "good kid" he doesn't want to go to school, so he doesn't, he gets in bar fights and usually gets his ass kicked because in most of the fights (flashbacks) he is younger and smaller (and he's fighting men who are in the navy on shore leave...). He gets drunk because he can't really think of anything else to do and tends to get in trouble with people and when that happens he is quite the little escape artist.
    Hopefully this helps :D
    any insight into my second question? (posted on page 2) "If you guys re-check this or anything maybe you could answer another question with me.
    One of traits I suppose in my writing is I describe everything. But if I'm writing a Sky (my MC) is it right to talk about his hair/skin/eyes if I'm in first person POV? Just curious...is there a more (for lack of better term) manish way to go about adding my description so that people who may or may not read won't sit there and say "that was a pretty girly way of saying that. It's obvious this author was a woman""
    More about the second question: I think this didn't come across really. Uhm, I mean about himself...let me go find something from my writing: "I gritted my teeth together, feeling my jaw tighten. It was kind of cold out, it was late, the sun had fallen behind the horizon and I was tucked up tight inside of my coat, buttoned up and pulling the sides in tight around me. The wind whipped past me, touching the back of my neck with a bit of it’s chill that traveled through me and injected itself into my conversation. My black hair whipped across my face and tucked into the contours of my face that it could manage to reach, my eye sockets, my ears and my temple." (this is from my novel).
    now PLEASE! Don't judge my writing itself, okay, I'm probably NEVER going to become an author and I honestly don't care about the subtly or skill or anything of my writing, I like it the way it is and don't want to change it. This is JUST AN EXAMPLE. Is it too girly for my MC to say about himself? It works when my MC is a female (I do this all the time in my other novels).
    ANYWAY (this post is a little longer then I wanted it to be) Hopefully you guys can help :)
     
  18. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    I tend to think of men and women as being pretty psychologically equal.

    There are girls who will do the vicious cheerleader thing and compare themselves to Sally who has no boobs and laugh. There are guys just like that who seek to compare how built they are to some skinny or fat guy. Some girls think poetically about life and so do some guys, and so on. I can think of a fitness forum where all the young guys worry how they look, if their nipples are too big (believe it) and worry about being "homo" after every little thought in their head. To me, that the same as classic "female" anxiety, which is actually common anxiety.

    So, I'd get away from the guy/girl focus and get into his character. I think you explained his motivations pretty well. He believes that he was deprived in life and can't stand to have it easy and doesn't like when others do. What's important is if he has insight into his behaviors or is he just reacting.

    Also, a person like that might be "neurotic" meaning they do the opposite of what they think. For instance, he might be vain about his looks to attract atttention while saying he doesn't want/need any. He may wish to be a rock star while hating privileged people, etc.

    Guys and girls are pretty much the same except for bodily feelings. If he's an athletic guy then he might not have the same anxieties about violence that a woman would. He he might because some men hate violence, but I'm confident that men and women have different beliefs when it comes to this area.
     

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