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  #31  
Old 08-11-2009, 08:20 PM
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Wow, where do I start...

First of all, I'm not denying the fact that most men are very sexual in their phycology. I'm simply saying that I believe the reason most men think this way is because of our culture and past cultures. That's simply my observation and opinion. I could be totally wrong but I'll say it anyway.

Really? Are you really going to stand by this statement and call yourself normally male? Really?! Really?!!!
Like I already said, I'm not against sex. I would like to experience it someday, everyone would. I'm simply saying that the attention of my wife will be the most thrilling aspect of our relationship.

Maybe I'm not a normal man, maybe something is chemically different in my brain, haha. Anyway, I get irritated when I see other men being stereotypical in that sense. Every sex addict started by looking at woman sexually but it can escalate into something you would never expect. Of course, I'm not saying that every man will be an addict.

I'm sorry if I offended you in any way. Maybe I could be more open minded in some of my posts but I hope you understand my thoughts a bit more.

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  #32  
Old 08-11-2009, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Feran View Post
I'm sorry if I offended you in any way.
I'm not offended. It takes a lot to offend me. Besides, you never personally attacked me.

You have to some extent validated what I said. You have learned to control your impulses. Good men do, or the world would be utterly full of rutting rapine. I just wanted you to examine your assertions about what males actually go through in their maturation, and how we define ourselves, and how much sex plays a role in how we develop.

Whatever your experience, you still have urges. And if a stunning females passes you, you will look, and look with an attractive sexual appreciation, if not an intent to pursue. To do so is no disrespect to your spouse. It's just an instinct response.

It is a good thing that you have found fulfillment with your wife. Really.

But saying you would be happy if you never experienced sex, is by all accounts an extreme thing to state, as most men spend a majority of their life in pursuit of aspects surrounding reproduction. I'm not trying to belabor the point, but as you have found a mate and have achieve a measure of contentment, you thus prove what I said in my first post.

You had base needs that you went after until you found love, and then all that was secondary to the love your bear your wife and offspring. Or am I not correct?

In any event, I am not angry at you or offended by your opinions. Even if we disagree, you are entitled to your beliefs.

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Old 08-11-2009, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Feran View Post
Genetic imperative? No. The reason for "men to plant their seed in as many places as possible" is common in the secular world and only in the secular world...
Now that's funny. So us irreligious heathens can't keep it in our pants you you holy boys are angels who transcend sex.

Sorry Feran but you represent a tiny minority of men whose sex drive seems inconsequential, regardless of religion. Plenty of god-fearing men covet (and screw) eachothers wives, don't try to pretend that religion sets you apart. For me you've proven your opinion to be intellectually bankrupt. Worthless.

I presume you reject genetics on religious grounds?
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
Now that's funny. So us irreligious heathens can't keep it in our pants you you holy boys are angels who transcend sex.

Sorry Feran but you represent a tiny minority of men whose sex drive seems inconsequential, regardless of religion. Plenty of god-fearing men covet (and screw) eachothers wives, don't try to pretend that religion sets you apart. For me you've proven your opinion to be intellectually bankrupt. Worthless.

I presume you reject genetics on religious grounds?
Ooooo, harsh, Mike. Who needs a hug?



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Old 08-12-2009, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Slick-Jimmy View Post
You had base needs that you went after until you found love, and then all that was secondary to the love your bear your wife and offspring. Or am I not correct?
What you say here makes sense. I'll agree with that. Although, I should have been more clear: I'm not married. I don't even have a girlfriend, haha. I'm simply looking forward to the future and what married life might be like.

I'm very, VERY codependent (but I'm not sure why). When I look at a cute and genuinely nice girl I ask myself "would she be a suitable wife? would she be a good mother to my kids?" I shouldn't do that anymore though, it's probably not healthy, haha. Although, at this age (I'm 18) I don't think most girls are ready for marriage. In reality, I'm probably not ready for marriage either yet.

Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
I presume you reject genetics on religious grounds?
I'm not directly talking about religion. Lets try a different form of explanation. Like sex, freedom is also an attribute defined my humans. We long for freedom. What did we do about it? We developed an entire government called democracy. That same form of government is used in many, many countries and most people love it very much.

Humanity likes to take emotions and make them into something much bigger than they started out as. That's all I'm saying. That's my opinion, that's my observation. That doesn't mean I'm right, my opinion is just as good as anyone else's.
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:18 PM
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Hi Alice! Since you're enjoying this conversation, there are some other threads which you might enjoy reading:

Writing Men or Women?
Can men & women be just friends?
What do you dislike or love the most about being your gender
Why is it that chracters with emotion=emo?

It's always interesting to read these things: it challenges assumptions and gives a glimpse into other people's worlds. And you've got a great attitude of respect for the worlds you're being shown and the people who are sharing. That's key, too.
-----

My advice for writing male characters is to think about the people in your life who you imagine your characters might be like. They might be a mix of several. Maybe you want your character to have humor like your brother, be a cad like your first boyfriend, and talk like your boss. You may find it hard to imagine what the character would do, but easy to imagine what those people would do.

There are plenty of negative stereotypes about men (and women, and any group you can think of), but when we put it in terms of people we see how silly they are. Does your [insert male friend/relation here] think about sex more often than you? Probably. Is he a sex crazed neanderthal? Probably not. Bet your male characters are the same way! Does my brother cry a lot? No. Is he a stoic automaton? Certainly not! You bet my male characters are the same way!

Good luck with your writing.
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Old 08-14-2009, 04:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Feran View Post
Like sex, freedom is also an attribute defined my humans.
Sorry, but that's ludicrous. Sex is not an 'attribute' but the prime motivator of the human race. Without it, we die out. The need - not desire - to have sex is programmed into all of us; it's our only shot at immortality, it's a hedge against death. Freedom and democracy are man made constructs. Sex is in our genes. Some - like possibly yourself - may be driven less by it than others, but it's there in all of us.

Originally Posted by Feran View Post
Humanity likes to take emotions and make them into something much bigger than they started out as.
Sex isn't an emotion. It can be linked with emotional responses, and it can be a response to emotion, but it's a reproductive act (that happens to be a whole bundle of fun).

Originally Posted by Feran View Post
my opinion is just as good as anyone else's.
Even when it's wrong? Your right to express your opinion is as great as anyone else's, for sure, but a wrong opinion doesn't stand up against the truth.
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Old 08-14-2009, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by HoiLei View Post
Does my brother cry a lot? No. Is he a stoic automaton? Certainly not!
Interesting diversion from sex - about which there's been too much said already.

Let's add another dimension to the male character - what makes men cry?

For me, my father's death. For up to a couple of years after it happened. Wept like a baby on many an occasion, though often made sure I was somewhere private before the tears came.

Ill treatment of children - that brings tears to my eyes, though I may not actually cry. This - http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle5140511.ece - made me come close to losing all faith in humanity.

And last night; our dog is old and ill, I was discussing treatment options with my wife, and I thought back to how our old dog had a fit and died in my arms.

Bit of a softie, really.
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Old 08-14-2009, 05:05 AM
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Culture and roles are a funny old business. Crying is not only beneficial, it's necessary. That some people still believe emotions are better repressed than released is unbelievable to me. If I feel the need to cry, I cry, and I wouldn't care where I was. As long as it is honestly expressing your emotional state (and not doing the victim dance for attention and sympathy) its as natural an act as laughter.
My dad is very typical of his generation and the local "mans man" mindset. My mother never saw him cry in twenty years. Even when my brother was killed in a drink drive accident. That is some kind of repression and I think it's a big part of the psychological ill health of the modern man. My dad doesn't cry because his generation had it drilled into them that men don't cry. Some people might think that, at times, it's necessary to project strength to survive in the current culture. Maybe. But that doesn't make it right, it just means the culture is tits up.

I saw a woman crying in the street a couple of years ago. People were just walking past her, with no idea how to respond to her. It was one of the saddest things I've ever seen. She was obviously so distraught that she didn't care who saw her or what they thought, and yet by ignoring her they just confirmed and maximised her alienation. I cherish opportunities to rise above that kind of compartmentalisation.

edit- as a side note, I also think emotional honesty and sensitivity is a valuable thing in terms of experiencing life fully. I am regularly moved to tears by literature or exceptional natural beauty; even something as seemingly inconsequential as a flower. I think the mark of a well balanced emotional make up is the ability to see joy in as much of life as possible. What an emotional prison cell it must be to swallow back the minds natural appreciation of the joy of life. Ahhhh I feel like a hug now lol
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Old 08-14-2009, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Atreus View Post
I saw a woman crying in the street a couple of years ago. People were just walking past her, with no idea how to respond to her. It was one of the saddest things I've ever seen. She was obviously so distraught that she didn't care who saw her or what they thought, and yet by ignoring her they just confirmed and maximised her alienation. I cherish opportunities to rise above that kind of compartmentalisation.
What did you do?
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Old 08-14-2009, 06:41 AM
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Icon2 Specific Passage that relates to all of this :)

After reading through all of the responses on this thread this morning, I thought it might be best to post one particular bit from my story that I am having the most trouble with (male character wise).

A bit of backstory: Darius and Jayson are brothers. Darius, the elder, has been a guide/leader/protector of the heroine (who is not mentioned here) for the entire story. He is a big man, stoic, relatively removed emotionally, and intensely loyal. He has played the part of physical protector and almost Father-figure to the heroine as they have traveled across Domistara searching for answers to questions that determine the fate of all the major characters' lives. Ultimately, they are all trying to learn who the True King of Domistara is—as said King will save Domistara from utter destruction at the hand of the really bad guy—etc., etc., etc. In this bit below, Darius is told that the True King is his younger brother, Jayson.

What I want to know: Are his responses reasonable? Or should he be WAY more emotional? Is this how a man would react, somewhat, or am I totally off? All comments welcome! Thanks in advance!






Both Jayson and Darius received revelation that night.

When Darius woke with the thunder to find his brother gone and the storm violently shaking Fortaleza, he couldn’t help but be concerned for Jayson’s well being. The wind raged and pelted sheets of water into the land, saturating the ground, and filling every crevice and hollow with water in the cobbled courtyard below.

He gazed from the window out across the citadel’s western view toward the Amaranthine Falls. The rise and fall of the land were invisible in the darkness, but he pictured it with his memory, tracing the edges of the horizon. Why had Jayson gone out, tonight of all nights? Standing there in the darkness, he squinted as the flashes of lightning illuminated the room, blinking and anticipating each roll of thunder as it crashed over Domistara.

As one such illuminate explosion filled the room, the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. Rather than disappearing as quickly as it had come, the light grew in intensity until the entire room was shone as with the light of day.

He backed against the wall, shielding his eyes with his arm, and crouching in a defensive position. The big man was unsure what to make of the phenomenon. Squinting against the brilliance and struggling to adjust to the light, his eyes widened. He focused on the figure of a tall man, aged and silver-haired with deep, sad eyes—the impossible weight of time clothing him like an elegant robe.

No shadows remained in the room. It was as if they had been swept from every corner, from beneath every object. Though the light emanated from him, it also infused the very air around them, and Darius marveled at the texture of it—like light caught against a hundred-thousand bits of dust. The tall figure turned from where he stood running a finger over the breast of Jayson’s falcon, content on her perch, and gazed at Darius with a warm expression.

Darius gasped, realization finally dawning, and the stoic man fell to his knees, his heart hammering against his chest. The silver-haired man chuckled and rested a hand on Darius' shoulder affectionately.

“Darius, I have good news for you—though many a lesser man might consider it disheartening, under the circumstances.” Darius raised confused eyes to the figure before him and waited, overcome with his own astonishment and reverence. “The King you have waited for, have served, and have honored though you did not know him, is about to be revealed.” Darius felt his breath catch, and his pulse began to race as the man before him continued. “I’ve chosen your brother Jayson to rally my people and reclaim Domistara, dethroning the dark powers that have held the throne for far too long.”

The hopes that had flown only moments before, now fell. Jayson? Jayson—The True King? How could this be possible? Honorable? Yes. Trustworthy? Every time. Gentle? Kind? Compassionate? Surely. But King? He couldn’t see it.

The silver-haired man watched Darius wrestle with the revelation in silence, and when at last their gaze met and Darius nodded, resigning, the silver-haired man continued.

“And there is a great part of the reason I have chosen your brother—because I know that when he doubts, you will not, and when he falters, you will steady him. I will choose whom I will choose Darius, not because blood—or in this case, the supposed lack of it, dictates—but because I know the hidden things, and I delight in bringing to light what is beautiful and humble, and humbling what is only perceived as admirable.”

Darius wasn’t jealous of the honor bestowed on Jayson; he realized the cost it would extract, the demands it would incur, and the weight his brother would bear under such a load. But he did feel somewhat disheartened, as though he’d been—passed over. He wished it had been he, Darius, who would taste the glory and the honor his brother would know.

The silver haired man faced Darius and rested both hands on Darius’ shoulders. The big man shuddered under his touch, knowing the power contained in the figure before him could utterly destroy the whole of Domistara if he wished.

“Is the praise of men what you truly desire, Darius? It is in my power to give it to you.” He gazed down on him—a mere village watchman—with such tenderness and restrained authority that Darius fond himself trembling, fighting off the sudden urge to weep—something he was not accustom to.

Is that what he truly wanted? Part of him was quick to answer the affirmative, while another part knew that no matter how much applause or admiration he received, it would never be enough—and that was a dangerous path to set himself on.

“No,” Darius said at last. “I believe I have everything I truly desire.” The silver haired man studied him for several moments and then nodded.

“You are wiser than you know, Darius. I have great plans for you.”

And as quickly as he had appeared, he was gone, resigning the room again to darkness and the sound of the rain pounding against the citadel’s facade.

• • •

Jayson returned the following evening just as the sun fell over the western skyline. His brother met him at the great iron gate.

Neither man said a word for several long moments, and then without hesitation, Darius dropped to a knee before his brother. Stumbling back, Jayson shook his head and growled as he pulled his brother to his feet.

“You will not bow to me, Darius.” He wasn’t angry, but broken, and his voice shook. “There was a time when I thought this—this role would be a fantastic realization of my wildest dreams. Now that the unimaginable has actually occurred, I see this for the burden it is. I do not want this Darius. I wanted be the one to bow, to honor the man chosen to set Domistara right—I never wanted to be that man!”
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Old 08-14-2009, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
What did you do?
Just asked her if she needed anything. Being invasive would be as bad as ignoring her I think. I asked myself what I would want from a stranger if I was so upset that I was sat crying in the street. I wouldn't want strangers invading my space necessarily but honest concern could never harm. Her dad had died, or maybe her grandad. She said she hadn't seen him in ages and that it had been a massive shock for her and said "I bet I look like a right psycho..." and laughed. She said thank you for stopping to talk to her. and went on her way after a couple of minutes. The funny thing was I was having a bit of a shit time myself at the time and it kinda pulled me from under my own cloud for the rest of the day. People are so good for each other; its astonishing that most of the time we all walk around in our own little bubbles.

After reading through all of the responses on this thread this morning, I thought it might be best to post one particular bit from my story that I am having the most trouble with (male character wise).
Sorry Alice, I'm terrible at analyzing other peoples dialogue. I'll have another good look at this after dinner and see if I can offer anything.
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Alice Luther View Post

(I am still not sure of the character make up of Darius. Nor of your plan for him in the story. Is he a MacBeth? A Saul? Or is he a Churchill? An ambitious leader of men that did the hard things for the betterment of the people, but never let his ambition overwhelm him. I noticed that brothers have Greek and Persian derived names. Is there a reason for that? They were both kings. Jason was a very flawed one, who gained glory and honor though deception and betrayal, whose story eventually ended in tears and blood. Darius was a great emperor and vastly successful king, but was defeated by the Greeks. Is there a subtext? You forgot to mention the other male in your blurb. God, or Whoever He is. I found his description a bit trite at times. Such as "Silver Haired Man..." That's a bit flat. Glorious personage, or Divine Being, or the like would be more fitting. He can be constituted as male, but He is much more than that.)

Both Jayson and Darius received revelation that night.

When Darius woke with the thunder to find his brother gone and the storm violently shaking Fortaleza, he couldn’t help but be concerned for Jayson’s well being. The wind raged and pelted sheets of water into the land, saturating the ground, and filling every crevice and hollow with water in the cobbled courtyard below.

He gazed from the window out across the citadel’s western view toward the Amaranthine Falls. The rise and fall of the land were invisible in the darkness, but he pictured it with his memory, tracing the edges of the horizon. Why had Jayson gone out, tonight of all nights? Standing there in the darkness, he squinted as the flashes of lightning illuminated the room, blinking and anticipating each roll of thunder as it crashed over Domistara.

As one such illuminate explosion filled the room, the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. Rather than disappearing as quickly as it had come, the light grew in intensity until the entire room was shone as with the light of day.

He backed against the wall, shielding his eyes with his arm, and crouching in a defensive position. The big man was unsure what to make of the phenomenon. Squinting against the brilliance and struggling to adjust to the light, his eyes widened. He focused on the figure of a tall man, aged and silver-haired with deep, sad eyes—the impossible weight of time clothing him like an elegant robe.

No shadows remained in the room. It was as if they had been swept from every corner, from beneath every object. Though the light emanated from him, it also infused the very air around them, and Darius marveled at the texture of it—like light caught against a hundred-thousand bits of dust. The tall figure turned from where he stood running a finger over the breast of Jayson’s falcon, content on her perch, and gazed at Darius with a warm expression.

Darius gasped, realization finally dawning, and the stoic man fell to his knees, his heart hammering against his chest. The silver-haired man chuckled and rested a hand on Darius' shoulder affectionately.

(I'm assuming this is God, or somebody of divine origin. His speech should be more formal, elegant, and majestic. Thees, Thous, and Thys, etc. Not condescending, but...well, divine. This is the proclamation and revelation of a king. It's language should reflect the weight of such a revelation.)

“Darius, I have good news for you—though many a lesser man might consider it disheartening, under the circumstances.” Darius raised confused eyes to the figure before him and waited, overcome with his own astonishment and reverence. “The King you have waited for, have served, and have honored though you did not know him, is about to be revealed.” Darius felt his breath catch, and his pulse began to race as the man before him continued. “I’ve chosen your brother Jayson to rally my people and reclaim Domistara, dethroning the dark powers that have held the throne for far too long.”

The hopes that had flown only moments before, now fell. Jayson? Jayson—The True King? How could this be possible? Honorable? Yes. Trustworthy? Every time. Gentle? Kind? Compassionate? Surely. But Jayson? King? Leadership of men required so much more than the softer virtues. It required the hard choices. The gray choices. And sometimes the dark ones. Jayson, his beloved brother, was the paragon of virtue, but did he have the metal and grit for a King? He couldn’t see it.

(Realize, a Godly personage just told Darius his brother would be King. His doubts though nature, mean his pride and ambition are very strong, even in the face of the voice of a God. A more humble man would have just accepted the news and obeyed. This is an attribute od Darius' that could take him far in the halls of power, but he also could become very dangerous and tyrannical.)

The silver-haired man watched Darius wrestle with the revelation in silence, and when at last their gaze met and Darius nodded, resigning, the silver-haired man continued.

“And there is a great part of the reason I have chosen your brother—because I know that when he doubts, you will not, and when he falters, you will steady him. I will choose whom I will choose Darius, not because blood—or in this case, the supposed lack of it, dictates—but because I know the hidden things, and I delight in bringing to light what is beautiful and humble, and humbling what is only perceived as admirable.”

Darius wasn’t jealous of the honor bestowed on Jayson; he realized the cost it would extract, the demands it would incur, and the weight his brother would bear under such a load. But he did feel somewhat disheartened, as though he’d been—passed over. He wished it had been he, Darius, who would taste the glory and the honor his brother would know.

(Above is the very definition of Envy, and some would say that is analogous with Jealousy. You can make a distinction if you want, but they are very close emotional siblings.)

The silver haired man faced Darius and rested both hands on Darius’ shoulders. The big man shuddered under his touch, knowing the power contained in the figure before him could utterly destroy the whole of Domistara if he wished.

“Is the praise of men what you truly desire, Darius? It is in my power to give it to you.” He gazed down on him—a mere village watchman—with such tenderness and restrained authority that Darius fond himself trembling, fighting off the sudden urge to weep—something he was not accustom to.

Is that what he truly wanted? Part of him was quick to answer the affirmative, while another part knew that no matter how much applause or admiration he received, it would never be enough—and that was a dangerous path to set himself on.

“No,” Darius said at last. “I believe I have everything I truly need.” (Obviously he desires it, but to say anything other than this is to lie to a God. That God would know his lie immediately. Darius saying Need instead of Desire, is acknowledging his desire and suppress it for the what is needful and right. Whether this desire is to stay suppressed is still to be seen. Only if his soul was wash clean of his desire would he use desire in the face of what he knew to be a God. Only a fool would lie to a God, and Darius looks to be no fool.)The silver haired man studied him for several moments and then nodded.

“You are wiser than you know, Darius. I have great plans for you.”

And as quickly as he had appeared, he was gone, resigning the room again to darkness and the sound of the rain pounding against the citadel’s facade.

• • •

Jayson returned the following evening just as the sun fell over the western skyline. His brother met him at the great iron gate.

Neither man said a word for several long moments, and then without hesitation, Darius dropped to a knee before his brother. Stumbling back, Jayson shook his head and growled as he pulled his brother to his feet.

“You will not bow to me, Darius.” He wasn’t angry, but broken, and his voice shook. “There was a time when I thought this—this role would be a fantastic realization of my wildest dreams. Now that the unimaginable has actually occurred, I see this for the burden it is. I do not want this Darius. I wanted be the one to bow, to honor the man chosen to set Domistara right—I never wanted to be that man!”

(If there is any doubt in Darius still it should flicker here, foreshadowing troubles to come. If not, and Darius is to be his younger brother's staunchest supporter, he should be of firm resolve, and his next words should be of strengthening council.)
I hope that helps.

Jimmy Out.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:25 AM
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Jimmy. You're fabulous.
This is a great help.

In regard to names: Both simply came to me—no association to Greece or Persia intended. However, I knew both names did have an association with royalty, which I wanted. Both men are, in this story, Kings—Sort of. Jayson literally, Darius figuratively. Darius would be more of a Churchill who recognizes that his role will be both advisor/guardian/protector to those around him—brother the King included. No bitterness, just acceptance. He is a bigger man (in soul) than his brother—who has a lot to learn— and therein lies Darius' glory, and also a bit of angst in the story . . . intended.

Need vs desire. ( I think I will elaborate on this in the story). Darius is essentially saying he understands that a future filled only with granted desires is no future at all. But being human, he admits that his desires cannot simply be snuffed. In turn he is rewarded with the promise of a great future, though patience will be required.

King/God/Silver-haired man is only one part of a triune-glory. Woman, Man and child. (And I agree about the "flatness." I need to work on this). Darius is most often visited by the Silver-haired man, Jayson by the woman, and Julia, the heroine/protagonist, by all three.

The hopes that had flown only moments before, now fell. Jayson? Jayson—The True King? How could this be possible? Honorable? Yes. Trustworthy? Every time. Gentle? Kind? Compassionate? Surely. But Jayson? King? Leadership of men required so much more than the softer virtues. It required the hard choices. The gray choices. And sometimes the dark ones. Jayson, his beloved brother, was the paragon of virtue, but did he have the metal and grit for a King? He couldn’t see it.
This was perfect. You said exactly what I was trying to communicate and couldn't. Can I have this? :P

Again, your help is greatly appreciated and insightful. Should I assume I am on the right track gender-wise, with Darius, or do I have a long way to go???
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Alice Luther View Post
This was perfect. You said exactly what I was trying to communicate and couldn't. Can I have this? :P

Again, your help is greatly appreciated and insightful. Should I assume I am on the right track gender-wise, with Darius, or do I have a long way to go???
Of course you may have it. I wouldn't have left it if you couldn't. Do with it as you will.

As to Darius...

Because you are in his head, you can show his emotion. We men do have them, regardless of popular feminist propaganda. Every one of them, but a man like this will seldom be too demonstrative outwardly of his deeper emotions. Depending on how you want to play him, he may almost always be stoic and dignified.

Examine how you see him. Take the parts of men your want to incorporate into his character, and visualize how he behave on the outside, but also what he feels on the inside. What does he show and what does he hide. How cunning and crafty is he? How strong and in what ways? What are his weaknesses? Men are obviously confident in their strengths, sometimes too confident. They like to hide their weaknesses if they are ashamed of they, and improve them if they are not.

An inability is not always a weakness. A man may not be a chef, but he may not see that as a problem. It is just something he doesn't do well, or not at all.

Weaknesses are integral.

A shameful weakness would be he is a peeping tom.

A non-shameful weakness is he is not very organized.

Do you see?

Shameful weaknesses color a man's actions. Non-shameful one don't necessarily.

Darius' shameful weakness could be that he is envious of his brother in small part and thus second guesses him as older brother are wont to do, but he manages his feelings and supports his brother to the end.

Do you see how these feeling could be shameful to Darius, because his loyalty and ambition rankle with each other?

These are just thoughts. If you want more in depth stuff, you can always PM me.

Hope that helps.

Jimmy Out.
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Old 08-16-2009, 06:31 AM
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As a male, I avoid writing female leads because I'm not smart enough to do it right and too lazy to research it.
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Old 08-16-2009, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Atreus View Post
That some people still believe emotions are better repressed than released is unbelievable to me. If I feel the need to cry, I cry, and I wouldn't care where I was. As long as it is honestly expressing your emotional state (and not doing the victim dance for attention and sympathy) its as natural an act as laughter.
I know what you're saying, but I'd have to disagree. Crying is definitely a natural act and everybody is moved that way on occasion, but there's definitely a time and a place. When people break down and cry, it generally means that they're overwhelmed with an emotion. That's a good thing sometimes, but it doesn't speak of being rational or doing what needs to be done.

I value my father's rational and reasonable opinion and many times I'll drive back to the parents place just to discuss and debate politics, a current affair or something that's happening in my life. If my father was easily moved to tears I think it would take away from that. Revulsion and horror at some unspeakable act... Yes. Breaking down into hysterics... No.

By the way, I'm not advocating that people shouldn't cry. But I think private tears are better than portraying yourself as somebody dependant on others to sort them out. Obvious exceptions being traumatic experiences like the death of a loved one, as well as the open sharing between lovers.

For example, would you vote in a country leader who always broke down and cried when shit hit the fan? Or would you want somebody level-headed?
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:25 AM
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Oh I'm not saying people should cry easily. The last time I cried a friend had died suddenly at 27. Prior to that I can't even remember. People shouldn't feel the need to cry often, because they should be emotionally balanced enough to not need to cry in the first place. All I'm saying is that if there is a physiological need to cry, burying it will only force it to surface somewhere else. Like cancer or some other physical illness that only got it's foot in the door through the low immunity of the individual brought on by stress. Whats stress? Unreleased tension.
There's nothing worse than someone breaking down on a weekly basis, but even in their case, it identifies a need that isn't being addressed. Forcing back the tears does nothing but save face.

I think private tears are better than portraying yourself as somebody dependant on others to sort them out.
What, even if they are dependent on others? I mean if someone is dependent on others to sort them out, I want to know about it before I give them a job in government. But yeah, tears would be more ideal in private. I'm not stating a preference for crying in public here, just crying when its needed. I don't think anyone (other than some victim attention seeker) is going to want to cry in public.

For example, would you vote in a country leader who always broke down and cried when shit hit the fan? Or would you want somebody level-headed?
I'd want someone level headed. And the only way they could be level headed would be to have a balanced emotional state. The stress that a person releases by crying, you would prefer it stay hidden and be released while setting foreign policy?
I don't want some guy having his finger on the button when he hasn't shed a tear in 40 years because he refuses to be a sissy. Those are exactly the kind of people who ARE running the show. Much to our detriment.

Sorry for hijacking your thread a bit here, Alice. But I suppose it's still clinging to your topic... just about...
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:49 AM
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Hey—everyone needs a good hijacking once in awhile.
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:08 PM
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I have the same problems with female characters (what with me being a man and all ).

This is something I think on often and something I always look for in books I read. A favorite series of mine is the Wheel of Time but I have to say that the way the author represented gender difference in that book is odd. All women firmly believe that men are all idiots and all men think that all women are impossible to understand. Anyone who has read the series will know what I mean.

Fiction aside, perhaps you could look at how men and women deal with real situations. Men are often more direct while women are anything but. Women can be more compassionate while men can be more harsh. That sort of thing but always remember that we are both human. There is the old saying that if women were in charge there would be no wars. That's crap, there would be, but they wouldn't be fought the same way.
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Atreus View Post
. . . if there is a physiological need to cry, burying it will only force it to surface somewhere else. Like cancer or some other physical illness that only got it's foot in the door through the low immunity of the individual brought on by stress. Whats stress? Unreleased tension.
What, man! ne'er pull your hat upon your brows;
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.
Shakespeare - Macbeth Act IV, scene iii
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by HoiLei View Post
What, man! ne'er pull your hat upon your brows;
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.
Shakespeare - Macbeth Act IV, scene iii
Awesome.
I wish I knew my Shakespeare well enough to pluck verses. That one's a peach.
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:43 AM
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I wish I knew Shakespeare well enough to pluck verses! As it is, I just remember what happened in different plays, and then go hunting to find the exact lines I'm thinking of!

This is a pretty great quote: Malcolm talking to Macduff after the latter finds out his family has been murdered. A bit later, Malcolm urges Macduff to "be a man" and avenge his loved ones, and he says he will but first he must feel it like a man. Macbeth has a lot to say about what manhood is and how different characters interpret it.
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:29 AM
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I think I'm long overdue a good dose of Shakespeare. There just aren't enough hours in the day!
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:49 AM
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the most helpful thing i can think of to tell you is to balance your male characters. stereotypes are surface images and understandings. while they may give you an accurate account of the image of a character, they ignore the essence of what every unique individual is. so you can use the stereotype to build the image of your male characters, then use your own feelings and characteristics as a woman to balance out the stereotype with the substance. all of us are born of man and woman. all of reality is a harmonious balance of two opposite natures (masculine feminine, yin yang, black white, whatever you wanna call it), and it's only here in this dimension of Separation where the two don't exist in that unified, harmonious balance. every guy, whether they'll admit it or not, has a feminine side to their nature. some choose to ignore it because they think accepting it makes them gay. that's childish social pressure conditioning. same goes for girls: you all have a masculine element to your nature as well, which you can embrace and understand by looking at what you consider to be the "male" stereotype, and then reflect upon how that is manifested in your own personality and there you go... now you can make your male characters more believable by making them more like yourself.

hope this long winded answer helps some...
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Old 08-27-2009, 05:44 AM
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OK, focusing strictly on the male character thing, I see no problem whatsoever.

I think you have nothing to worry about.
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Old 08-27-2009, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by zizban View Post
As a male, I avoid writing female leads because I'm not smart enough to do it right and too lazy to research it.
"A man's got to know his limitations."

-- Clint Eastwood, on being asked whether he intended to learn to play the saxophone like Charlie Parker.
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Old 10-18-2009, 01:11 PM
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*high five*

I had the same trouble! The best I can tell you is to try to observe & get to know the 'species' you're writing about. Watch males in public & see what kind of words they use & how they respond. But remember, males have feelings, too; though they commonly don't show them.

I had my brother & dad read my work when I wrote from a male perspective, and had them tell me if any of it sounded too girly.
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Old 10-18-2009, 01:57 PM
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I haven't read the entire post, but just wanted to say a few words. I'm a guy, and my very first finished book was a fantasy story that had five main heroes. Three of them were male, two were female. I didn't think about this at all when I wrote it. Before I wrote it, I spent a little thinking about what kind of characters I wanted to have. Two of the male characters were soldiers, so they were strong, knew how to fight, protected the others and so on. They were both quite serious, although knew how to have fun. The third guy was an idiot, but in a good way. Never too serious, but could really be depended on when in trouble.

As for the women, I let them be spellcasters. They weren't as strong as the guys in physical strength, but their minds were much stronger. They too were serious and responsible, although the five of them had a great time with a lot of laughs. I never really cared that two of them were women. They were just... characters. I mean just because you are a woman, it doesn't mean you run and hide when enemies show up and freak out of your hair is a bit messy. Many will fight side by side with the guys.

My latest (currently unpublished) novel takes place both in the present and in the 1970's. The story evolves around five women, so we have five women in their 20's and five women in their 50's as the main characters. That's ten women, and again, I'm a guy. The entire novel has three guys in total, and all of them are extras. One is the captain that takes one of the women to an island in the beginning, for instance. He has one line in the entire booka and disappear after the first paragraph.

I guess I am asking why it matters if the characters are male or female. Are we really that different?

Oh, and allow me to take Feran's side here in the sex-discusson. I'm a guy, and I love to look at pretty women. I like talking to women. I have female friends. Still, it takes a lot more for me to think about having sex with someone that good looks. I have had sex before, and although I'm single right now and happy with it, I might have sex again one day. But if I do, I will first have to be dating her for at least a month first so we get to really know each other. I don't want sex to be the driving force in our relationship. I want friendship, a companion, someone to share my life with, someone to share my joys and sorrows with, someone to depend on, someone who depends on me... you get the idea. The sex is just a bonus. Not that I like sex, though. I like making love, and while it usually ends in sex, it doesn't have to.

Am I normal? I seriously doubt it, but so what? Does that make me a bad man?
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