by Kathryn Jane
I am a woman, and therefore, as enlightened as I like to think I am, I still have a female point of view…which can sometimes be annoyingly skewed.
As a writer, I am often writing in a male point of view and like to think I do a damned good job of it because throughout my life I have worked side by side with many men, and have a decent understanding of how the male mind operates. Or so I thought.
But here’s the thing.
Readers constantly say they love how real, how authentic my male characters are. But are they? Or do I follow the myth of what women generally believe? Perhaps the men I create are the kind we would like to have in our lives.
The question then becomes, does it matter? Fiction is fiction after all, and creating characters a reader can love and relate to is what matters, right? Right!
But every once in a while I feel a need to validate my hero’s thoughts and actions and that’s when I do the scary thing. I ask a man. A real live, breathing male what he would have done in the same situation. What his thoughts might have been.
Sometimes I get the answer I want. Sometimes I don’t. But I always get something I can add to my understanding of the male mind, and often I get an answer that makes me laugh.
My hubby is my go-to guy for these questions because he’s one of those men who is totally stumped by a female perspective, which means I never get an answer tempered to fit the question.
Just now I did a test, for the fun of the blog. I asked him what color these scarves were. He said one was blue and the other was red. I see turquoise, and a reddish orange pattern on apricot which creates and overall burnt orange, but his male mind sees only the straightforward, none of the nuance.
Last week I had an important question for him. I came out of my writing cave and leaned on the door jamb. “Question,” I said, and he instantly gave me his attention because although he doesn’t read my books, he’s right into my writing and loves to help.
Me: “The hero has spent months trying to track down the woman he loves and finally finds her far from home, down and out, bone thin, and living on the streets. When he gets her to the safety of a hotel room, will he jump her bones?” (I asked this because it happened sort of like a celebration in the first draft of the story, but when I was editing it seemed insensitive.)
Hubby: “Is she asking for it or is he?”
Geeze, I hadn’t thought of that. Okay, I roll with it.
Me: “She wants it, but she’s skinny and looking pretty rough. Not attractive at all.”
Hubby: “He won’t say no.”
Me: “If she doesn’t want/ask/push for sex?”
Hubby: “He’ll look after her first. Wait until she does.”
And that, my friends, changed an entire scene in the book, and made it better. Much, much better! I realised that the heroine was going to want sex for validation of their relationship, to feel connected again, and that was yet another flaw in her I could explore.
It also added another facet to Jason’s personality. He was already a nurturing kind of man, but now he became aware of Kate’s need to use sex as… LOL… I’ll stop here and just say the title of the book is DIAMONDS TO DIE FOR, and it will be out at the end of September.
Caleb Broughton is a man’s man, and the last thing he needs is a greener-than-grass new partner—especially a woman he’s been avoiding for months. But when a plane suddenly vanishes, nothing else matters.
Grab this exciting sequel to Dance With Me, now!
Kat loves crisp sunny days, the warm breath of a horse, cats with a sense of humor, the smell of the ocean, and her very own charming prince—in no particular order. http://kathrynjane.com