Write Like A Man

Sooo, I’m in two separate writer’s groups.  I love the feedback from the men in particular.  Not that I don’t love and value the critiques I get from my kindred women-folk.  It’s just that men and women write VERY differently and the male perspective intrigues me.

Women may say “turned” whereas, a man will often say “swiveled.”

Men generally don’t write touchy feely, but they sure notice when women do.  I can almost see my writing partners make faces when reading some of our womanly words.  Especially when we pen our male MCs.

One writer in particular–you know who you are–will trounce on us gals to man-up our protags.  He has in innate “feminine” radar when it comes to dialogue.  And don’t get me started on our apparent inability to write a male’s thought process.

I usually end up in stitches while reading his comments to our manuscripts.  And I also end up a better writer.

Yet the adage, “a good man is hard to find” holds true in both life and writing.  For some reason, we, of the softer gender, tend to outnumber our male counterparts by a bajillion to one.  Or maybe it’s just that women are more apt to seek help and support whereas men tend to go solo.  Whatever the reason, I feel blessed to be part of two groups boasting male memberships.

How do you think dual-gender writing groups can be beneficial?  Do you think some genres require this more than others?  Why or why not?  Have you participated in writer’s groups with mixed species?  If so, share your most valuable cross-gender writing tip with the rest of us.

Curious minds want to know.


16 responses to “Write Like A Man

  1. I do think both genders should read your writing, no matter what! My husband was able to provide me with a ton of insights when I was writing my 1st novel that I wouldn’t have gotten w/o a male perspective.

    Thanks for the tips!

    Brittany Roshelle

    The Write Stuff

    • Brittany,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. It is so true that men offer far more than we expect them to. And while I know that sounds silly and a bit pretentious, I think many women writers don’t consider that a male can add to their writing–regardless of the genre.

      Great point!

  2. i walked into a bookstore looking for a critique group at the proper time. I walked up to a group of women and asked they were the group

    To make a long story short, i ended up being invited to a young adult critique group made up entirely of women writers.

    We read 5 – 8 pages aloud and then comment. I find write and want to read clipped short sentences. And ask for more details and description in action scenes.

    Most valuable tip is the ability to different points of view and incorporating them into my writing. After all, a story has to appeal to many readers on many levels. One dimensional story telling is always flat.

    • I think there’s a lot to be said for writing flat stories when we only have one gender’s worth of input. By getting balanced feedback, we can definitely plump up our writing and make it more fulfilling–no matter who our audience is.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and weighing in.

  3. I attended a conference once with Leigh Michaels and took copious notes. If you ever get a chance to hear her speak on this topic, GO. Also, try reading “You Just Don’t Understand.” I haven’t got very far thanks to other obligations, but it’s got great insights. I wish my groups had a male reader. The few times I’ve had one, the insights have been tremendous.

    • *adds book to TBR list*

      I’ll have to check her out, because I think that to ignore the male-ness factor in our writing is to short change our readers. Even if our audience is predominantly female. One of my male MCs was a gentleman–raised by a grandfather and father with gentlemanly manners (opening doors for girls, etc)–but a few of my male critters said it made him feel like a pansy. Funny that I had to “man-up” my true man. Yet this feedback was invaluable in fleshing out my character.

  4. Yeah, I have and I always find the men’s thoughts useful. Especially when dealing with male POV.

    • LOL, or maybe we just like to see what they’re really thinking?!?!?

      But yes, they do offer a much different perspective, and I think it helps round out our characters more fully.

      Thanks for weighing in!

  5. I don’t have any male crit buddies, but it certainly would be helpful. Although, I write stuff with a strong romantic bent, so I’m not sure too many males would be interested! My target market is definitely female! 🙂

    • I always wonder if men are opposed to reading romantic stories or if they are simply opposed to reading them in public…. So far all my male crit partners are very insightful even when a romantic bent is introduced. Or maybe even especially so. I would think that keeping a male’s interest during such a scene or manuscript would be the ultimate compliment.

  6. There are a lot of male authors who write from a woman’s point of view, and I’ve never hesitated to write from a man’s point of view. How do I know what a guy might think, feel, say in any given situation? I don’t know….guess I’ve been around enough of them that I feel I have some idea. A good male crit partner (outside of family members) would be nice to have. Gotta get me one of those.

    • They’re out there, Yvonne!

      And I think you nailed it when you said “outside of family members.” I always say I like my crit partners to like me enough to read my writing, but don’t love me enough to lie to me. I think it would be hard for a spouse or parent or sibling to be fully honest about their dislikes.

      Good luck finding a few good men!

  7. I agree that having male betas is very important in the writing process. I think I write guys well, because I grew up with mostly guy friends, but it’s still good to have those reminders from our male counterparts!

  8. I’ve never been in a critique group and have no plans to ever join one, but I do know cliches and generalizations when I see them. “Women may say “turned” whereas, a man will often say “swiveled.” ” If the meaning of that statement is that women use “weak” words and men use “strong” words, I have to counter with the very basic notion that how people use words is as much a function of their writing experience as it is of their gender. “…don’t get me started on our apparent inability to write a male’s thought process.” When that inability exists, it’s at least partly a result of not paying attention to any thought processes but your own. A fiction writer who’s unable to get into the heads of people unlike him/her self is always going to be a crap writer. And then there’s the uncomfortable fact that not all women are “soft” and “touchy feely.” There are women with very masculine outlooks, who find their own gender somewhat of a mystery.

  9. Pingback: Blog Treasures 10-8 « Gene Lempp's Blog

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