Last Wednesday, Jenny talked about the ever-elusive voice, but today I wanted to get a little more specific. The male MC.
So writing male POV isn't the most common out there, even for male authors.
In two weeks, I have my debut novel, Eyre House, coming out. It's male POV. And while writing it was hard, querying it was even harder. Every contest I entered it in came back with at least one comment that they couldn't tell my MC was a guy. Every contest. (I even had someone ask if Eyre House was going to be f/f fiction, because the MC just seemed so butch...)
So I thought, "Ok, male POV is just hard, I just have to make this more obvious."
The truth is, male POV just isn't what people expect when they pick up YA. Most readers seem to just automatically assume the MC will be a girl. Which, that's a whole other post, really. Because I'd rather talk about the how. Share some of the things I looked at while trying to capture an authentic male voice.
Yeah. It's boy vs. girl time. Growing up with brothers & teaching boys, these are some things I've noticed.
Most girls tend to over-think things. Yeah, I know, but there's a reason the stereotype exists. We think a lot more with our emotions than guys do. Which isn't to say that guys don't think things through. But in my experience, guys tend to be more impulsive in the way they think, and they do it without the emotional baggage that girls seem built with. Girls think how something will make them feel emotionally. Guys think about how it'll make them feel physically. So when I was writing Evan, and dealing with first-person POV, I tried to work for a harder edge to his thoughts, and while there was plenty about his feelings, I tried to keep it concise and straightforward.
I think we can all agree that you put a guy and a girl in an identical situation, and they'll almost definitely behave differently. It's just the way we're built. I wanted a MC that was unmistakably male. He rides a motorcycle. He swears. He lets his lower extremities do a lot of his thinking, even when his brain says he shouldn't. He walks into a situation and acts, instead of thinking it through. Again, a lot of that may seem like stereotype, but sometimes you have to use those stereotypes to your advantage.
Here's the tough one. But especially if you're writing multiple-POV, your male MC must sound different from your female. ABSOLUTE MUST. Whether it's giving them a harder, tougher edge, or whatever, it just has to sound and feel different.
There's nothing concrete I can list and say do this. The best thing you can do is get a few guys to read. But whatever you do, don't give up on it. We need more authentic male POV out there.
So what are your thoughts? How do you write male POV?