Thursday, April 15, 2010

In the Minds of Boys

Usually a dangerous place for us girls to be. None of it makes any sense. But even if your MC is a girl, she is likely to come in contact with some boys, and they aren't all super-dreamy early 20th century vampires.

So, how do we, as female writers, make convincing male characters?

I reached out into the Twitterverse to get some suggestions of well-written YA books from a male point of view, and this is what I received:

LITTLE BROTHER by Cory Doctrow
STRUTS & FRETS by Jon Skovron
THE ISLAND by Gary Paulsen
PERFECT CHEMISTRY by Simone Elkeles
AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES by John Green
THE GIVER by Lois Lowry
I AM THE CHEESE by Robert Cormier
THE CHOCOLATE WAR by Robert Cormier
A SEPARATE PIECE by John Knowles
CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger
THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER by Stephen Chbosky

Notice something? Most of them are written by men. Does this mean there is no hope for us ladies looking to expand our character base? I think not.

Why not try spending time with some boys? Yes, it is torturous at times and a response to a question or statement may often be "That's what she said", but we write best what we know. So go out, get yourself a couple of guy friends, buy tickets to the baseball game or hit the go kart track. But if one of them asks you to "Pull my finger", just say no.

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