The Wednesday Wondering – Let’s Hear it For the Boys!

I’ve only just squeezed this one into Wednesday! Been frantically putting the finishing touches to my Marie Claire/Harper Collins Debut Novel Award competition entry which closes at midnight. I’m a bit eleventh hour on everything today!

Today’s Wednesday Wondering was posted by our Write Romantic in Australia, Helen R. She says she really enjoys including the male point of view in her writing but knows that there are others who don’t. The question is therefore:

How important do you feel it is to include the male point of view in your writing? Do you enjoy writing it? Do you enjoy reading it? What are your reasons why?

As usual, we’d love to hear your comments whether you’re a reader or a writer (or both) but here are what some of the Write Romantics say, starting with the question-poser herself:

HELEN R:

I am starting to enjoy reading the hero’s point of view. For example, Jane Lovering’s “Star Struck” includes the hero’s POV and I think that it adds richness to the story and shows the hero’s struggle in a unique way that we otherwise wouldn’t know about unless he told his story via dialogue. 

I think that whether to include the hero’s point of view would largely depend on the story and its themes.  As for getting into the male frame of mind, I think that’s hard to do but not impossible. I suppose this is where we can use husbands and family members to let us know if it’s realistic. I even thought perhaps about reading more male magazines such as men’s health to help me get into their heads a bit. One thing that I find really helps is to read other writers’ work to see how they’ve tackled the challenge.

I know that some others prefer not to write a male POV so this Wednesday I was really wondering what everybody else thought and why?

 
ALEX:
I decided Beltane, the book I’ve just finished, needed a male view point because it’s partly suspense and there were things about the hero (Finn) that I needed the reader to know which my heroine would only find out as the book went along.  I thought writing male POV would be really difficult but once I got started and really got to know Finn it was just great fun. Whether I’m any good at it though, and whether he’s convincing as a male character is an entirely different question and I’ll leave that to my NWS reader to comment upon.  I’ll let you know when I get my report back!
 
 
DEIRDRE: 
This is an interesting one.  I wouldn’t say that the male POV is necessarily important; it depends entirely on the type of book and, possibly, where you want to market it (see below!) I love writing the male POV, in fact I enjoy it more than the female.  I honestly don’t know why.  It could be because it’s more challenging and fun to become someone completely different.  I like to give my male leads depth and sensitivity and I wouldn’t find those qualities so easy to bring out if I was just describing him from the female lead’s POV.  You have to be in his head to understand truly what’s going on, I think. There’s a practical side to it, too.  Having begun by writing what I wanted to write, I now tend to try and maximise my chances of publication, so the male POV will be in there, just in case…. Choc Lit, anyone?

 

JULIE:

I confess that I’ve never tried to include the male POV but that’s mainly because I’m working on a trilogy where Book 1 is based around one character but introduces us to two female best friends. Book 2 follows one of their stories but also includes POV of the protagonist from Book 1 and Book 3 follows the third friend but with POVs of the other two. If I’d added in male POVs, it would have got way too messy. There were moments where I felt it would be useful to have insight from the male POV but I found ways round it. In fact, not knowing what was going on in the hero’s mind actually worked better because the reader is left wondering about his intentions and I quite like that.

I don’t have any strong opinions about reading books in male POV or not. Years and years ago I read ‘Come Together’ by Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees who are a husband and wife writing team who alternated chapters of male and female POV. I seem to remember thinking that was very clever and enjoying it so much that I bought the follow-up ‘Come Again’ that came out a few years later. However, I must have passed on my original and I can’t remember what happened so I’ve not got round to reading the follow-up. Must download the original on my Kindle at some point.

 

OVER TO YOU … please share!
Julie xxx

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6 thoughts on “The Wednesday Wondering – Let’s Hear it For the Boys!

  1. Another interesting post, ladies! Tricky one that. I think it depends on the story you’re telling (or reading!) I do like to hear a hero’s thoughts but not too much…I like maybe a hint of what’s going on but I like to have that element of doubt, too. I know the “in thing” seems to be including the hero’s point of view and Choc Lit does it very well in my humble opinion, but it can be difficult to pull off. I think sometimes it’s nice to only know what the heroine knows and wonder what the hero is really feeling behind that cool exterior! Really does depend on the book I guess. Someone once pointed out to me that the male point of view would have totally ruined Rebecca. After all, if we’d known what was in Max de Winter’s mind there would have been no story at all! 🙂

    • Thanks for joining the debate, Sharon. I do think you’re right in saying that it completely depends on the story. Sometimes it just doesn’t work or wouldn’t work. I’m now going to be a total heathen and confess that I’ve never read Rebecca or even seen a film/tv adaptation so don’t actually know what happens! I’m therefore most intrigued as to what Max de Winter is up to!
      Julie
      xx

      • Oh Julie, you really should! It’s an amazing book, full of intrigue and suspense and when you do read it you will know what I mean. The not knowing is everything! Daphne Du Maurier is one of my favourite authors and this is one of her best novels imho..
        Sharon
        xx

  2. Interesting post, ladies! I included some male POV in Bk 2 because my female character was behaving in a way that made complete sense to her, but not to anyone else. That’s really the only time I’ve done it though (so far!). I like reading stories with more than one POV, but I don’t mind whether they are male or female.
    Elle 🙂 xx

  3. if I am reading chic lit, I can do without the male POV. But in romance I like to see the conflict in the difference of how he sees things and how she sees things. I find it pretty easy to write because I have a very alpha male hubby and two teenage boys at home…plenty of material to draw from, heck some of the conversations my H/H have are conversations/arguments the hubby and I have had. Lol

    • Thanks for sharing Jeepdad. Well, you’ve got to get your inspiration from somewhere … I now have a vision of trying that myself and having to dash off to get a pen and paper to make sure I get the same words down!
      Julie

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