Why are men so often clichés on the romantic page? They don't need to be. Not even when real-life men appear to be clichés of themselves. These techniques can create male characters who pop off the page in any genre for their realism and depth.
Come join the male author of over a hundred short stories, fifty romance novels, and twenty thrillers (including numerous Top 10 Romance of the Year accolades from B&N, NPR, and various industry reviewers) as he explores: common tropes (and why they're wrong even when they're so right), guy-speak, emotions, physicality, journeys, and much more.
Also we'll tackle the Kinda-Myths: grunting, silent, brooding, uncommunicative, punching walls, rampant sex drive (while in a gunfight), arrogance, lack of emotion, conversations all about them…
Please consider this book as only the starting point, one guy's guide planting trail markers along your journey to writing more engaging heroes. This is an attempt to explain the male experience in ways that will enhance your fictional men. In the writing process this also became my best effort at explaining the male experience. Any deeper understanding it provides of real men is purely coincidental but not accidental.
Our goal is to delve into how to remove fictional men from the clichéd world so many romance heroes appear to be trapped in. I'm not saying that the bad boy, the humble cowboy, the arrogant billionaire, etc. don't have their place. I do believe though that writers, and not only beginners, often fall into stereotypes without looking deeper.
It's by bringing the choices we make as writers into the conscious mind that we can improve our characters. It's too easy for our writing to fall into cliché and stereotype. This is a book about putting Prince Charming to the sword and your heroes pop on the page. No one benefits from stereotypes: not the writer, not the characters, not the real men in real life or the women who love them.
But why do we want to go to all that extra work? And it is work. I love it deeply, but it isn't easy. (We're competing on an international stage called publishing. Did you expect it to be easy?)
If you're selling tens of thousands of copies (or more), why are you even reading this book? Seriously, if whatever you're doing seems to be working, don't clutter it up with my two cents.
Ah, but if you're not? Hopefully, this book will help you figure out why. The chances are very good that it's your hero's demise into cliché. We'll look at multiple ways to elevate the characters by going deeper into them, making them more visible, more lifelike Will these tactics work on female characters as well? Absolutely, but they're not the primary focus here (though I will pay them occasional thought as we go).