Thursday, September 1, 2011

Her Lilac Blouse Matched the Color of Her Eyes --- MY FOOT!

By Andrea Boeshaar

Ah, the male mind. What woman can truly comprehend its complexity? As an author of romance, I certainly try – quite a feat.

For instance, I would once describe, in great length, a woman’s attire as she strode into a room and the handsome, alpha hero got his first glimpse of her. I wrote from the male POV (point of view) and I’ve since learned that he wouldn’t likely notice how her lilac-colored blouse complimented the hue of her violet-blue eyes.

Some men might, yes. But most men – particularly alpha heroes – would not.

To illustrate this point, I conducted my own personal survey. That’s right. I emailed my grown sons. I asked them if, the first time they saw their significant others, they noticed the outfits the young women wore (color of shirt, slacks/jeans, etc). My sons’ replies are as follows:

“Mom, are you kidding me?”

“Mom, is this for one of your books?”

After I replied that yes, it was, a second reply was not forthcoming.
“You don’t want to know what we noticed, Mom. We’re dudes, ok?”

Ok! So much for the lilac-colored blouse…

Of course, I recall what my sons’ girlfriends wore when I first met them. One gal was in Army fatigues as she and my son had just come from their 1 weekend a month duty. Another was casual, wearing jeans and a tee shirt. Another had on a cute jumper and had her hair all curled.

But, realize this: I was “the mom” checking them out – and I’m a writer who is trained to notice details.

The average guy is not.

I went ahead with my survey anyway and asked my husband.

“I noticed your smile,” he said.

At last! A more sensitive guy.

“And those cute, white painter’s pants you used to wear, remember?”

I did.

“But it was your smile I noticed first. Definitely your smile.”

My husband went on to add that he would never describe a lady’s blouse as “lilac.” To him it would be either blue or purple. And he probably wouldn’t even notice a woman’s attire at all, unless it was outrageous or, at least, out of the ordinary.

My survey now complete, I scanned my results and decided that when writing from the male hero’s point of view, it’s best not to overly describe women’s wear and their accessories. A man may very well notice a woman’s tight-fitting jeans or that her sweater looks two sizes too small. But he most likely wouldn’t be aware of colors or whether the sweater had a lovely lace inset around the neckline.

I’m sure you get my point. When we, as authors, have to create a hero and write from his POV, then we  have to step over the line and cross into the dark side – into the male mind!


Barbara Edwards said...

Hi Andrea,
I did the same survey with my sons, only they were more forthcoming. Anatomy is a large part of their view. Very different.

Brenda Whiteside said...

So much the truth, Andrea. Dang. And it extends to beyond first meetings, too. The male mind...

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

I mentioned to my older son that writing from a man's pov was often difficult. His response? "Why, we think three things in various formats. One: when do we eat? Two: I need a beer. Three: Wonder what she looks like naked. Sigh...'nuff said.

Alison Henderson said...

Ha! So true, Andrea. And when we write male characters we have to make the choice between realism and fantasy.

Jannine Gallant said...

Men may as well be living in a cave. I've gotten my hair cut (we're talking 6 inches not a trim) and my husband didn't notice for a week!

Karyn Good said...

I can just hear my son commenting in exactly the same way as yours. I love asking my guys these types of questions because you really do get insight into how their brains work!

Colleen Connally said...

Interesting. Do you think sometimes when we write from a men's POV its what we would like for him to see first? You're right. I don't think lilac would ever come out of my son's or husband's mouth.

Andrea said...

Jerri, you make a good point. I think you're right, but I think mostly, I make the mistake when I describe how I would see things -- as a female. That's when I have to go back and revise. :)

Laura Breck said...

Isn't it tough to think like a man? It really takes a lot of acting ability for us females to get into that role. Academy Awards for us all!

Margaret Tanner said...

Great blog Andrea,
I have three sons and one husband, and honestly, they wouldn't notice what a woman wore, unless it exposed her breasts, then they might take a second look.But as for what colour she wore, wouldn't have a clue.