Sometimes, he realizes it’s better to quit and try again later.

Tried to write a blog post in response to an article about ‘the only way to write a realistic female character.’ Got angry, went on a tangent, lost focus…

Tried to write a blog post in response to someone’s comment (on another blog) that “grammar doesn’t matter, all readers care is do they like the story.” Got angry, went on a tangent, lost focus…

The thing is, I don’t feel angry in general. Despite and because of the weather lately, I feel rather good. (The mid-70s temperature is quite pleasant, but these changes in air pressure cause me a lot of pain.) I’ve got a cat sitting on my desk, I have sunshine and a view of trees outside my window… This is the life. I’m not even feeling unfocused, in general. As long as I don’t have to address things that seem irrational (and by irrational, I mean doesn’t make sense on an emotional level, either — feelings are data, too), I can talk about just about anything and stay on topic. Mostly. I am experiencing a slightly elevated tendency to randomly (ha!) make obscure-fiction-reference jokes (I blame Corey — no, the other Corey), but that could be because I haven’t had any coffee today, and if I’m not allowed to laugh and have fun on my own blog, screw you.

But I do have too many thoughts in my head, apparently.

According to common advice on how to write a realistic male character, Y-chromosomed humans do not multi-task; they think about only one subject at a time, and they use very few words to talk about that subject, if they talk about it at all. So I’m failing horribly at being a guy.

And I used metaphors in both of those posts I tried to write. And sarcasm. And other things that aren’t meant literally. And I wanted to discuss more than one thing and only that thing. So I can’t even do autism right.

Whatever. Today may just be a day to delight in being a statistical anomaly. (Not as if I can do anything to change it, is there?)

I have been doing writing-related stuff, though.

Inspired by someone else’s blog post, I took a scene from “that novel” and deleted everything but the actual dialogue. No tags/attributions, no actions, no characters’ thoughts… And it didn’t work. Mind you, I did deliberately choose the scene LR once described as “almost Rorchachian” in the way what is spoken plays off what isn’t, but that’s part of my point: If the whole story can be told through dialogue, either the story is too thin, or the characters are being nearly “As you know, Bob” with their dialogue. (Someday I may share examples from this scene, dialogue-only and otherwise, to illustrate what I’m talking about.)

This topic (and the others) will get a for-real blog post, I’m sure. Just not now. I don’t feel up to doing it justice. Better to quit and try again later.

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About Thomas Weaver

I’m a writer and editor who got into professional editing almost by accident years ago when a friend from university needed someone to copyedit his screenplay about giant stompy robots (mecha). Having discovered that I greatly enjoy this kind of work, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use ever since as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom. I'm physically disabled, and for the past several years, I’ve lived with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have six cats. (The preferred term is "Insane Cat Gentleman.") I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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8 Responses to Sometimes, he realizes it’s better to quit and try again later.

  1. Jenn Moss says:

    That actually sounds like a productive day. Even the stuff you get annoyed at can provide food for thought.

    I don’t get the idea that all men should share such-and-such characteristics and all women should share such-and-such characteristics. We’re all human beings first and foremost. Some do the stereotypical thing; others will never fit into a pre-made box.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. The two most talkative persons I ever met were men. They happened to be the worst gossips, too.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. While I do believe that men and women are fundamentally different and that they do tend to exhibit the traits you listed here, I find it flawed for people to try to restrict the writing process in this way. It might be the usual case with men and women, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be exceptions.

    Meh, probably just another pretentious author trying to sell their method as the only one

    Liked by 3 people

  4. So ‘according to common advice on how to write a realistic male character’ you’re actually a woman? Nope, not buying it! I also think that ‘common advice’ would make for truly boring characters! Give me a snarky, witty, sometimes gruff and moody male character anytime. Oh and if they don’t talk, if they’re all internal angst … yawn!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have been inhabiting a female body since birth. Even with all my experience in being a woman, I would never presume to tell anyone how to write a realistic female character.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Jiuhl says:

    I’d like to see both those blog posts.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I use Dramatica to plot. To make things go the way I need them to go, I chose to have one of the women have ‘male mental sex’ and the man, who is an actor, impulsive and intuitive, have ‘female mental sex.’ These are Dramatica’s way of saying logical and intuitive, and determine more of how the audience perceives the characters (the other woman is also, and more stereotypically, ‘female mental sex’).

    I realized this when one of their examples pointed out the reversal in the male and female leads for the X-files. Scully, the female agent, is the logical one; Molder, the male agent, is not. Or so the D software tells me – I can’t watch the X-files because they all end in ‘unexplained’ and that drives me nuts.

    In any case, the first woman is trying very hard to stick logically to her principles, and the male actor likes playing with ‘what if,’ and is not at all focused on a single thing all the time.

    Do what feels real to you – and damn the torpedoes.

    As long as you can justify it.

    Liked by 1 person

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