I had a very nice time in Seattle on Saturday, teaching a few dozen writers all about using the internet to market their books. I got home late Saturday night full of caffeine, and with my nerves buzzing after listening to loud music for three hours (a great way to stay awake while driving late at night).
While I was gone, a couple more ladies posted snippets from their male POV scenes. I’ll look at those now and see how they stack up to the typical Manly Guy:
Tami posted this example:
“Abbie, come look. This is really –,” her scream cut him off. He spun around in time to see her back away from the door. He jumped onto the deck. “Are you alright? What happened?”
She pointed to the back door window. Inside was a kitchen that would have been outdated for his grandmother. The ancient stove door hung to the floor and the refrigerator wasn’t much more than an icebox.
A bit of a mess, but Abbie’s reaction had him expecting to see Hannibal Lecter having a snack in the kitchen. He saw something move. “Geez, it’s huge. I’ve never seen a rat that big.” The foul creature paused from rummaging through a pile of trash heaped in the corner. “It’s probably just looking for something to eat.” Ryan looked at Abbie’s pale face. “Don’t panic. I’ll kill it as soon as we get the key.”
“I’m not going in there.” Abbie’s cinnamon brown hair brushed her shoulders as she shook her head.
“Don’t freak on me. I said I’d kill it.” Why did women always over react to rodents? “But then again, it could be one of my relatives.”
“Ryan! That’s awful.”
“Hey, my old man was a rat, so why not a few more in the family?”
The old man. When had he started thinking of his father in those terms? When they were young he and Matt had called him Papa.
Randy sez: The first issue that caught my eye was the “cinnamon brown hair.” I firmly believe that Manly Guys only know eleven colors: red, blue, yellow, green, orange, purple, black, brown, grey, white, and pink. Women seem to know an infinite number of colors, such as mauve, taupe, beige, rust, aqua, lavender, and cinnamon. All of these are “unmanly” colors. No Manly Guy would ever allow these colors to pass his lips. Many Manly Guys would not even know what these colors are.
Back to that “cinnamon brown hair.” You might say that her hair is the color of his grannie’s cinnamon rolls, but that is the closest you will ever get to having a Manly Guy use the word “cinnamon” in any color-related context.
The second issue I see here is that we’re in the middle of an action scene, which will hopefully culminate in the death of a rat — possibly using an exploding helicopter, or better, an exploding 747. However Mr. Rat meets his demise, one thing is certain: there must be no introspection about Dear Old Dad during this action scene. Manly Guys simply don’t think like that. When a Manly Guy sets his mind on a target, everything else vanishes from thought until the mission is accomplished.
Donna mentioned that women multitask. Manly Guys don’t. Manly Guys focus on one single task.
Karla suggested that Manly Guys think about only 4 things: Food. Sex. Blow things up. Sleep. There is quite a lot of truth to this, although I question whether “sleep” really belongs on the list. Mark noted that “football” was missing, and he echoes my thoughts exactly, although some Manly Guys prefer other (less manly) sports. In any event, when a Manly Guy sets his mind on any of these Four Thought Groups, introspection goes out the window.
Becky posted this snippet:
Maybe this was the weapon that spewed darkness over him when he wallowed helplessly in the marsh.
He wanted to believe so, wanted to ask the Abonah to confirm his suspicions that the Stone of Surrender could cause the fear he had known, the lure that pulled him toward the shadow, toward the seductress, but those questions would reveal more to his friends than he was willing to tell. As long as it was up to him, he would never discuss what happened in the swamp. The only others who had been there were the shadow creature that he hoped he would never see again and Paloh who was dead.
Randy sez: The Manly Guy does not ever think that he wallowed helplessly in the marsh or anything else. The Manly Guy never wallows. He may fight, struggle, kick, bite, slash, churn, or battle, but he never wallows. Wallowing is for wussies, and the Manly Guy is not a wussy.
Likewise, the Manly Guy would never describe himself as helpless. He may be defeated by bad luck, or by a better-armed foe. He may be down for a time, while he awaits the opportune moment. But the Manly Guy is not helpless. Ever.
Finally, the Manly Guy does not use the term “seductress.” This word implies that the Manly Guy could be persuaded to do anything against his will, which no Manly Guy would ever admit. There are two kinds of Manly Guys. One will cheerfully seduce the lady; she has no power to seduce him because he’s three steps ahead of her. The other kind of Manly Guy has manly willpower and could not possibly be seduced by a woman. If this sort of Manly Guy DOES succumb to temptation, he would never admit that the lady seduced him. Instead, he would blame himself — his Manly sex drive simply got the best of him (which is an implicit statement that he is way too virile for his own good). The Manly Guy can turn any negative into a positive.
Ladies, you need to remember that the Manly Guy has an ego that won’t quit. He always thinks of himself in positive terms. Even when he botches things terribly, he phrases his defeat in Manly terms that make it clear that he was put in an impossible situation and anyway he was off his game that day. The Manly Guy firmly believes that he could have been an Olympic champion (if it weren’t for that trick knee, caused by an old football injury when the entire opposing team piled on him). The Manly Guy firmlly believes that he could have had a Nobel prize if he’d felt like it, but he just wasn’t INTERESTED in any of those things. The Manly Guy is dead certain that Julia Roberts or Angelina Jolie or Keira Knightley would fall for him in a heartbeat, if only he could get introduced.
Ladies, you may think that guys are suffering from a delusional disorder. This may be true of Wimpy Guys, but the Manly Guy knows that he himself is a bitter realist, seeing only that which truly is.