Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sharon Bayliss, author of "The Charge" guest post and giveaway: Write Like a Man

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"Write Like a Man"

Please welcome Sharon Bayliss to Now is Gone today.  You may remember my post on Sunday about her book The Charge, currently on sale, recently published by Curiosity Quills.  If not, go and look at it, it's linked above; the sale lasts until Saturday!  Anyway, I asked her: how do you manage to write as a male protagonist?  In response, I received the following guest post.  Be sure to check the bottom, where other tour stop links and other links in general are included, as well as the trailer AND  a giveaway!.  And now, without further ado, Sharon Bayliss, to tell us how to "Write Like a Man"!

I have often pondered why I prefer writing from the male POV. That has to be weird, right? As a woman, shouldn't I feel more comfortable speaking as a woman? Shouldn't I be more versed in what women think and feel?

Although quite girly in real life, for some reason in fiction, I'm a tomboy.

I can write from the female POV, and do in The Charge, which is told from multiple POVs. As a matter of fact, the original draft of the novel that would become The Charge was written from Lena's perspective, the leading lady in the story.

Deciding to change my main character from Lena to Warren was a big decision, namely because it meant re-writing most of the novel. But also I didn't trust that I could master the voice of an 18-year-old guy, especially one like Warren, who is not that much like me. However, I decided to make the change at the suggestion of some astute critique partners.

From a plot perspective, writing the story from Lena's perspective had been a mistake. She's deeply involved in the story, but it's not about her. It's Warren's story, and should be told by him. Honestly, I think I was stuck in the female-focused mentality of the YA/NA genre. I naturally started writing from the female perspective, just because it seemed like the normal thing to do, even though it wasn't right for my story.

When I stated writing the story from Warren's POV, it felt like fireworks erupted in my head. It worked better partly because it made for a better plot, but also his voice flowed so naturally. The prose came to life with color and texture.

My leaning toward the male POV didn't stop with Warren. The exact same thing happened with my next novel (which I hope to publish later this year). When planning the story in my head and in outlines, I fully intended to write from the perspective of the main female character. But when I actually sat down to write, the main male character took the helm. I just started writing a scene from his perspective and he tumbled out for a whole novel.  In retrospect, I am very glad I chose him as a MC. He's a deeply flawed character and making him into a likable MC added much more complexity than I would have had otherwise.
 
Who knows, perhaps I do have some deeply seeded gender issues, but my guess is that something else is going on here. I like writing from the male perspective because the voice is less like mine. When you're attempting to write from the perspective of someone who is not like you, you have to make a more conscious effort to create a strong and consistent voice, which at least in my case, improves the quality of my writing.

In addition, I find it more enjoyable to write as a character unlike myself. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge Sharon fan, but I live in my head 24/7. Stepping out of myself adds fire to my writing because it's fresh and different, and I enjoy the challenge. So, at the end of the day, I don't think it's that much about gender. I enjoy writing as someone different from me. 

If you often write from the POV of your own gender, or as characters otherwise similar to you, I challenge you to a few exercises where you write as someone unlike you. If you're like me, hopefully it will help to enhance your voice and add fresh color to your writing.

So, what about you? Do you usually write MCs of the same gender? If so, why do you lean towards one or the other?

Thank you so much for having me here, Katy!

And thanks for dropping by, Sharon! Now, some links!


Info for The Charge:



The Charge


NetGalley (free review copies): https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/show/id/28197

Blurb:

When King of the Texas Empire kidnaps Warren's brother, Warren embarks into a still Wild West to save him. On his journey, he makes a discovery that changes his life forever—he and his brother are long-lost members of the Texas royal family and the King wants them both dead. 

He gets help from an activist Texan named Lena, who's itching to take on the King and happens to be a beautiful firecracker Warren can't stay away from. Convincing her he's not one of the bad guys becomes harder when a mysterious energy stirs in his body, turning his brain into a hive of emotions and memories—not all his own.

A legacy of violence is not all he inherited from the brutal Kings of Texas. The myth that the royal family possesses supernatural powers may not be myth at all.

Gone are the days when choosing a major was a big deal. Now Warren must save his brother and choose whether or not to be King, follow a King, or die before he can retire his fake ID. 

Some more links:

An audio recording of me reading from The Charge: https://soundcloud.com/sharon-bayliss/the-charge-reading


And the trailer:




Giveaway here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Finally, some info about the author and more links:


About Me

Bio: Sharon Bayliss is a native of Austin, Texas and works her day job in the field of social work. When she’s not writing, she enjoys living in her “happily-ever-after” with her husband and two young sons. She can be found eating Tex-Mex on patios, wearing flip-flops, and playing in the mud (which she calls gardening). You can connect with Sharon at www.facebook.com/authorsharonbayliss and www.sharonbayliss.com.

Blog/Website: www.sharonbayliss.com
Google +https://plus.google.com/u/0/103722620541134203282

10 comments:

  1. Look great, thanks for the Giveaway...

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    1. Thanks for stopping in! Best of luck!

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  2. Looking forward to checking this book out!

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  3. Thanks for spreading the word Katy!

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  4. Hi Katy- and thanks Sharon for a great post on a couldn't-be-better topic for me! I just chronicle events in the world I'm looking at, so I'd love to be able to blame the heroines for not stepping forward more. But when I'm honest with myself, I have avoided looking at them, as the voice of a chapter or a book- until my current WiP, when it's no longer an option. I'm such a nerd! Women scare me, and my current MC, an attractive ambitious preacher who can see the future, scares me to death. But I've forced myself to watch and try to listen to her, and it's certainly been fun.
    Other females I've chronicled have certainly shown me something new, and I hope I can achieve a good voice with them as my writing- hopefully- improves. Looks like you got a much earlier start than I did! All the best.

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    1. It is scary to try to write outside of a comfort zone (or read outside of a comfort zone); kudos to you for doing so! Thanks for stopping by, I hope to see more of you!

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