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View Full Version : Do men write better romance/love stories?



maestrowork
02-23-2005, 09:25 PM
I'm just wondering. I've read somewhere that many of the top romance / romantic love story writers are men, or many of the best selling love stories are written by men. Is it true? Is it one of those things like "a great proportion of sous chefs are men?"

If you don't think it's true, why not?

If you think it's true, why do you think that's so?


Discuss....

TemlynWriting
02-23-2005, 11:11 PM
If this is true, then I wish more men actually knew how to put those things into action! There's too many out there who are absolutely clueless.

veinglory
02-23-2005, 11:16 PM
Which ones are men? They only ones I know about are actual women. I think the vast majority of successful romance writers are women. Not to say men could do it as well and I am sure that at least a few are.

TemlynWriting
02-23-2005, 11:29 PM
Exactly, veinglory. I haven't seen many male names on the cover of romance novels, and I doubt they're off pulling a "Jo March" by using a feminine name instead of their own. I have heard of a few, and one very successful male "romance" author is Nicholas Sparks, though his novels are not what I think of when I heard "romance novels." To me, they're novels with romantic overtures. He *is* very successful, though. I can't recall many others. It seems like some men write love scenes (even Stephen King does that), but I don't know of many actual male authors of this genre.

maestrowork
02-23-2005, 11:45 PM
Didn't James Patterson write romance using a psuedonym before he started doing suspense?

Oh now I remember... it was during one of Nick Sparks' interview when the interviewer asked him that question.... and he quoted Wallers' The Bridges of Madison County. Or McMurty. Or McNally (Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune). Or Evans (The Horse Whisperers) or Evans (The Christmas Box). Or Frazer (Cold Mountain)... These are really not romance novelists -- but very successful "romantic" mainstream novelists...

TemlynWriting
02-24-2005, 12:03 AM
Didn't James Patterson write romance using a psuedonym before he started doing suspense?

Oh now I remember... it was during one of Nick Sparks' interview when the interviewer asked him that question.... and he quoted Wallers' The Bridges of Madison County. Or McMurty. Or McNally (Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune). Or Evans (The Horse Whisperers) or Evans (The Christmas Box). Or Frazer (Cold Mountain)... These are really not romance novelists -- but very successful "romantic" mainstream novelists...

Touche. :) Why didn't I think of a few of those? You know, I'd definitely call them "romantic," definitely a HUGE difference between the steamy Harlequin "romance" novels. Those books you mentioned were about true romance, and not too sexually-charged.

Cold Mountain was brutal. War, trials, and romance, all wrapped up together. I think that's a book that even men can enjoy. Not too girly or whatnot. Even John Grisham wrote something "romantic" if I recall correctly.

I guess when I was originally thinking "romance" I was thinking Harlequin-style. :)

MelissaM
02-24-2005, 01:52 AM
There are successful male romance novelists - one was even the president of RWA a few years ago - he writes as Leigh Greenwood. Jennifer Wilde is also a pseudonym for Tom Wolfe (I believe). So while there are few and far in between, they're out there.

I think Nicolas Sparks said something about what he writes not being a ROMANCE, but a LOVE STORY - and he definitely thought there was a difference. One big thing with romance - it always has a happy ending. Love stories sometimes don't - Cold Mountain is a perfect example, as is "Gone With the Wind."

Melissa

mdin
02-24-2005, 01:54 AM
Of course men write better romance. Men writer better everything.

*Runs away*

TemlynWriting
02-24-2005, 06:28 AM
There are successful male romance novelists - one was even the president of RWA a few years ago - he writes as Leigh Greenwood. Jennifer Wilde is also a pseudonym for Tom Wolfe (I believe). So while there are few and far in between, they're out there.

I think Nicolas Sparks said something about what he writes not being a ROMANCE, but a LOVE STORY - and he definitely thought there was a difference. One big thing with romance - it always has a happy ending. Love stories sometimes don't - Cold Mountain is a perfect example, as is "Gone With the Wind."

Melissa

Romance versus Love story = so true. :)

maestrowork
02-24-2005, 06:53 AM
So in essense, "romance" must always end happily (boy gets girl, boys get boys, etc.) but a "love story" probably usually end tragically (e.g. Sparks' whole collection of tearjerkers)? How about a "love story" that ends happily -- is there such a thing?

TemlynWriting
02-24-2005, 06:59 AM
So in essense, "romance" must always end happily (boy gets girl, boys get boys, etc.) but a "love story" probably usually end tragically (e.g. Sparks' whole collection of tearjerkers)? How about a "love story" that ends happily -- is there such a thing?

Well, I believe that a "love story" is more realisitic, and doesn't necessarily have to end tragically. I don't really know that Sparks' books (those I have read, A Walk to Remember, and The Notebook) end tragically, considering the incredible love that is portrayed. Even if life is cut off short, does that make the love a tragedy? Or if the life together is long, life still must one day end. The loss is tragic, but the love is everlasting. My husband and I have been through a great deal, including health problems that I was suffering from, and we weren't sure I was going to make it. Still, we share such an incredible love that is so much more than romance, and isn't always wine and roses. I think that's the difference between romance and love. Romance is always lovey-dovey, but love withstands the trials and grows stronger.

I don't know how to word it all, but I know the difference in my heart, based upon my experiences.

TemlynWriting
02-24-2005, 07:03 AM
And I meant to say that, yes, I believe love stories can end happily. In fact, I do believe that all true love stories do end happily, for being able to know true love is an incredible experience, no matter the difficulties we must face. We may not always *live* "happily ever after" but we can *love* "happily ever after."

/sappy rant

Wasn't it Nat King Cole that sang "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." (Long before "Moulin Rouge.")

Nateskate
02-24-2005, 06:53 PM
If this is true, then I wish more men actually knew how to put those things into action! There's too many out there who are absolutely clueless.

There's truth to what you said. However, I think more men are motivated to be what women needs them to be, than women realize. And it may take breaking through a guys pride (I know how to do it) to get them to admit that. It's just that we think so differently. Men need to be taught the language a woman speaks, including what pleases her, because it works counter to how we think.

For instance, we all by nature give gifts we want to recieve. Men generally want something they can use. So if a woman gives him a tool he can use (a more powerful screwdriver) he's happy as a clam if he uses tools. Few men want flowers. If they get them, they won't say that, because (we know how pissed a woman can be if you seem insensitive) But the truth is, we want what we want, just like a woman wants what she wants.

But most men have to learn that woman don't want a tool they can use, just because that's what he wants. You find that out when you bring home an appliance for an aniversary gift. Most women want something they can never use, other than as an expression of relational honor, such as an adornment: jewelry or a trip together or dinner together. (Although there are exceptions)

If my wife gets me flowers, I'll appreciate the gesture, but I would be much happier with a new drill, or something related to a hobby. I sure won't go around showing them to my friends. Maybe a few guys would like that, but then again, some women would probably prefer a screwdriver to flowers and
Jewelry too.


Perhaps women are better at figuring out a man than a man is at figuring out a woman, but many women are really not much better.

Back on topic. I think men can write very romantic stories, because deep down, we all wanted to be the knight in shinning armor as a kid. Perhaps instinctively there is a desire to rescue a princess as well. And most romantic novels have that element, but in a modern voice. Translation, we desire to be what she desires, and to be what she needs.

Susan Gable
02-24-2005, 07:19 PM
Well, I believe that a "love story" is more realisitic, and doesn't necessarily have to end tragically. My husband and I have been through a great deal, including health problems that I was suffering from, and we weren't sure I was going to make it. Still, we share such an incredible love that is so much more than romance, and isn't always wine and roses. I think that's the difference between romance and love. Romance is always lovey-dovey, but love withstands the trials and grows stronger.

I don't know how to word it all, but I know the difference in my heart, based upon my experiences.

Very interesting discussion! Yes, a romance must, by definition, have an "emotionally satisfying ending" (That's RWA speak for Happy Ending.) Although I will say that the genre is undergoing a transition.

But Nicholas Sparks doesn't write romance, as many have pointed out. He writes love stories.

Not all romances are "unrealistic" or all "lovey-dovey." Many today are very realistic and deal with all sorts of "heavy duty" real life trials. The line I write for at Harlequin (because even when you say "like a Harlequin novel" I have to tell you, there are many differences between the various lines - one size does NOT fit all) deals with a lot of things that aren't real "lovey-dovey." I have a romance that involves a hero whose little girl has had a heart transplant and a heroine whose only child died. Things not all a bed of rose petals for those two - they had to overcome a lot of conflict to get together in the end. Plenty of tears to shed in that book. :cry:

I have a hero in my upcoming book who faces a life trial when his teenage daughter gets pregnant - and so does the heroine. Talk about conflicted. He always tries to "do the right thing" and he can't quite figure that out in this case - and how can the right thing be different for his situation and his daughter's?

Do my stories end "happily ever after?" Yes, because that's the promise I make to my readers, to the particular market I've chosen to write for. It's how I like my stories to end.

Take the movie The Gladiator. Great movie! Made me weep buckets :cry: - but I soooo would have written the ending differently. <G> That doesn't make the movie writers wrong and me right - just makes our preferences different.

There's often great debate in the romance community as to whether we "don't get no repsect" (unlike, say, Nicholas Sparks) because we're *mostly* a genre written for women by women - with those optimistic endings. :Shrug:

Susan G.

TemlynWriting
02-24-2005, 10:52 PM
There's truth to what you said. However, I think more men are motivated to be what women needs them to be, than women realize. And it may take breaking through a guys pride (I know how to do it) to get them to admit that. It's just that we think so differently. Men need to be taught the language a woman speaks, including what pleases her, because it works counter to how we think.

For instance, we all by nature give gifts we want to recieve. Men generally want something they can use. So if a woman gives him a tool he can use (a more powerful screwdriver) he's happy as a clam if he uses tools. Few men want flowers. If they get them, they won't say that, because (we know how pissed a woman can be if you seem insensitive) But the truth is, we want what we want, just like a woman wants what she wants.

But most men have to learn that woman don't want a tool they can use, just because that's what he wants. You find that out when you bring home an appliance for an aniversary gift. Most women want something they can never use, other than as an expression of relational honor, such as an adornment: jewelry or a trip together or dinner together. (Although there are exceptions)

If my wife gets me flowers, I'll appreciate the gesture, but I would be much happier with a new drill, or something related to a hobby. I sure won't go around showing them to my friends. Maybe a few guys would like that, but then again, some women would probably prefer a screwdriver to flowers and
Jewelry too.


Perhaps women are better at figuring out a man than a man is at figuring out a woman, but many women are really not much better.

Back on topic. I think men can write very romantic stories, because deep down, we all wanted to be the knight in shinning armor as a kid. Perhaps instinctively there is a desire to rescue a princess as well. And most romantic novels have that element, but in a modern voice. Translation, we desire to be what she desires, and to be what she needs.

I was always told that I think more like a guy. I've never been a girly-girl; my closest friends have always been male. I DREAD going out "with the girls," and prefer going out with couples if at all possible (since I'm married).

But that's just me. :)

I was the one who argued about differences between men and women in my human communications class. LOL! I personally believe that it doesn't always come down to how different genders are, but I think a lot has to do with interests. For example, I'd get understand and get along much better with a male who is a writer, than a female who is an athletic jock. (Though I love sports, I prefer watching to playing. But some men are amazed that I do enjoy sports. I even love action movies over most chick-flicks.)

But that's just me, again. :)

I love this discussion, and I'd have to agree with you on most points.

TemlynWriting
02-24-2005, 10:58 PM
Very interesting discussion! Yes, a romance must, by definition, have an "emotionally satisfying ending" (That's RWA speak for Happy Ending.) Although I will say that the genre is undergoing a transition.

But Nicholas Sparks doesn't write romance, as many have pointed out. He writes love stories.

Not all romances are "unrealistic" or all "lovey-dovey." Many today are very realistic and deal with all sorts of "heavy duty" real life trials. The line I write for at Harlequin (because even when you say "like a Harlequin novel" I have to tell you, there are many differences between the various lines - one size does NOT fit all) deals with a lot of things that aren't real "lovey-dovey." I have a romance that involves a hero whose little girl has had a heart transplant and a heroine whose only child died. Things not all a bed of rose petals for those two - they had to overcome a lot of conflict to get together in the end. Plenty of tears to shed in that book. :cry:

I have a hero in my upcoming book who faces a life trial when his teenage daughter gets pregnant - and so does the heroine. Talk about conflicted. He always tries to "do the right thing" and he can't quite figure that out in this case - and how can the right thing be different for his situation and his daughter's?

Do my stories end "happily ever after?" Yes, because that's the promise I make to my readers, to the particular market I've chosen to write for. It's how I like my stories to end.

Take the movie The Gladiator. Great movie! Made me weep buckets :cry: - but I soooo would have written the ending differently. <G> That doesn't make the movie writers wrong and me right - just makes our preferences different.

There's often great debate in the romance community as to whether we "don't get no repsect" (unlike, say, Nicholas Sparks) because we're *mostly* a genre written for women by women - with those optimistic endings. :Shrug:

Susan G.

Susan,

I apologize for lumping the category all into Harlequin. I do realize there are many Harlequin novels out there these days that are more updated, like you said, and more realistic. I haven't read much as of late, but I should have clarified that I read them a long time ago (in my childhood, when I shouldn't have been reading them - LOL!). Back then most that I read were quite unrealistic, but I love the newer lines they're coming out with, just because of what you stated.

I guess it would have been better stated if I didn't lump all romance together in that category, because just like I said in the post above (about men and women being different, or interests being different) there are always exceptions. :)

Thanks for reminding me. I am still sorry, though. :)

Susan Gable
02-24-2005, 11:51 PM
[Thanks for reminding me. I am still sorry, though. :)[/QUOTE]

I didn't take it personally. :) I just wanted to make sure I didn't miss an opportunity to point out that we and our heroines have "come a long way, baby!" <G>

And I'm with you about not being a girly-girl. My husband bought be a beautiful, expensive bracelet a couple years ago for our anniversary - when he had hinted that he was getting me a flat-screen monitor for my office. Well, he knew I was disappointed with the jewelry (I don't wear it very often) and very graciously exchanged my gift, all while muttering that he can never get it right. <VBG>

Susan G.

BradyH1861
02-25-2005, 12:31 AM
If this is true, then I wish more men actually knew how to put those things into action! There's too many out there who are absolutely clueless.


I am guilty as charged! :flag:



Brady H.

Nateskate
02-25-2005, 12:40 AM
I was always told that I think more like a guy. I've never been a girly-girl; my closest friends have always been male. I DREAD going out "with the girls," and prefer going out with couples if at all possible (since I'm married).

But that's just me. :)

I was the one who argued about differences between men and women in my human communications class. LOL! I personally believe that it doesn't always come down to how different genders are, but I think a lot has to do with interests. For example, I'd get understand and get along much better with a male who is a writer, than a female who is an athletic jock. (Though I love sports, I prefer watching to playing. But some men are amazed that I do enjoy sports. I even love action movies over most chick-flicks.)

But that's just me, again. :)

I love this discussion, and I'd have to agree with you on most points.

I think its a great discussion myself, and I'm glad if people want to talk about it.
Romantic love is a rather broad issue. We could look at general principles. Common interests help. Physical attraction is definitely a plus, but there's just something about certain people that draw you like a moth to a flame, which is not purely physical. And then there are the extras like money, and good hygiene.

But when you throw all of that together, what makes or breaks people's relationships are "insight" and "motives". If you have good motives mixed with insight into what make the other happy or sad, you can avoid most fights, and find satisfaction.

At some point, many guys have good motives, but they lack insight. They want to be a good spouse, but they are clueless and do all the wrong things. In general, guys get terrible information about women from the things they read, if they read, and from their friends. So, they do all kinds of goofy things that sitcoms make fun of. We a relational accident waiting to happen.

I'd say more guys fail because of lack of insight rather than lack of motivation. They just need to buy a few vowels, and if they did they would be much better lovers.

However, I think most women think its all a matter of motivation, which is why guys get scolded or cold shoulders. "You know what you said," . No, generally we are that obtuse that we don't know what we said or why we pissed off our wives until they give us a clue. That would be like saying, "Sure we all hate sex, and we just couldn't wait to piss off our wives so that they wouldn't sleep with us for the next three months." No, we aren't that dumb. Rather, we are just so good at being less sensitive than women are, not anticipating how they'll hear what we say, that we can offend them without trying, and both hands tied behind our backs.

But generally speaking, we don't want that. I can't speak for all of mankind, but enough of it to know that this is common. "Why is your wife angry." "If I had a clue I could deal with it. She just thinks I'm doing something on purpose to piss her off."

Some men are naturally sensitive. Some have better coaching. But assume that most guys had terrible coaches. And its more a matter of good coaching than a good scolding. Then again, some guys do the pride thing, "It must be her fault...she's too sensitive". If a bunch of guys say, "No, all women are like that...what you did is really stupid" they tend to have that lightbulb thing. And the smart ones would say, "What do you mean." The dumb ones just shut their mouths and sulk.

Nateskate
02-25-2005, 12:45 AM
[/QUOTE] I didn't take it personally. :) I just wanted to make sure I didn't miss an opportunity to point out that we and our heroines have "come a long way, baby!" <G>

And I'm with you about not being a girly-girl. My husband bought be a beautiful, expensive bracelet a couple years ago for our anniversary - when he had hinted that he was getting me a flat-screen monitor for my office. Well, he knew I was disappointed with the jewelry (I don't wear it very often) and very graciously exchanged my gift, all while muttering that he can never get it right. <VBG>

Susan G.[/QUOTE]

Life would be so much easier if we were all better guessers. I'm not sure this is common, but if I get my wife something she doesn't like, I'll always know about it. No ifs ands or buts. And truth be told, I'm a pretty good gift giver. However, my wife is pretty terrible at giving me gifts. But I never make a stink over it, and focus on the intent rather than the object.

maestrowork
02-25-2005, 01:03 AM
OK, my take is that romantic men are hard to find, and when they're romantic, they're die-hard romantics and they would do anything to make their partners happy and fulfilled and loved. That their worlds revolve around the women they love and the family they have...

And such men write some of the best love stories in the world. And just because romantic men are so hard to find, it makes someone like Nicholas Sparks a hot property.

Kate StAmour
02-25-2005, 01:50 AM
Of course men write better romance. Men writer better everything.

*Runs away*

You can run, but you can't hide forever. We will find you. LOL.

TemlynWriting
02-25-2005, 02:35 AM
OK, my take is that romantic men are hard to find, and when they're romantic, they're die-hard romantics and they would do anything to make their partners happy and fulfilled and loved. That their worlds revolve around the women they love and the family they have...


I knew a guy like that once. He tried to put me on a pedestal, and I wasn't comfortable there. He was obsessive. He wanted everything to be perfect, and for me to be happy and all that jazz. But he wasn't realistic at all. He truly believe in fairytales. Now, I love fairytales, but we all know that things weren't always perfect for those fairytale people (look at Shrek!). My marriage is fantastic; we are both incredibly in love, BUT we have been through a lot that has made us grow together. Love isn't easy, but that doesn't make it bad. In my case, it's made it all the more amazing. We're thankful for every day we have together, because we know how precious life is. We've learned that lesson.

Don't worry, I'm not attacking your quote. I just remembered the obsessive guy when I read it. There's a happy medium between happily ever after and reality. I'm glad we've found it. :)

Nateskate
02-25-2005, 05:44 PM
OK, my take is that romantic men are hard to find, and when they're romantic, they're die-hard romantics and they would do anything to make their partners happy and fulfilled and loved. That their worlds revolve around the women they love and the family they have...

And such men write some of the best love stories in the world. And just because romantic men are so hard to find, it makes someone like Nicholas Sparks a hot property.

I have two sons. One is very sensitive, the other obtuse. One is thoughtful, and trys to anticipate what others want. He's 6'4, dark haired, handsome, and a tormented musician/artist/poet. He's in college and even the women teachers have crushes on him. He left a note on the bathroom mirror the other day telling me and my wife how much he appreciates us. His mother is a college prof at the same school, and he'll go and sit on her lap and kiss her and tell her friends "I love my mommy."

My other son is not less loving. He just doesn't think the same way as Dave. Seeing Dave's note on the BR mirror, he posted his own next to it, "Dave get off crack (as in crack cocaine)...Mom I loved the soup."

It's not that he doesn't care. If you asked Mike to do anything, he would. He's extremely loyal. He's funny. And he'd do anything for anyone. But he just isn't wired like Dave.

Here's something that will surprise you. Young women always fall in love with Dave from the get go. He was like David Cassidy of the Partridge Family. In 7th grade, when he played basketball, the opposing teams cheerleaders were writing their phone numbers on his arm (A practice I loathed)

Notso with Mike, although he's popular, he struggled to find his nitsch. Girls avoided him like the plague in Jr H.S. But most of those same women end up becoming lifelong friends with Mike. It takes longer to see his good points, but they always do. Mike is more the prototypical male. You have to explain things to him. And sometimes he's hard to explain to. But when he gets it, he pretty much "gets it". Now here's another thing. My wife can't explain things to him. He actually needs some guy to translate for him. But that has more to do with the different ways that men and women communicate.

Most men take work, but its not because they don't want to be pleasing.

TemlynWriting
02-25-2005, 10:39 PM
Nateskate: It sounds like both your boys are still treasures for whatever women end up with them. It takes good parenting to have such an outcome these days. :)

Nateskate
02-27-2005, 01:50 AM
Nateskate: It sounds like both your boys are still treasures for whatever women end up with them. It takes good parenting to have such an outcome these days. :)

I've tried hard, slipped up and failed sometimes, but I love them both and try to convey that.

I also have a comment on the thread. I think that there is a great difference between a male who can write Romance and a Romantic Male.

One takes understanding, the other is partly nature, but also determination. I'm certain that some guys, myself included, could write a great romance novel. I've never been motivated to address romance except in a context. I've written many stories, but never tried to publish them. They were mostly done as hobbies. I've done murder mysteries, sci fi, a YA adventure, fantasy. In almost every story I've ever written, there's been a fantasy element in it.

Now, I've never thought of writing a Romance novel. But if my story gets published (Epic Fantasy) it will be full of Romance. But not every guy gets the girl. There is misdirection.

My one friend who is one of the Beta Readers was actually rooting for a pair. Why? Hey, I like incorporating real life, and in this one case, she'll be disappointed, but you put two attractive people in certain situations, and there is dramatic sexual tension. You can feel the desire.

But for the most part, guys have to work at being Romantic. And I try. But I'd say that in truth, I'm somewhere in between my two sons. I'll do deeply romantic things from time to time, but at other times I'll be so mentally absorbed in things, I'm in my own world, and may not even be aware I'm not being romantic enough. I'm romantic in spurts.

Now Dave, my eldest son is just extremely romantic (from a woman's perspective) by his nature. He just thinks to do things that I'd never do. He's very creative. He'll go on a date where they can't talk. They'll write questions to each other, and pass them back and forth and write answers to them. Then they'll write more questions.

I love my wife, and want to please her, but for me, it is more work, not because of lack of motivation, but by nature, because for one, I have a terrible memory. So, I have to mechanically have reminders to myself to do this or that.

katiemac
02-28-2005, 11:24 PM
My one friend who is one of the Beta Readers was actually rooting for a pair. Why? Hey, I like incorporating real life, and in this one case, she'll be disappointed, but you put two attractive people in certain situations, and there is dramatic sexual tension. You can feel the desire.

Nate, this is interesting. I've noticed that no matter what your genre or medium is, people tend to pair up characters in their heads. For awhile, I was blatantly against divulging the romance angle between my two main characters. I fought myself on it to the death - I didn't want anything to distract from the main story, and I'm also not a big fan of how the hero and heroine always magically fall for one another. (Unless your intended point IS romance.)

However, I stopped fighting it. It's working out rather well, actually, and the best part is that the characters don't actually love each other. (I still refuse, however, to use the word "love." Some things should just be left up to the reader's digression.) On the surface it might seem so, but if people actually get what I'm portraying on the underlining surface, there's going to be quite a few readers (if this gets published) who will be disappointed.

I'm perfectly okay with that, and in this instance I think it's much better than if they actually cared for each other in the ways the reader may want them to.

Nateskate
03-04-2005, 12:09 AM
Nate, this is interesting. I've noticed that no matter what your genre or medium is, people tend to pair up characters in their heads. For awhile, I was blatantly against divulging the romance angle between my two main characters. I fought myself on it to the death - I didn't want anything to distract from the main story, and I'm also not a big fan of how the hero and heroine always magically fall for one another. (Unless your intended point IS romance.)

However, I stopped fighting it. It's working out rather well, actually, and the best part is that the characters don't actually love each other. (I still refuse, however, to use the word "love." Some things should just be left up to the reader's digression.) On the surface it might seem so, but if people actually get what I'm portraying on the underlining surface, there's going to be quite a few readers (if this gets published) who will be disappointed.

I'm perfectly okay with that, and in this instance I think it's much better than if they actually cared for each other in the ways the reader may want them to.

I rooted for one pair so much, I refused to kill off the male character, who was destined to die. I had to add another sympathetic character to kill off.

Yes, I end up visualizing the characters to the extent that I become fond of them. They do become "Somewhat real" in a Star Trekian "Holgraphic" kind of way.

But in real life there are twists and turns, some of them violent. In college I fell in love more than once, and you get hot and heavy real fast. Well, sometimes that "It's the one" isn't the one. And you find yourself in a void.

I guess for the sake of discussion, I have to concede to the difference between a love story and romance. In a love story you have tragedy, and a bit more reality. When I write in a character, I'll allow for a real outcome, which means unrequited love. Since its not central to the outcome of the story itself, (Fantasy) two relationships may work out, and a third goes bust.

I love "Love", but I also want a sense of reality, that you just witnessed a real event. The story could have actually been a recording of history. That's alot to shoot for in a fantasy.

Renee
03-06-2005, 06:23 AM
I think it would depend upon the writer rather than the sex of the writer..lol..but that's just my opinion.


I love Nicholas Sparks' books though I have to admit he's one of my favorite writers.

writersliving
03-06-2005, 08:02 PM
No I think women write the best. Because They do the best as a keeping a marriage togher in real life. unless theirs something I'm missing all the love stories I heard is by a women.

maestrowork
03-06-2005, 08:11 PM
All the greatest love stories I've read were written by men (including Romeo and Juliet). ;) Of course, I don't read that much...

CACTUSWENDY
03-06-2005, 09:39 PM
:Headbang: ....Ok...where are these guys?..The ones that will 'sweep' me off my feet?...

I'm an old lady and from the guys i have been around, they do want to be that 'knight in shinning etc.etc.' but most could never put into words let alone action the 'stuff'' that would make a woman's knees turn to jello. I thought Cold Mountain was 'C' rated material.

I heard and believe that men are truly headline readers and women are detail readers. I think there is a lot to be said about that insight. But like everything else, there are exceptions to all rules. The few men that can carry off romance and not just sex in writting must have some extra insight. How many women can write great action stories? I would think women that do write this way use male pen names for the most part.

Any way...please feel free to start a 'date' line on this site and I will check them out and get back to you. (wink).......:idea:

maestrowork
03-06-2005, 09:50 PM
I'm the kind of men who love romantic comedies, and are romantic to the bone. I write mainstream love stories, for cryin' out loud.

OK, the line forms on the right.

;)

Renee
03-06-2005, 10:05 PM
Maestro,

You write mainstream love stories? Cool!

*watches the line forming*

CACTUSWENDY
03-06-2005, 10:43 PM
Maestrowork....:flag: So, we take a number...right? WOOOWOOO:TheWave: :TheWave:

lindylou45
03-07-2005, 03:48 AM
I'm just wondering. I've read somewhere that many of the top romance / romantic love story writers are men, or many of the best selling love stories are written by men.

I've only heard of a couple of men writing romance -- Nicolas Sparks comes to mind first. I would say the majority of good romances are written by women -- I don't have any hard and fast statistics to back up my assertion -- but the shelves of most bookstores could probably prove it to be true. :Sun:

lindylou45
03-07-2005, 04:07 AM
Love isn't easy, but. . .

When people used to ask my father how he made being married for so many years look so easy, he would say, "Not easy, worth it." I've never found a better way of saying how wonderful love can be. Not easy, but worth it.

William Haskins
03-08-2005, 02:42 AM
yes!

another industry secret revealed!

if you were to, say, break into your publisher's office after hours, you would (immediately after urinating on his or her desk) see this handy reference tacked to their bulletin board.

men write better romance.

women write better science fiction.

black people write better mysteries.

homosexuals write better westerns.

green-eyed paraplegics write better children's stories.

true crime and history? midgets.

brunettes tend to excel in religious poetry.

philosophy is best left to poor white people, preferably from the ozarks.

general fiction is best left to generals themselves. though an ambitious colonel may be considered.

Optimus
03-09-2005, 03:06 PM
I heard and believe that men are truly headline readers and women are detail readers.

In general terms, men and women have different motivations when they communicate. Men communicate (again, this is generally) to convey information. Women communicate to establish relationships. Men are very utilitarian whereas women tend to be more concerned with meaning.

That's a reason why a man might prefer a tool as a gift and a woman might prefer a love poem.

A misunderstanding of this is where many relational conflicts arise from.

When a man can understand these differences and incorporate that understanding into his life and his relationships - either through perseverance and study or through intuition and natural empathy - then I believe that is what gives him the ability to write a good love story. Of course, there aren't enough of those type guys out there, but there are much more than you think (I happen to be one, ladies. :) )

And, I think the distinction between love story and romance is interesting. It, to me, is simply a matter of perspective/POV.

Take a male writer and a female writer and have them write a story...a summary, if you will...about a couple and that couple's relationship.

Understand that the male and female writer are both writing the same story about the same couple's relationship.

However, when they are both done, the man has written a love story and the woman has written a romance.

Same story. Different perspective.

Nateskate
03-09-2005, 04:58 PM
:Headbang: ....Ok...where are these guys?..The ones that will 'sweep' me off my feet?...

I'm an old lady and from the guys i have been around, they do want to be that 'knight in shinning etc.etc.' but most could never put into words let alone action the 'stuff'' that would make a woman's knees turn to jello. I thought Cold Mountain was 'C' rated material.
:idea:

Honestly, I don't think any of us measure up to any chapter in a book. I wish I did, and equally that my wife did. But I don't consider that a failure that we don't, I consider it that we are just more complex stories than what you'll find in a book.

But if you could take any given moment in time, perhaps some of us might appear to be the knight in shinning armor, and women would be a princess.

I'll be honest. If life allowed, I'd love to be a prince 24/7. But some days, being a prince doesn't look like being a prince. Some days it isn't even particularly nobel looking. It's in those difficult times, when your expectations in life are dashed, and you are tempted by greener grass, but you realize there's someone who needs to be loved in their most unlovable moments. And so, you simply come home and in your small ways, rescue a princess whose had a very bad day/month/week/year. And unless they knew about the dragon you had to slay to get back through that door, they'd never even know anything happened at all. But you don't even mention the dragon.

Strange things happen in a real life romance. It's kind of like Shrek in reverse. Sometimes princes and princessess momentarily turn to frogs. And if you wait it out, and love anyway, they turn back into princes and princessess.

Nateskate
03-09-2005, 05:07 PM
[/font][/b]

In general terms, men and women have different motivations when they communicate. Men communicate (again, this is generally) to convey information. Women communicate to establish relationships. Men are very utilitarian whereas women tend to be more concerned with meaning.

That's a reason why a man might prefer a tool as a gift and a woman might prefer a love poem.

A misunderstanding of this is where many relational conflicts arise from.

When a man can understand these differences and incorporate that understanding into his life and his relationships - either through perseverance and study or through intuition and natural empathy - then I believe that is what gives him the ability to write a good love story. Of course, there aren't enough of those type guys out there, but there are much more than you think (I happen to be one, ladies. :) )

And, I think the distinction between love story and romance is interesting. It, to me, is simply a matter of perspective/POV.

Take a male writer and a female writer and have them write a story...a summary, if you will...about a couple and that couple's relationship.

Understand that the male and female writer are both writing the same story about the same couple's relationship.

However, when they are both done, the man has written a love story and the woman has written a romance.

Same story. Different perspective.

Interesting. And to some degree this might explain certain types of love stories. Some like a contextual story, where you focus more on the context (Cold mountain), which is different than another focus on the relational aspect of the story, the inner dialogue.

Perhaps romantics love these stories from two different places, but a woman will focus on one aspect (as a rule) where men will focus on the other, and if they are good writers, either draws you in to see from there perspective.

MANY years ago, when I was in college, being that I had many women friends, and was a staple in the woman's dorm, I'd often have a group of women sitting around asking me how guys see things, as well as what they were like. If a guy is willing to open up and share thoughts, you'll always find a female audience that enjoys seeing that. It might be different, and women may enjoy a woman's perspective just as much or more in some contexts, but I think its just refreshing for some women. I don't know if that explains why some guys can make it in this genre.

maestrowork
03-09-2005, 07:57 PM
Optimus touched on a good point -- the differences between a (typical) male and a (typical) female. There are always exceptions, as in life.

A man and woman would read a romance/love story and take different things from it. A good love story would cater to both sexes, I think. For example, 30% of the readers of Nicholas Sparks' novels are men.

Nateskate
03-09-2005, 11:08 PM
Optimus touched on a good point -- the differences between a (typical) male and a (typical) female. There are always exceptions, as in life.

A man and woman would read a romance/love story and take different things from it. A good love story would cater to both sexes, I think. For example, 30% of the readers of Nicholas Sparks' novels are men.

It seems to be a focus thing? I want to know the story, and it seems from the books that attract a women only crowd, that the relationship is the story. I think most of guys see the relationship contextually, and without seeing it contextually, it loses its appeal. For instance, in last of the Mohican's, if this was only a love story about Daniel Day Lewis, and whomever, most guys wouldn't be that interested. But because its in the middle of an Epic life and death battle, it's just a great story. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you'd find a larger female audience that wouldn't mind if you did away with the periphery. That's why (I hope this doesn't offend anyone) I dislike Danielle Steel (Sp?) movies. They are just too contrived.

Perhaps some women are just filling in lots of blanks with their imagination, and us guys just can't see what they are seeing.

Optimus
03-10-2005, 11:28 AM
I know!

It's that freaking larger corpus callosum and right temporal lobe in women!

Grrr!

Sassenach
03-10-2005, 07:37 PM
No I think women write the best. Because They do the best as a keeping a marriage togher in real life. unless theirs something I'm missing all the love stories I heard is by a women.

writersliving, this is the second thread in which you've posted an ungrammatical, semi-coherent mini-rant. Do you have a point? Any examples?

Some of the greatest romantic tales have been written by men and women. Just off the top of my head: Shakespeare, the Brontes, Jane Austen, Margaret Mitchell.

FWIW, most 'romance novelists' are women, though there are a few exceptions. [E.g., Dean Koontz {!} wrote for Harlequin when he was just starting out.]

Optimus
03-11-2005, 03:11 AM
No I think women write the best. Because They do the best as a keeping a marriage togher in real life.

:ROFL: :roll:

LOL....I'm not even gonna respond to how ridiculous a statement that is.

TemlynWriting
03-11-2005, 03:49 AM
When people used to ask my father how he made being married for so many years look so easy, he would say, "Not easy, worth it." I've never found a better way of saying how wonderful love can be. Not easy, but worth it.

Amen! (Oops, can I say that here? LOL!)

I love this; it is so very true. It IS worth it. :)

TemlynWriting
03-11-2005, 03:51 AM
No I think women write the best. Because They do the best as a keeping a marriage togher in real life.

Absolutely ridiculous!!!

I am a married woman, and I wholeheartedly DISAGREE. My husband works as much to make our marriage excellent, as I do. A good marriage takes TWO. You must work WORK together to have a good marriage.

(I almost responded in the wrong post!)

Nateskate
03-11-2005, 06:08 PM
Absolutely ridiculous!!!

I am a married woman, and I wholeheartedly DISAGREE. My husband works as much to make our marriage excellent, as I do. A good marriage takes TWO. You must work WORK together to have a good marriage.

(I almost responded in the wrong post!)

I know that most married guys care about their wives and marriage. They just contribute differently. And they also have this, "Why can't my wife appreciate...I never gamble, steal...I work hard, I've sacrificed ...I work two jobs (some guys) fix the car, help around the house (some guys) and I'm good in with the kids...what does she want from me..."

Some of the problems are interpretation (of love) problems, in the sense that women are generally much more communicative, have better memories (Trust me on this one, both are biolgically proven with MRIs and a variety of other scans that look at how the brain works). So a guy may not verbally communicate his feelings nearly as good as a woman, or he may be more likely to forget a birthdate or an anniversary. But generally, if you look at intent, and how he "Thinks" he conveys love, a guy is baffled that a woman doesn't see what he does in a more positive light.

I've seen marriages tank where the guy was without a doubt, a prince among men, but the wife was just dissatisfied, and would cheat over and over. He was faithful, hard working, good looking (to the point where women fawned over him), 6'4" blond hair blues eyes with an MBA, makes six figures. And she could never make up her mind whether she wanted him or not. There was a waiting line of women who wanted this guy. And after he said, "That's it", she pleaded for him to come back. Well, it was her loss. To be honest, I've seen as many women throw away a good relationship as men.

Optimus
03-12-2005, 05:41 AM
Some of the problems are interpretation (of love) problems, in the sense that women are generally much more communicative, have better memories (Trust me on this one, both are biolgically proven with MRIs and a variety of other scans that look at how the brain works).
Eh...yeah, but not really. But, you bring up an interesting point regarding the differences in perspective.

It has to do with how men and women store memories, not that one has a better memory than the other (there are so many different types of memory, anyway). And, in relationships, the important type of memory is episodic memory (remembering events).

A woman's communicative style is motivated by the desire to establish relationships (more verbal - what things mean) whereas a man's is to convey information (more spatial - where things fit).

Academic blah blah blah aside, what that means is that a woman will (more often than a man) affix a certain meaning (emotional affect) to a relationship-related event, and thus it will be stored in her memory that way. Emotionally-coded memories are (usually) easier to recall. Both sides of her brain are also designed to communicate more easily with each other, so it's easier for her to access memories that she feels are important, such as the first date.

Men (generally) will not store that memory the same way. So, it's not they have "worse" memories than women, it's that the memories are stored differently and may not be as prominent in their heads nor easy to recall.

That doesn't mean that he finds the relationship events less important, it just means that he doesn't necessarily view the relationship through the lense of particular events, and instead looks at the whole.

It's not a better or worse way to perceive the relationship, it's just a different way. However, a woman may take him not remembering a first date (or whatever) as him not being as involved in the relationship or not "taking it seriously." And, conversely, a man may take a woman getting upset over him not remembering a first date as being nitpicky and quibbling over minutae.

Again, the difficulties arise when the man and woman don't have this understanding of how they are fundamentally different in the way they perceive certain aspects of the relationship and how their styles of communication are oftentimes different. Their intents and motivations for the relationship are the same, but the perceptions are sometimes vastly different.

As this relates to writing, these perceptual biases affect the way in which a story is told. A writer who understands these types of biases, either intuitively or through study (regardless of whether or not they realize and understand why) will be better able to write characters and stories which capture the intricacies of both sexes and write stories which appeal to either or both.

Optimus
03-12-2005, 05:29 PM
Man, I sure am a pedantic windbag sometimes.

:tongue

reph
03-13-2005, 06:59 AM
Some of the greatest romantic tales have been written by men and women.
I couldn't agree more.

Nateskate
03-13-2005, 09:43 PM
Eh...yeah, but not really. But, you bring up an interesting point regarding the differences in perspective.

It has to do with how men and women store memories, not that one has a better memory than the other (there are so many different types of memory, anyway). And, in relationships, the important type of memory is episodic memory (remembering events).

A woman's communicative style is motivated by the desire to establish relationships (more verbal - what things mean) whereas a man's is to convey information (more spatial - where things fit).

.

Opti, we're actually almost in full agreement. In general, both males and females have strengths and weaknesses, which are rather complimentary. And our strengths are actually weaknesses as well, depending on the arena we are in. The female is generall better at multi-tasking, in that she'll remember (more likely) which kid needs what, who has a doctor's apt...etc. Men tend to be better at focus tasks where you block things out. Sit coms poke fun at the fact that even with a list, a male will forget half the things on the list. Well it isn't always this intentional thing, it really is a biological thing to a degree. There are exceptions, but our wiring is different.

But when it comes to the kind of strength (focus on a single task) needed for a hunter gatherer, men tend to excell. This ability helps with any focus-oriented task, which tends to help in areas like mathematics. But there is a downside to these strengths. Men can also "tune things out" to the point where he drives a woman nuts. "You're reading the paper, and the kids are beating each other up in the other room..." Well, a woman's strengths also can be a weakness in areas where tunning out is a benefit. A woman can have so many things going on in her mind, that it drives a man nuts. (Come on- we're alone...and you are thinking about blah...blah...blah.) Nine times out of ten, its the wife who feels compelled to call home and check with the babysitter, because even in the restaurant, her mind is still thinking of the little chicks, whereas the guy is thinking about what's on the menu, because he can.

Yet, I think when we figure out the other gender isn't brain damaged, actually having a different set of strengths, we tend to get along better.

Nateskate
03-13-2005, 10:10 PM
Speaking of Pedantic Windbags. I just felt compelled to finish the thought we started Opti-


If we think differently, then obviously we interpret Romantic Love somewhat differently. In one sense, it's not whether we "can" remember, that's the issue. It's just that so much is imputed into remembering and forgetting. It's not "Oh, you are a man..." Rather, it's "You didn't want to remember...I'm a low priority". And so, remembering to do things is very important to a woman. Even if priority had nothing to do with forgetting, it will always seem that way.

When I think of a Romantic setting, it may not come as naturally to me. In fact it may be somewhat mechanical. I have people remind me of important dates, because I get so flustered that I can forget. So, I always buy gifts and cards well ahead of time and hide them. If I'm focusing on my book, I may become so engulfed, and so mentally fatigued, I never know what day it is, or if I'm coming or going. But that's no excuse. You can't forget Valentine's day.

I've done some very romantic things in my day, but I can't say that it's not work. Well, that idea sounds so unromantic. "It should be spontaneous and come naturally." Well, forgetting comes naturally to me, not remembering. And as much as I want my wife to feel loved, my head is in the clouds more than my feet are on the ground.

However, when I write, I won't focus so much on little things, but the intentions of the heart. And what I think is true about Cold Mountain, is that honestly, this guy stays focused and is willing to climb mountains for his love.

From a guy's perspective, that is very true. Much more than the day to day little things. We guys think, "I'll climb a mountain for her, and then she'll know I love her.", and our interpretation of what's a mountain may differ. We hope the women see that we are climbing that mountain for her. And sometimes in real life, that doesn't translate as well. Embarrassing honesty here. When I was a young man, my wife and I had two hyperactive kids who were pretty destructive. And I had this terribly demanding job. I'd come home exhausted, and knew my wife needed time for herself. So, I'd take the kids and although exhausted, I'd entertain them for hours so that she could rest and get refreshed. Plus, if I heard the kids stirring at night, I'd get out of bed so that she could sleep. We'll I'd go to work sleep deprived and come home twice as exhausted, and still, take on chores and take the kids. Well, the point was I love my wife, and did those kinds of things for her. But that doesn't mean she always interpreted those things as love or romantic love, and it would kill me when she'd point out my flaws, and couldn't see the mountains I was climbing. But that's so much of life. It's not always what we do or intend, but how what we do is interpreted by the other.

But I think in a book, where you can see a man's thoughts, where there isn't any misinterpretation of intentions, I think women might be more inclined to see what might have been missed otherwise.

Optimus
03-14-2005, 01:56 AM
I'm tellin' ya. It's that freaking huge corpus collosum in a woman. They get all the advantages. It ain't fair! You hear me?!

;)

JanaLanier
03-14-2005, 04:53 AM
I fear Optimus is suffering from Corpus Envy.


:Ssh:

Nateskate
03-14-2005, 04:06 PM
I fear Optimus is suffering from Corpus Envy.


:Ssh:

Yeah, its the desire for cross-thinking.

Fractured_Chaos
06-24-2005, 03:03 PM
OK, my take is that romantic men are hard to find, and when they're romantic, they're die-hard romantics and they would do anything to make their partners happy and fulfilled and loved. That their worlds revolve around the women they love and the family they have...

And such men write some of the best love stories in the world. And just because romantic men are so hard to find, it makes someone like Nicholas Sparks a hot property.

Frankly, I think it depends on what someone considers "romantic".

My fiance on birthdays and Christmas usually gifts me with new computer hardware (Bigger Hard Drive, more RAM, and such....and -why- does that sound so suggestive?), and a box of Godivas. To me, that's very romantic. It's not the -gift-, but the fact that he's bothered to figure me out well enough to know what will make me happy. He doesn't buy me jewlery, because I can't wear most of it, and have no desire to wear the stuff I can wear, he nver buys me nighties, because I think my reaction would scare him :ROFL:, and he knows better than to buy me small appliances (because a gift like that is A- hinting at a subservient role, and B- something we need anyway, and -both- will use, therefore, it is NO gift), but he knows I'd be tickled pink with power tools (If we had a place for me to keep and use them).

He doesn't buy -me- cut flowers, although he'll buy them just because they brighten the place up a little. If he buys me something like that, it'll be a plant, since (with luck) it'll last longer, and will continue to grow (We won't discuss the tragic death of the black bamboo, okay?).

I'm probably more pragmatic than many, so whatever someone gifts me with, it needs to be useful, because that's how I will gift, as well. That doesn't mean I can't be a little extravagant. After all, I paid extra for a good pocket watch (he won't wear a wrist watch because he's extra fuzzy, and it bugs him at any rate), and had it engraved. But I bought him some good computer tools for Christmas, and he still brags about it, so I'll take it that it was a good choice.

Anyhow, I ramble. But the point was, romantic is in the eye of the beholder, IMO.

Fractured_Chaos
06-24-2005, 03:25 PM
If we think differently, then obviously we interpret Romantic Love somewhat differently. In one sense, it's not whether we "can" remember, that's the issue. It's just that so much is imputed into remembering and forgetting. It's not "Oh, you are a man..." Rather, it's "You didn't want to remember...I'm a low priority". And so, remembering to do things is very important to a woman. Even if priority had nothing to do with forgetting, it will always seem that way.


Wanna hear something funny? My fiance is better at remembering dates than I am. :ROFL:



When I think of a Romantic setting, it may not come as naturally to me. In fact it may be somewhat mechanical. I have people remind me of important dates, because I get so flustered that I can forget. So, I always buy gifts and cards well ahead of time and hide them. If I'm focusing on my book, I may become so engulfed, and so mentally fatigued, I never know what day it is, or if I'm coming or going. But that's no excuse. You can't forget Valentine's day.

That might be more an issue with being a writer, than a man, because I have the same problem.

Of course, I might just be weird, too. ;)


I've done some very romantic things in my day, but I can't say that it's not work. Well, that idea sounds so unromantic. "It should be spontaneous and come naturally." Well, forgetting comes naturally to me, not remembering. And as much as I want my wife to feel loved, my head is in the clouds more than my feet are on the ground.

Maybe it's the calibre of the men I've known (or been cursed with) in my life, but I have met very, very few who were true romantics. Those that try have to work at it. And sometimes, some men don't even bother to try. Of course, the same can be said of women, too.

My fiance tries. But like I said in the previous post, to me the romantic thing about him isn't flowers and candy, but the fact that he has taken the time and effort to really get to know who I am. Not just that I want to be a writer, or that I like dragons, or what foods I like...but who I am, deep down, inside. He knows what scares me, and what makes me cry, and what will make me collapse in a fit of giggles. He knows that while I might lust after that fantasy sword I see on-line, I would be much happier with more RAM for my computer. He knows what movie I might be interested in seeing, or what I might like to do next weekend, and suggest it. I don't think it's ever been a suggestion that I didn't really think would be fun. Sometimes, it's uncanny. But then, I spent most of my adult life in bad, unhealthy relationships, so this might be "normal" for a strong, healthy relationship. But it still doesn't change the fact that it seems as though he can read my mind, or maybe it's because we're very much alike in the places where it matters, and where we're not alike, we compliment each other.

DTKelly
06-24-2005, 05:17 PM
Some of the greatest romantic tales have been written by men and women.

I agree 100%

Denebian Slime Devils are great fan-fic writers, but are just not cut out for romance.
:D

veinglory
06-25-2005, 12:53 AM
Almost all of these so-called sex-based differences are tendencies only. In most psychological tests I get scored as masculine and I am really pretty obviously a girl... it is a short leap from an average difference between groups to a stereotype.

aboyd
06-25-2005, 10:42 AM
Man, I sure am a pedantic windbag sometimes.Hey. Didn't your mom ever tell you that you shouldn't compliment yourself? Let other people say nice things about you.

-Tony

SLake
08-05-2005, 03:41 AM
[/quote] ...But it still doesn't change the fact that it seems as though he can read my mind, or maybe it's because we're very much alike in the places where it matters, and where we're not alike, we compliment each other.[/QUOTE]

Seems to me you're certainly a writer, because I found myself reading that right through, then afterward thinking, hey, that was heartfelt and it wasn't hard to read.

I guess that's what writing's all about.

Selene LuPaine
08-05-2005, 07:25 PM
Women write better because women know what women want and women read the romance books! But I'm sure that ever so often a masculine touch to a romance novel might be intriguing!

Sonarbabe
08-05-2005, 09:30 PM
I haven't seen many male names on the cover of romance novels, and I doubt they're off pulling a "Jo March" by using a feminine name instead of their own. I have heard of a few, and one very successful male "romance" author is Nicholas Sparks, though his novels are not what I think of when I heard "romance novels." To me, they're novels with romantic overtures. He *is* very successful, though. I can't recall many others. It seems like some men write love scenes (even Stephen King does that), but I don't know of many actual male authors of this genre.

Leigh Greenwood. He's probably my favorite romance author. IMHO, his best books were a series written in the early 90's called The Cowboy series. Wonderful books and it got me started on writing my own historical romances. I thought he was a woman when I read his name, but when I flipped to the back cover, there he was. Surprised the heck out of me. ;)

psm0904
09-09-2005, 05:22 PM
On the original topic, I am terribly sexist about romance writers that I read. As one who loves the romance genre, I will only buy the book if I think a woman wrote it. Only a woman, unless the man is gay, can make me feel she KNOWS what makes a hot, hot, hot hero, which is half of why I buy the book! I found out that Jennifer Wilde, who wrote two books I loved, had actually been a man, Thomas Huff, and it freaked me out. If I had known, I never would have read the book. It's a psycological thing with me. It has to be a female who wrote the book, or I won't buy it. Now that isn't the same when it comes to thrillers or mysteries or regular fiction, but I want my romance writer to know first hand what it's like to have a tall, dark, sexy stranger with a tuft of dark hair on his chest press his body against....you get the point...lol. Again, I'm sure this is just me. On the topic of Leigh Greenwood, I just bought one of his books and I thought he was a woman too. I was totally enjoying it too. Then I flipped to the back and saw this man staring at me, and I couldn't enjoy the book after that and never finished it. It was as though somebody had thrown me into a cold shower!! I also don't like when men are deceptive about their sex. That kind of ticked me off! :)

Susan Gable
09-09-2005, 06:09 PM
Then I flipped to the back and saw this man staring at me, and I couldn't enjoy the book after that and never finished it. It was as though somebody had thrown me into a cold shower!! I also don't like when men are deceptive about their sex. That kind of ticked me off! :)

But...you've already illustrated why men who write romance must take female (or at least androgenious) pennames. Because people are biased against them being able to do this. You were enjoying the book until you discovered that a man had written it - which is why men are still asked to take on a female penname to have their romances published.

It's a marketing decision, not them trying to be deceptive about their gender.

Susan G.

Kasey Mackenzie
09-09-2005, 06:46 PM
And, while you and many others don't have that hangup on purpose, it is just as unfair to those men who enjoy and are good at writing romance as it was for the women of the 1800's who wanted to write fiction but were forced to use male pseudonyms in order to do so. Personally, I don't care what gender someone is as long as they are true to the story they are telling and pull it off. I've known men who can convey women accurately, and women who can convey men accurately, and I've seen the opposite just as often. I.E. men who write unrealistic men and women who write unrealistic women.

Heck, my husband and I originally met on a Wheel of Time role-playing game and for the first year of our acquaintanceship (before it became full-blown friendship), I thought that the player behind his female character HAD to be a woman. He just role-played her so well and scads better than most of the men role-playing female characters I had ever seen. So, appearances can be deceiving! =) (Or, if we want to get into cliches, you truly can't judge a book by its cover.)

veinglory
09-10-2005, 12:28 AM
Indeed, I am totally indifferent to gender. Infact I wish there was a more diverse group wiriting romance including more men. I like romance but whether the setting is medieval Scotland or Space Station Zeta the characters in romance books tend to act like they are in modern middle America and that *does* annoy me.