I prefer to draw on my family for inspiration.
For instance, my brother, John, or Buzz, as we call him, is the only boy in a family of five children. When people hear that, they ask if he was a spoiled child, with all these girls taking care of him. Not only is he the only boy, he and my sister are twins and are the babies of the family. I can hear the 'awws' even now.
To set the record straight–we did not coddle our brother, even though he had to have major surgery when he was only six months old. He was all boy, playing sports throughout school, riding his bike all over Ohio, spending time with his guy friends rather than playing dolls with his sisters. We each had our own interests when we were growing up. Some of us learned homebuilding from our father, others spent time in the garden, growing produce which helped feed our large family. What Buzz did learn from growing up with girls is that girls are every bit as strong as boys and we can be as intelligent as boys. As a result, my brother is one of the most sensitive and caring men I've ever met. If that's the result of being raised in a family of girls, all men should be so lucky.
|Photo courtesy of Barb Daisher|
Buzz grinned broadly, and said, "It's entirely up to Becky, if and when she will sell her house, and who she'll list it with." He nodded in my direction and I took it from there. Just as a strong, intelligent woman would.
So, when I'm writing a strong male character, who has a tender side and is able to relate to women, I don't need to come up with a long list of character attributes. I simply draw on my brother's personality. That's all I need to know.