Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Clueless Men

This morning I jotted down a ‘roadmap’ for a new story idea. I wanted to capture it before is ran away out of reach. And after I’d finished, I thought, hmmm, the twins are a bit devious and scheming, but my male character is a little bit clueless.

That got me thinking – I’ve written a lot of ‘clueless’ men in recent years. Go back to “Reunion”. In that story, Matt was just sort of swept along with events. He reacts to things going on around him rather than being in control. Even in the sex parts it’s Kelly who seems to dominate (not the right word). She’s the one who decides when, where and how they ‘do it’.

In the first “Ladz”story, Gavin is utterly clueless. He shoots off in his pants when Laura strips in front of him for Christ’s sake. And in the second “Ladz”story, Jake is just out for a day in London and is bewitched by this girl on the train.

Charlotte’s Secret” is perhaps the exception that proves the ‘rule’. In that story, David appears at first to be weak willed and reactionary, but he’s actually as cold and calculating and controlling as his wife. Though ultimately his is proven not to know everything and events get away from him.

In “Lost and Found”, Chris is swept along on Beth’s ride. He’s very much the passenger on this journey.

And so it is with stories I’ve recently finished or am in the process of writing. In “Public Performance”, Kenny is quite frankly, a bit of a moron. Harry, from “Six-thirty sleeper to Paris” is similarly bewitched by a beautiful woman until he no longer has any control of his situation. In “The Method”, the main conflict in the story comes from the germ of doubt in the reader’s mind that Chloe is deceiving Adam.

So, the question has to be – is it me? What does my portrayal of male characters say about me, if anything? Or is it my portrayal of strong, confident yet vulnerable women that says more? I not entirely sure I want answers to those questions to be honest.

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