Marata Eros had to dive headfirst into the dark, brooding, and extremely alpha head-space of Cas (the hero of A TERRIBLE LOVE) in order to write A BRUTAL TENDERNESS from his point of view. How’d she pull it off? Marata reveals the secret to finding her “alpha male voice” exclusively on XOXO After Dark!
It seems like a lots of new adult authors are turning around from the heroine’s point of view (POV) and rewriting the same book with the hero’s POV. Easy, right? Let’s just copy and paste text into the “new” book, and change some names and voilà! It’s good to go.
First, if you’re a female author, the best we can do is guess at what a man is thinking and hope to approximate his internal machinations. At worst, we end up sounding like a chick trying to do a man’s “voice.” Plus, there’s an additional struggle with a reversal POV as a companion novel: we run the risk of the retelling sounding stale because the tale has already been told. What’s a girl to do? In a word: cheat.
That’s right, I gave my best “guess” as to what a male POV would think like… sound like. But I’ve had some practice. I’ve already written six novels from a male POV and Cas’s character was so “loud” inside my head he was begging to be fleshed out about halfway through the writing of A TERRIBLE LOVE. A male POV can make the same book spring to life with a fresh new perspective; this works so beautifully because we want to know what the hero is thinking.
First, you’ve got to know your character inside and out and have a clear sense of who he is. Second, you have to understand the thought process behind his behavior. Third, if you’re lucky, like me, you’ve been around men intimately. Sounds kinky? I’d love to claim that but the reality is, I’ve raised four sons and through that experience, I think I’m “guessing” pretty well.
In general, my female character thinks in paragraphs of descriptive prose and introspection. We paint books inside of our heads with our emotions, deliberations and desires. Guys are much more reactionary. They don’t intellectualize things to death (though they’re very capable, I have proof). They tend to see an issue and work toward resolving it in a stripped down, succinct and “gut instinct” way.
What does this mean for Cas? Cas was so alpha he took my breath away. I won’t let the cat out of the bag about his background but Cas was one part male and one part environment. A natural alpha male subjected to challenges that honed his protective instincts to a painfully acute level, making Cas easy to write. All his problems were nails and he saw himself as the hammer.
When she came along, Jewell threw his entire arsenal of tools into an upheaval and suddenly Cas had to rely on his little-touched emotional network rather than the tried and true logic.
The recipe then for Cas’s alpha male POV is a bare thought process, punctuated by bursts of emotion that propel him into action. Men resolve. They don’t spend a lot of time wondering about how they feel; they just do. And of course, personal safety is not coveted nearly as much as it is with the female characters I write. The male character is much more willing to take chances without too much concern over consequence.
Cas is not cautious, he’s a volatile strong hero. Just the kind we like to read and the kind I love to write. I’m stoked to dive right into his POV in A BRUTAL TENDERNESS and share that unique perspective with my readers.