Monday, November 15, 2010

Got Balls?

Thanks to my friend Tabitha, I have new adds to my daily speech like amazeballs and crazeballs. And while the new wordage is definitely faboo, those “balls” are not the balls I’m blogging about today.

Nope. Today my writing journey takes me to a man’s world. Today I’m talking about cajones, testes, nads, huevos,…

And how I need to strap some on to write my latest novel.

The starring role in my most recent WIP belongs to an eighteen-year-old high school football player who is pretty much your typical, eighteen-year-old football player with some, er… special talents. He’s into sports, beer, and his friends. And he’s definitely into the opposite sex.

And writing from his POV has been quite the exhilarating challenge. After all, I’m a woman and I definitely don’t want my manly man to come off sounding all girl-i-fied.

So just how do I get inside a guy’s head (no pun intended)?

Well, for starters, I watch a lot of Friday Night Lights and Remember the Titans. I put on The Program for entertaining insight. I read books with male protags and analyze characters similar to the ones I’ve created.

I’ve got guys who read my stuff. My fabulous husband (who PS – coaches boys soccer), my editor (also of the male persuasion), and a couple other token males inform me whether or not I nailed it in terms of dialogue.

I run up and down the sidelines at football games (and they thought I was just taking stats). And I let Facebook statuses be my muse. Or my former students’ walls. You can call it creepin’. I call it research, baby.

But what really helps validate whether or not I’m spot on with my voice: one of my math classes.

Yep. My testosterone-injected math class.

While they’re pouncing into my room and boasting about the latest score (football, right?) or when they’re conjuring up every conversation except the “math” one they should be having over the homework they should be doing, I slip into observation mode. They might think I’m merely helping someone with that one problem (whatever) or catching up on grades, but dude—I’m all ears.

And while sometimes it's a little TMI, often their convos prove rather insightful. And validating.

I’ve had a few writing moments in the past three months in which I’ve crafted scenes between my MC and his three burly football buddies and I second guess the realism of that scene. And then I laugh a week later as my football players pretty much re-enact the same scenario.

And anytime I feel my “dude,” “bro,” or “man” count gets too high, I just listen to the daily speech of my “boys” and realize I could probably triple that count.

Yeah—it’s not easy talking with balls, but it can be very fun. And the things I learn from my observations and from my own writing…

Hoo boy.

Definitely makes me appreciate my feminine side.

8 comments:

  1. I knew you were listening to all my conversations in class!

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  2. You need an Alison Has Balls shirt from my store :)

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  3. Oooh, Candace! Do you make those? I'll buy one!

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  4. Funny post. It's definitely hard to think like a guy. I was writing from a girl's perspective, but had a guy saying something I didn't realize a guy would never say until I read it aloud to my critique group. I even asked my hubby after that and he was all, "no way would any guy say that."

    Long story short...ask a man when in doubt.

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  5. Hehehe - I heart you. And Candace is SO RIGHT!

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  6. LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!! You do have balls... ha.

    And, I must admit, I listen in ALL THE TIME to the teens around me and closely read their fb posts.

    Research.

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  7. Hey - BTW - I left you an AWARD on my blog... go get it!! WAHOO!

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  8. Hahahah! Sooo funny, Alison. I'm so glad you linked to this post. I love it!

    "You can call it creepin'. I call it research, baby." Bwahahah! :)

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