Writing Male Characters in Romance Novels

REblog“Dominated by women, as both readers and writers, romance still needs strong male characters. So how do you write male characters for romance novels? Author Richard (RJ) Gould, explains.

When it comes to the genre of romance, women dominate. Most romance writers are female, most readers are female, and plots predominantly centre on the female point of view. At this early stage, I should point out that I‘m a male author who writes romance fiction. I’m not unique, but I am a rarity. My publisher, Accent Press, badges my novels as contemporary women’s fiction and several literary agents have suggested I use a female pseudonym. Adopting ‘RJ’ as opposed to Richard is my cowardly compromise. At Romantic Novelists’ Association events, including the annual conferences with up to 200 participants, over 95 percent are women and several of the few males write under a female alias.”

Last week, I came across this article by Richard Gould on writing male characters in romance novels. It aims to help female writers as they delve into the opposite gender’s brain. It provides several good tips as well as three exercises at the end of the article for writers to test and improve their male characters.

One of those exercises is swapping out male characters for female characters and vice versa. I remember doing a little gender swapping of my own to test the strength of my female characters and to see if I was stereotyping by gender. You can read that post here: Gender Swapping.

To read the complete article by Gould, check out Writing Male Characters for Romance Novels.

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