Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Boy Crazy

Yesterday I mentioned that I'd be posting an interesting topic today and I can only say it's been interesting for me the last few days as I kind of had a look at myself as, probably, someone else might look at me and then looked at me from the inside.

When I was a teenager, I was boy crazy. People said it; it was true. I didn't actually date anywhere near as often as people thought, but I had lots of crushes and for a long time, I figured that was just me being a teen.

However, I recently came to the shocking discovery that I'm STILL boy crazy. And this after spending 16 years with my husband and having a couple of kids!

The truth is, I still appreciate good looks, strong character, charisma. And I'll say so.

Here's an example. At church last week we had a guest speaker who was young, reasonably attractive, and just struck me as intelligent. I made a couple of flippant comments and then later, during coffee, spoke to him with a group of others.

The mistake people make I think is with the perception. There is a vast difference between appreciating someone's looks or sense of humour or intelligence (you'll hear this often, I think a sharp brain is astoundingly attractive) and being interested in being with them on a personal level. Number one, my eyes aren't broken and never have been. And number two, I simply like people. So I appreciate the package and enjoy talking to and learning about people. Was I "interested" in this person? Of course not. I'm happily married. Was I interested ABOUT this person? Absolutely.

So let's jump back a decade or so and to my teenage years. Was I in love with all those crushes? Of course not. So why was it I had them to begin with?

And this week suddenly it ALL made sense.

Before I even knew I was going to be a writer, I got caught up in the drama of "What if". I saw boys - men - as potential heroes of a situation. At sixteen, I was the heroine. Now my horizons have broadened considerably. Now it's a general curiosity and study of character. Who is this person? What has shaped him? Why does he look intelligent? What is it in his eyes that gives a woman that jolt in the gut?

Hah. Turns out I'm not boy crazy at all. I'm character crazy. What a relief!

Let's face it folks, if you care to look, PEOPLE ARE INTERESTING. As a writer of character driven books, I want to know!!!!!!!! So all this time I thought I was boy crazy it turns out I really just like to see people as a big picture and see possibilities. What would happen to him if he went here, or met this sort of person? Scenes start unfolding in my mind. It's all about the potential.

Do I do this with women? Not as much, but then AS a woman I think naturally I gravitate towards heroes a lot. But I can give you an example. When I was in London, we had lunch at a pub and there was a couple sitting at a table. The woman was stunning. Simply gorgeous, with fine skin and beautiful hair and eyes that would bring any man to his knees...a sense of style and yet a sweetness that said she didn't use the package as power. I could see her right away as a heroine. Who is she? What does she do for a living? What kind of situation could I put her in so she's in conflict?

That doesn't make me woman crazy either, it just makes me curious and creative.

Let me just say, this has been a revelation.

Now that I've let it all hang out....for you writers out you get this? or am I completely out to lunch?


  1. No, it makes total sense. I do this a lot, too. I thought I was just weird. lol

  2. This is why I was a horrible reporter. I asked the questions I was supposed to ask and then ask a million others not related to the story. My interviews went on much longer than expected. ALWAYS. So, no, you are not the only one. I want to know about this person, about why they took the road they chose, what would their life be like if they hadn't, are they happy, and another million questions.

  3. I people-watch all the time - I remember having lunch with my editor and she said, 'You've just spotted the hero for your next book, haven't you?' (And then cracked up - I had been paying attention to her, but... I spot people.)

    It's not so much looks. It's just a certain something that triggers a writer's imagination.

  4. I people watch all the time but it's really about a fragment of a sentence or the way they hold a glass or an amazing pair of shoes. Details.

  5. Hey Donna, my mom said I was boy crazy too! I've always been a people watcher but since I'm not into fashion, I tend to concentrate on their physical features. I was at an auction once and an old guy was sitting in the grass resting against the barn and his face had so much character I wanted to ask if he was a time traveller from the old west.
    Of course, not everybody likes it when someone stops to question them but I've usually found that when I tell them I'm a writer, their stories just come pouring out.

  6. Hopefully, you have email notification to see that I'm commenting way the heck back here...but this seems like the perfect post to explain myself in!

    I explained on the "20 mumble mumble" thread, too, but just in case...

    I changed my name a while back on eHarl, so you might remember me as Sassa. We "chatted" on a thread about 30 Days of Boys, or something, and we were laughing then at how our taste in men was so similar. It seemed like every "boy" I'd mention, you had already cast him in a story!! It was too funny.

    Anyhow, I can completely relate to this post. I am the same way about checking out men and contemplating them as heroes. At first my husband was a little perturbed, but now he just laughs and tells me all my gawking better make us some money some day.

    Last but not least, I am sooo excited to read your books starring Maks and Lucky. It'll be really fun imagining them as the heroes! :)