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    Girl Blog

    Tasha Alexander Icon

    WHAT a treat I have for you today. But before I hand you over to someone far more capable than I of entertaining you, I have to share a picture I got the other day…’s my absolute-favorite-bar-none shot from Istanbul….and the only proof I have of just how spectacular the Bosphorus is at night, viewed from the rear deck of a ferry. Check it out here. That’s the Dolmabahçe Palace behind me with the lights of the city in the background.


    Can I just go back now?

    Apparently not. So thank heavens that I can at least fall back on the ever-charming Dave White, who’s here to make you glad that for another week you don’t have to listen to me ramble. Without further ado, here he is:


    Maybe I’m whipped.

    Here I am writing for a blog entitled “The Good Girls Who Kill For Money” because the rather attractive Tasha Alexander asked me to. I mean I barely hesitated.

    So, maybe I am whipped by women.

    I mean always listen to them, I always end up honoring their requests.

    “Hey Dave, I’m gonna go shoot this guy and try to get away with it. Want to help?”


    “Hey, Dave, I’m going to sleep with this clearly bad man and then wake up and be upset about it. Do me a favor and set it up, okay?”

    Of course.

    “Dave, I’m going to go visit my mother, who’s in the hospital. My brother’s not around, and my mom’s talking crazy. Someone needs to be there for her. Get me there, will you?”

    Not a problem.

    Oh. Did you think I was talking about real women? Nope, I’m talking about writing women.

    It’s one of those age old questions for guys. How do you write women? How do we make them seem like real human beings and not fall back on the stereotypes of having them go shopping, make dinner, and worry about the children?

    I find that I have to put them in extreme situations and find out how they act. And most of the women I write about react pretty strongly. They fight back, they don’t cry, and they don’t worry about whether or not their make-up got smeared.

    Because what I find is humans basically want the same thing, when it comes down to it. They want to survive, and they want to be reasonably happy. And most people will do whatever it takes to get to those points.

    So, I try not to think about women characters any differently then men characters, in terms of desire. How do you make a strong woman in a novel a strong woman? It comes down to the details. They may worry about the pleat of their dress like a man worries about the knot of his tie before a big meeting.

    Do I pull it off? I don’t know. That’s up to the reader.

    What I do know is, I rarely sit down to write about a damsel in distress. If the damsel is in distress when I write, she has to at least attempt to fight back. It’s important that the women in my books aren’t helpless.

    What do the rest of you guys out there think about writing women?

    And, in reverse, what do you gals think about writing men? Do you think all we want are a beer, a steak, good sex, and to catch the second half of the Rutgers Seton Hall game? Or is there more to it than that? Do you do whatever your male characters tell you to do in a story?

    Yeesh, I hope so.

    I don’t want to be the only one who’s whipped.

    Dave White is the author of WHEN ONE MAN DIES and the upcoming THE EVIL THAT MEN DO, both released by Crown/Three Rivers Press. He lives in New Jersey. All he wants right now is a beer, steak, good sex, and to catch the last few innings of the Yankees game.

    10 Responses to “Girl Blog”

    1. Dave, if I’d had any idea you were this agreeable I’d have asked you to clean my bathrooms instead of write a guest blog.

      There’s no question it’s more difficult to write a character of the opposite sex, but it can also be a lot of fun. If it weren’t the middle of the night and if I didn’t have a book to write I might have something of more substance to add to the discussion. As it is, I’ll just say this: Don’t think you boys have the market cornered on the beer, steak, and good sex.

      I’m going to let you keep the Rutgers game, though….

      ; )

      A million thanks for hanging out with us today!!!

      by Tasha Alexander on April 4th, 2008 at 1:08 am

    2. Hey, Dave,

      Great Blog. The protagonist in my novel is female. If you know my situation you’d understand. No, I’m not a pregnant husband like the one on Oprah. It just so happens that I have a house full of estogen. A wife and three daughters. With all their friends over and spending the night, most of the time there are way more women than that around.

      I also coached girls soccer for about twelve years.

      When we bought a dog, over thirteen years ago, I insisted on a male to help balance the estrogen/testosterone levels. Well, within a few months, they took care of that with a quick medical procedure (on my dog, not me.)

      As you can imagine, I don’t get to talk alot in my home and the phone is never available, so I keep my mouth shut, listen and observe. AND do as I’m told.

      In the middle of my first novel, my wife seemed a bit jealous of Laura Daniels (my protagonist.) I wrote about it in my blog. I hope the GG don’t mind me posting the link.

      by Will Bereswill on April 4th, 2008 at 7:12 am

    3. Hi, Dave! And don’t worry…Tasha only uses her powers for good, never evil. :)

      The secret to writing female characters, I’ve found, is twofold. One, you have to actually like women. Some writers write female characters in a way that indicates they have some SERIOUS ISSUES where women are concerned.
      Second, it’s vital to have female “first readers” who aren’t afraid to tell you “No, that girl would not do that.” I have been extraordinarily blessed in this regard.

      by J.D. Rhoades on April 4th, 2008 at 7:14 am

    4. You hit the nail on the head in regards to writing men. With one exception–you’re the only one who watches Rutgers.

      by Jason Pinter on April 4th, 2008 at 8:50 am

    5. Dave White! Great choice, Tasha.

      Such a good post that I think I may steal it’s concept for myself…

      I find writing the opposite sex MUCH easier than my own. Baldwin is a comfortable character for me — he’s definitely a man. I’m surrounded by them, so it’s easy pickings for me. Taylor, on the other hand, was very hard to develop because I was making her this superwoman. When I stuck in some flaws, she became much more real.

      I rooted for Rutgers last year. : )>

      Nice job today you two : )

      by JT Ellison on April 4th, 2008 at 8:58 am

    6. I just draw on my dating history. Good thing I like noir.

      I think the trick is really to try to focus on character motivation and acknowledge the contradictions in everyone’s personality. Regardless of gender, each person needs to be fleshed out as fully as possible. Anything less and you risk creating a 2D stick figure who’s too much of a stereotype for a reader to identify with.

      And what’s this Rutgers thing about? Hockey? I don’t really follow sports.

      by Stephen Blackmoore on April 4th, 2008 at 11:31 am

    7. Stephen, you and me both.

      A friend said something to me about the Giants last week and I thought, “Wow. They’re playing football again already?”

      by Tasha Alexander on April 4th, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    8. I hate you guys. Rutgers… the State University of New Jersey. Basketball.

      You all stink.

      by Dave White on April 4th, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    9. Poor Dave.

      I was so there with you. Although, being a West Virginia alum, I don’t cheer for Rutgers. But I am in the know.

      by Carrie on April 4th, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    10. Show up Naked
      Bring Food.
      That’s the title of my workshop about writing in the male POV
      Do I think that is all men think about? No. I think it is probably your first thoughts.
      And before the hordes of women come down on me, I’m surrounded by males at home and at work and they all agree with me.
      Men have depth, I don’t feel they are nearly as complex as the average woman.

      by Chris Redding on April 7th, 2008 at 3:30 pm

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