People selling things to themselves

One of the things that’s perennially fascinating about the world is the way people sell things to themselves. If people feel the need to sell something to themselves, that tells its own tale.

Έλεν ΝτεΓουίτ, Lightning Rods

Η συγγραφέας για την επιλογή της να γράψει από την οπτική γωνία ενός άντρα (ολόκληρη η συνέντευξη εδώ):

Your protagonist in Lightning Rods is a man. As a woman, is it harder to write from the male POV?

Funnily enough, I now find it easier to come up with male characters. When I was a child I drew incessantly, but could only draw girls – I would draw up lists of girls’ names, every name I could think of, on yellow legal pads, and then draw long sagas with this cast of hundreds of girls. And I couldn’t draw boys at all. But at some point, I’m not sure how this happened, I started to notice the way men are obsessives: creating a male character doesn’t feel like writing from a ‘male’ POV, what you do is you get inside the head of someone with a particular kind of obsession, and understanding the obsession makes the character plausible, and this turns out to feel like a male character because women are often more inhibited (I feel) about giving free reign to their obsessions.

There’s also – bearing in mind the fact that LR is partly about sex – that men are more confident about generalizing from their own sexual preferences to those of other men. If you (I) talk to a man, the man will often say something like “Most men are interested in breasts.” I think: WOW. How do you know? I assume YOU know your sexual preferences; how can you be so confident that most other men share them? Did you do a survey? Because I certainly think I know my own sexual preferences, but I would never feel confident of generalizing from them to say Most women are interested in X. So it’s possible to be much more confident, creating a male character with certain sexual preferences, that the character will be plausible. (And then, you know, I’d show the book to men and laugh because it actually worked.)


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