Tight Tights: on Male-Character Romance
I'm sick today.
I thank my lovely wife for passing along this nasty cold with a kiss to me. How ironic.
So, in honor of being sick I'm binging movies. Harry Potter it is! As I write, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is playing in the background. I've been doing my #Potterwatch tweets all day too, which you can check out on my Twitter Profile.
One of my wonderful writer friends, @Gurru_Says asked if I'd write a blog post on the guy side of romantic chemistry, so. Here we are.
First off, a few disclaimers. This is not meant to continue the immortal fan debate over who Hermione should have really ended up with (although I will touch on it). in addition, this is not a critique on JK Rowling's substantial writing skills, either.
This is all about writing!
That being said, let us begin:
Reading and binging Harry Potter books and films, I always felt like the guy ends of the romantic relationships were lacking. There was no chemistry. There was no actual sex appeal. Not from my guy's perspective, anyway. So, if you're a girl or otherwise etc etc etc and you're writing characters with romantic relationships let's set some things straight about guys.
Guys have a sex drive. There. I said it. Let's get that right out there where we can deal with it. Even if you're writing YA, In order to make it believable, really sell it, you need at the very least be aware of this fact. I'm not saying we're all greedy horndogs out for one thing. A great example, other than HP, where I think they did male characters a general disservice was in That 70's Show. There are multiple episodes where that's literally all the male characters are referencing is sex. Are they teenagers? Yes. Can teenage boys be the scum of the earth? Sure, you bet (seeing as how I was one once).
However, there's more going on underneath those bulging muscles and distant eyes. (I know I know, believe it or not).
Taking it back to Harry Potter romantic chemistry - the next thing is that guys don't think like girls. They usually don't operate like girls (yes, I know we live in a diverse world - these are just my thoughts). So, especially in the last HP book, the Deathly Hallows, I think Harry acts like a girl for the vast majority of the book. This isn't a slam on girls - this is, I think, a case of incorrect character action.
Guys are Do-ers. We think less and emote less. We do. This is why, I think, guys can in general get over things faster than ladies. Sure, we still feel and hurt and struggle; however, we usually find physical ways to express those emotions besides just running inner monologues and single word replies. If we're angry, we act out. If we're feeling all lovey-dovey, we get... you know... in the mood.
- And that's where you can bring out the physical aspects of romance with characters.
One of the reasons I think a debate even exists between who Hermione ought to have really ended up with is because, among other things, we only ever see her spending time with Harry. Is the series named Ron Weasly and-the-fill-in-the-blank? No. (Although, there are some hilarious memes floating around the internet!) We have a character-arc history between Harry and Hermione. Ron is shown as the best friend. It's also worth noting that there is a trio trope in YA-Urban-Fantasy as well.