Today I sat down and wrote a chapter where Philippe and Robert pretty much have it out between one another. Writing the male psyche has been one trip for me in this book. Book two is pretty much Robert's story, with a lot of Philippe thrown in. They are, after all rivals, for the affection of Suzette. Writing about those emotions that drive a man to love a woman and the lengths one will go to win at the end, is really taking me down a path I've not quite walked so heavily before. (I have, of course, crawled into the mind of the Phantom of the Opera with my Phantom of Valletta release, but he was a bit different and not your normal male.)
We pretty much can categorize the basics regarding men. There are four I can think of off the top of my head:
- Men have egos that need to be stroked. They thrive on respect.
- They are visual creatures. Give them a female body to die for, and they're goners. Do they really think of sex every 20 minutes? I don't know. Never been inside the brain of one to find out, but I think the younger male studs probably do.
- They keep their feelings to themselves. Don't ask a male to tell you how he feels. It ain't gonna happen.
- They are providers by nature, or at least the decent ones who aren't deadbeats.
I'm adding for the first time too a physical altercation between two men. How do guys fight in the 19th century? Well, a lot of them resorted to other means when it came to matters of honor. A good old fist fight wasn't enough. A drop of a glove at one's feet or a slap across the face with a leather glove challenged a male to a duel. That's been an interesting study to say the least, and I was surprised to learn that in France during the 19th century men still had duels, even though it was illegal to do so. Mostly, the courts and church just turned a blind eye to the practice, but it was all about protecting one's honor (definitely wrapped up with that ego stuff).
Off to write. At 61,000 plus words, 23 chapters, and heading down the home stretch. Oh, boy, things are getting heated.