Dissecting the Male POV–Part Two by Patty Smith Hall

Today, we’re going to dive right into the second part of dissecting the male POV, the inherited characteristics of each and every man to ever grace the planet, attributes that are sometime taken for granted when we’re mapping out our characters. If you missed part one of the series, don’t worry—you can find it here.

But let’s begin. I don’t know about you but I love to see all the pictures of everyone’s babies and grandchildren that pop up on Facebook. In each sweet face, you can see tiny glimpses of the past—grandma’s nose, Daddy’s blue eyes, Mommy’s dimple. A characteristic imprinted into their DNA. But doesn’t stop there—how many times have you heard that a child got their single-minded determination from their father or their sweet nature from their mom?

But what about Adam, the first man? Did he inherit any innate characteristics from his Father? Absolutely! In fact, man inherited two characteristics, one of which we’re going to talk about today—that of the provider.

Think back to those first few moments after God discovered Adam and Eve in the Garden after they’d eaten the forbidden fruit. Even in their sin, God had so much love for the humans He’d created, He provided them with clothing to cover their nakedness. Adam saw this and it awoke in him this need to serve, to make sure Eve, their children and those he feels responsible for were taken care of.

It’s also the curse God had given Adam after the fall (Genesis 3:17-18.) Men may not like to work but they do it anyway because the need to provide for their family is so strong. They rank each other by their job; the better the position, the more respect the other men give him. So to be unemployed brings shame to most men which strikes at his self confidence and make him think he’s ‘less’ of a man because he can’t provide. Providing gives a man meaning and purpose in his life. Men consider it an honor to provide.

But there are different levels of how the provider characteristic plays out in a man’s life. The man with an underdeveloped need to provide lacks ambition and drive. These are the guys you find playing video games or messing with their cars. Think Howard Wolowitz from The Big Bang Theory. Here’s a guy with a degree from MIT, hanging out with all these research scientists and does he feel the need to further his career by going back to school? No, he’s too busy playing video games and chasing women while still living at home with his mother. Howard finally starts to grow up once he gets married but some men in this category don’t. They feel little urgency to provide, and this lack of ambition hurts the men themselves as well as the women who love them.

The man with an overdeveloped need to provide place a great deal of emphasis on their career, their goals and their ambition. They’re workaholics who may provide material things but spend so much time working, they don’t nurture their relationships or take care of their spiritual needs. Sometimes, the need to provide gets them into debt, or they become so obsessed with providing for the future, they fail to provide their family with basic needs. An example of this would be Howard Langston (Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character) in  the movie, Jingle All the Way. Howard is so involved in providing a beautiful house and a good life for his family, he fails to nurture his relationship wit his son. He breaks his promise to be at a karate belt promotion because he’s too busy making a business deal. He forgets to pick up the only toy his son asks for at Christmas.

Keeping this trait and it’s variations in mind when you’re developing your male characters will make him feel real to your readers.

Next month, part three–Man as the Protector

from the war, army nurse Thea Miller is determined to adopt her late
sister’s baby and begin a new life. But someone else has the same
intentions—the town sheriff and Thea’s old friend, Mack Worthington.
Now, in order to keep her niece in the family, Thea must reach an
agreement with him.

Mack isn’t sure Thea—whose actions once hurt
him badly—is committed to baby Sarah. And a judge may never approve a
single-parent adoption for either of them. But what if they got married?
It would be a marriage in name only. Yet the more time Mack spends with
Thea, the more he begins to believe their pretend family can become the
real one they’ve both been longing for.

Thankful for the Right Words

Jesus speaking the right words.

by Marcia Lee Laycock

I hit send and sighed. This first draft of the first act of my new play didn’t come easily and I wasn’t happy with what I’d produced. I knew there was something wrong but couldn’t put my finger on what it was that left me wanting to drag the document into the trash. I thought about doing just that for the next few days as I watched my inbox with trepidation, believing my instructor’s comments would not make me happy. When her critique arrived I sighed again and hit open. 

As usual, the instructor was frank about her thoughts and didn’t hold back the criticism. But there were things she liked so I was encouraged. Then I got to the part that I knew wasn’t right. And I started to smile. My instructor didn’t mince words but they were words I wanted to hear – words that clarified why the lines weren’t working, words that made me want to jump right back in and get to work on it again. They were words that made me glad I hadn’t dragged the document into the trash. And I was thankful.

The problem? My instructor expressed it this way – “It’s your characters telling us what to make of that moment that begins to feel like the playwright “telling us” what to think and feel, instead of trusting the moment and the image to speak for themselves. I like to think that I am called to plant the image, the debate, the relationship and I let the Holy Spirit do the rest. People love to figure things out for themselves. I think this is why Jesus spoke in obscure parables and resisted explaining right away. It’s a holy practice – to ponder.”

Yes! That was it exactly. I had simply gone too far, said too much, given too many answers instead of leaving the questions to be pondered.

And I wondered, do I do this when I’m talking with people who don’t know my Jesus? Do I go too far in trying to lead them to Him? I thought about the time when I came to Christ, a tumultuous time in my life when I desperately needed answers but did not want to hear them. I thought about my brother, simply saying, “God bless,” every time he left my home. Those two words tolled like a bell. He didn’t have to preach at me. The Holy Spirit was quite capable of making those two words do their work in my heart and my life.

“A holy practice, to ponder.” Yes. And another holy practice – to write sparingly, allowing the Holy Spirit room there, too.

“Writing is not like painting where you add. It is not what you put on the canvas that the reader sees. Writing is more like a sculpture where you remove, you eliminate in order to make the work visible.” (Elie Wiesel, author of Night)

“This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand””(Matthew 13:13). 

Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada
where she is a pastor’s wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the
winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One
Smooth Stone. The sequel, A Tumbled Stone was short listed in The Word Awards.
Marcia also has two devotional books in print and has contributed to several
anthologies. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil
Callaway and Mark Buchanan.

Rain, an ebook devotional for writers can be downloaded on Smashwords
or on Amazon
It is also now available in Journal
format on Amazon. 

Sign up to receive
her devotional column, The Spur

How a Writer Faces the Holidays

How a Writer Faces the Holidays
By DiAnn Mills

For some people, The holidays are about the food and gifts. For others, the holidays are about spending time with family and friends. Some can’t wait to experience the latest football game. Then there are writers. Oh, we love the food, family, parties, gifts, and friends, but what about the inevitable questions that shake the foundation of our self-confidence? I’m talking about the statements that cause us to wonder who the real turkey is.

We all have family who resembles these birds.

Comments like:
1. Let me introduce you to our family writer. He/she hasn’t sold anything, but writing is a nice hobby.
2. How many hours do you spend on your computer?
3. Aren’t you neglecting your family with that crazy dream?
4. Aren’t there meds for OCD people like you?
5. Making any money yet?
6. I heard a writer has to be on drugs or drunk to sell stuff that sells. Which are you?

I could go on about our loving family and friends who really do mean well, but they often take a vicious stab at our hearts at a time when we should be concentrating on the most wonderful time of the year. Instead of sinking our hurt feelings into another generous slice of pumpkin pie, why not memorize a list of all the writer blessings received during the year? 

Creativity! We have the artist touch of communicating through the written word. We see the world in unexpected beauty and share our adventures.
Opportunity! We have so many ways to share our gift. All a writer has to do is find a need and write it.

 Joy! Writers love what they do. We can’t wait to hit the computer keys. How sad to spend hours on a craft we don’t enjoy.

Imagination! The unique personalities sitting around the table allow our characters to have those special quirks. Don’t be a turkey and explain to critical people where we find our impressive characters.

Fruitfulness! When everyone is watching football, napping, or eating again, we plot our next story.

Preparation! This is my favorite. A writer who prepares the holiday feasts can imagine all of her characters are coming to dinner—what they’d like to eat and of course the conversation.

Shopping! While everyone else hits the 5:00 a.m. shopping malls and fights crowds, writers waken early to sip coffee and in the quiet hours, their stories come alive.

Love makes the difference.

As the year comes to a close, we writers can learn from our past victories and challenges, update our bios, dust off our proposals, commit to learning more about our craft, explore new publishing trends, and seek a serious writer to mentor. Writers enhance the world so we can be a blessing to others—even those special family members and friends.
How are you blessed as a writer?

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

She has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association; International Thriller Writers, and the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of Romance Writers of America. She is co-director of The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at www.diannmills.com.

10 Tips to Help You Get More Twitter Followers

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Once we see the value in Twitter, the next thing we need to know is how to get more followers. 
I haven’t run into many people who don’t want to increase their numbers, so
today I’m going to share 10 tips to help writers get more Twitter followers. 
do I want more Twitter followers?
  • It
    gives me credibility
  • It
    increases my reach, and makes it easier to spread the word, no matter what my

do I get more Twitter followers?
Be sure to follow people back.
It’s considered good manners to follow people back who
follow you. This doesn’t mean you have to follow people who make you
uncomfortable or who are trying to sell you 10,000 followers. Use common sense,
but unless there’s a good reason be nice and follow people back.
Don’t protect your tweets!
On your Twitter profile there’s the option to protect your
tweets. This locks your account and doesn’t let people follow you unless you
approve them. If you feel the need to protect your tweets, you really shouldn’t
be on Twitter. This social media platform is a place to get found, not lurk.
Make sure your 160 character ABOUT ME gives a good picture of who you are.
You don’t want to over use
hashtags here, but you do want to cover all the things you might tweet about.
Here’s what I have as my description: Writer & Author—passionate for life’s stories & God’s path. #MilitaryFamilyBlogger Guideposts.org #steampunk #prayer #scifi #socialmedia4writers
Show your face.

Always use a picture of YOURSELF as your Twitter icon. The evidence is
overwhelming. People respond to a head shot where you can see the person’s
smile. The only exception is if you have a business account. Then you can use
your company’s logo.
Have a regular presence on Twitter.
I Tweet a lot more now than I did when I started out.
More first goal was to Tweet four to six times each day, four or five days a
week. I use Hootsuite to schedule my Tweets throughout the day. Do NOT send out
all your tweets at once. This is called hogging the stream and is the height of
bad manners!
BE CONSISTENT with the subject of your tweets.
I tweet about social media,
writing, some books, and issues important to military families. Occasionally,
I’ll find something that I just want to share outside of those topics, but
that’s an exception, not the norm.
Make sure you’re sharing valuable content with
your Twitter updates.
Make sure you’re sharing valuable content with your Twitter updates.
Don’t make your Tweets all
about you. Instead, promote others who have something valuable to say to your
followers. I know it’s counter intuitive, but it works every time!
Look for strategic people to follow.
Here’s what I mean. I’m working on a science fiction
manuscript and trying to grow my Twitter followers for that specific market. To
find new people to follow, I visit some of my favorite science fiction author’s
profiles. Then I click on their followers. This does two things.
It gives me people to follow who are interested in following a scifi author.
It gives me a good chance of them following me back because they’re already
good about following back.
Reply to others publically.
Twitter is a public medium and people like to be mentioned. If
someone says something nice about you, or mentions you, be sure to reply
publically to thank them. I also keep a list of people who regularly mention me
and try to find something they do that I can mention.
Don’t use an auto responder.
You may think you’re being polite, but what you’re really being
is irritating. Auto responders are obvious and no one likes messages from a
computer clogging up their timeline.
What NOT to do!
NOT to do
are several things that may seem tempting for short cuts to Twitter followers.
I cannot urge you strongly enough not to try them. This is one of these times
when if it sounds too good to be true, it is.
  • Do
    NOT buy Twitter followers.
  • Do
    NOT use ANY automatic programs to increase your followers on Twitter.

has very strict policies against these practices
and I’ve known several people who have had their Twitter accounts suspended
because of this. 

Edie Melson is the author of numerous books, as well as a freelance writer and editor. Her blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains ChristianWriters Conference and the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy. She’s also the Military Family Blogger at Guideposts. Com, Social Media Director for SouthernWriters Magazine and the Senior Editor for NovelRocket.com. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t miss her new book from Worthy Inspired, WHILE MY SOLDIER SERVES.