fangirl: male characters

Boys I Want to See in YA:

(Fems I Want to See in YA)

  • Trans boys
  • Fat boys
  • Boys who are really bad at like almost everything
  • Not-hot boys. Like just average looking boys.
  • Boys with acne
  • Boys who are love interests and aren’t dark and scary but are, like, normal
  • Nerd boys hell yeah
  • Boys who don’t have a love interest
  • Boys with girl BFFs
  • Ridiculous boys who say and do ridiculous things, for good or for bad
  • Boys who are terrible aND AREN’T FORGIVEN FOR THEIR TERRIBLENESS BY THEIR 1. HOTNESS 2. TRAGIC BACKSTORY. Boys who are just terrible and compelling anyway.
  • Boys who realistically interact with love interests (I can tell you that there are very, very few teen boys who will go out of their way to flirt with you if you are aloof and cold. Or even just not-flirty. The fragility of their male ego doesn’t usually allow for it.)
  • Boys who don’t constantly pursue a fuck
  • Boys who have risen above gender roles and societal expectations for their personality or behavior or whatever
  • Boys who are drowning in gender roles and societal expectations for their personality and behavior or whatever
  • Boys who don’t get the girl
  • Funny, optimistic, good-natured boys (I’m done with snarky sarcastic cynical boys really I am. I’m done with snarky sarcastic cynical anyone really.)
  • Boys who see the stupidity going on around them and don’t participate (but aren’t cynical)
Boys I Want to See LESS of in YA

(Boys I Want to See in YA | Girls I Want to See in YA)

  • Bad boys (specifically bad boys who are excused for their horribleness bc they’re hot. Bad boys who are through and through bad boys and aren’t excused but still loved are a-okay)
  • So-hot-that-in-my-head-they-look-like-photoshopped-pictures boys
  • Boys who are inexplicably fascinated with the female MC (keyword inexplicably)
  • BOYS WHO ARE IN HIGH SCHOOL AND REALLY CONFIDENT LIKE HAVE YOU EVER MET A HIGH SCHOOL GUY THEY ARE THE MOST INSECURE, TERRIFIED SUCKERS EVER THEIR EGOS ARE AS FRAGILE AS A BUBBLE I promise you the most popular high school male is extremely insecure and if he’s not he’s a psychopath and will one day own a gigantic corporation and be a serial killer by night
  • Older boys who are interested in young girls and aren’t treated as creepy????
  • Boys who are really really cynical and sarcastic (this often goes hand in hand with the bad boy thing)
  • White boys (i’m so tired of white boys man I want to see cykeem white in all the YA books coming out hell I just want to see cykeem white all the time everywhere)
  • Flat boys who are Mary Sues and only there for the female MC yet get a pass because they’re boys
  • Straight boys
  • Over-sexed boys (especially when this is treated like some huge accomplishment like he’s some fricking sex god and little humble tea-drinker MC comes along and makes him fall in love and she changes him–something that often involves him stalker-controlling her–and tHIS MAKES ME ESPECIALLY MAD BC A FEMALE IN HIS POSITION WOULD BE CALLED A SLUT/WHORE but we already know all that let’s just not perpetuate it ok)
  • And the opposite of that–boys who are lusted after by every girl, but who aren’t interested in any girls until supposedly-special (actually-plain) female MC comes along
  • Boys who say “I have needs” as if they will die without sex (actually this has nothing to do with YA or boys I just hate it when anyone says “I have needs” as if sex is necessary for an individual’s survival)
  • The strong silent type (when the issues underlying his strong-silentness aren’t addressed and/or actually treated as issues and are treated as some manly personality quirk, or when this issue is romanticized)

I’ll probably do a Fem version of this too

cheekygavin  asked:

I wasn't quite sure if you've answered this question before because I'm new to your blog, but do you have any tips in writing in first person when your main character is the opposite gender? For instance, I'm a female and I enjoy writing male characters as much as I like writing females, but sometimes I'm not sure if I'm writing them correctly. Like once a teacher yelled at me for my male character saying brunette instead of "brown hair" since he's a male and believes that men don't say brunette

Okay well first of all, your teacher is ridiculous. There’s nothing wrong with calling a male character brunette. You wouldn’t say “yellow hair” instead of blonde, would you? So that’s ridiculous.

Honestly, the best way to do this would be to write your character and then maybe have it read over by a male that you trust so he could tell you if maybe they wouldn’t say something that you wrote or if they may react differently to a situation. 

Male and female characters aren’t really all that different. Don’t get scared of writing a character of the opposite gender.

Thoughts on Male Characters 1/?

Based on the questions I get I know that a lot of non-male writers struggle with developing and writing male characters. There’s no straight-forward guide to writing a male character, but I can offer some insight based on what I read.

I’ve noticed that a lot of male characters, no matter who wrote them, tend to have a lack of insecurities. More accurate would be to say that lots of male characters have a lack of insecurities that are not related to a physical skill or leadership, especially when these male characters have a major role in the story.

If you have trouble developing your male characters, give them insecurities beyond not being able to fulfill their prophecy or not being able to hit a home run.

As with all characters, insecurities should impact your character’s behavior, thoughts, and decisions. Integrate their securities into their being. If your character doesn’t like the way they look or if they don’t like their body, their body language should reflect that when talking to people (such as avoiding eye contact, looking down, crossing their arms, etc.). Some insecurities will have greater impacts than others. They might even create conflict for your character or prevent them from resolving an issue.

When it comes to male characters it’s important to show that males can have certain insecurities without being “less male” because of it. More than a few times have I had writers ask if a certain trait is unrealistic for a male character because it’s “unmanly”. So if you ever think a certain trait or insecurity is “inaccurate” for a male character, ignore that feeling and write it.

However, a male character hiding insecurities can be accurate (especially among children and teenagers) because not being a masculine male makes you a target, but that’s a discussion for another day.

Anyway, here are some insecurities I don’t typically see in male characters:

  • Appearance & Perception: I rarely see this one. If I do see it, the author never goes into detail or the insecurity is about something quite small. Most of the time male characters mention it once and then forget about it for the rest of the story. I almost never see male characters insecure in the way others perceive them, which does not always relate to appearance (e.g. their voice or the way they walk).
  • Fears and Phobias: Having a fear or phobia of something other than “what if I don’t defeat the antagonist” or “what if my actions end up hurting/killing my friends” is nearly absent from male characters. They’re never afraid of themselves dying or of anything that could prevent them from achieving a goal.
  • Self Worth: Again, most of the insecurities in male characters that relate to self worth are about being a good leader or fulfilling a prophecy. Explore other options. Maybe your character thinks he’s not a good son or that he’s a terrible friend.

anonymous asked:

how do i avoid writing the stereotypical YA 'pretty yet angsty boy'.

Here are common traits to avoid:

The Stalker

I’ve read plenty of these characters and they all stalk a female character in some way. They often follow female characters because they don’t believe these characters have good judgement or that they can take care of themselves. Then it’s written off as romantic. Not only does this undermine female characters, but it romanticizes creepy and abusive behavior. Don’t let your character stalk girls. Don’t let your character stalk anyone while making it seem romantic.

The Edward Cullen

I call it this because when the Twilight series reached its peak, characters like Edward Cullen were showing up everywhere. These characters are good looking and everyone wants them, but they don’t want anyone else. Until the underdeveloped female protagonist comes along.

Your character can be attractive, other people can have a crush on them, and they can have a crush on the female protagonist, but it’s best to avoid:

  • Literally every girl wanting this guy except the protagonist.
  • Pushing the “not like other girls” reason for this character liking the female protagonist.


These characters are abusive in subtle ways at first, but after a while it gets too much and the author continues to romanticize this. If your male character is abusive, do not write it off as romantic. Use it as a chance to address this issue. I’ve seen authors write these characters being physically abusive and controlling as romantic and I’ve seen authors write non-consensual sexual encounters as desirable.

No Boundaries

These characters do not care for the wishes or boundaries of others:

  • Oh, you have a boyfriend and/or you don’t want to get involved with me? Too bad, I’m going to kiss you anyway.

That happens way too often and the author makes it come off as something that is okay. These characters get involved with issues they have nothing to do with. They feel the need to know everything about everyone and no one confronts them about their nosiness. If your character doesn’t respect the privacy of others, don’t write it all as desirable, romantic, or okay.

“I’m a Monster”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read characters who keep trying to warn others to stay away from them because they’re monsters or troubled or dark undeserving souls. Saying this once or twice is okay, especially if this character is emotionally vulnerable, but after a while it gets annoying and it makes your character sound whiny. 

These characters insist they are dangerous and that other characters should stay away from them, yet they continue to pursue these characters and never really give a good reason why.


These characters have an endless supply of everything they need. Do your characters need guns? Perfect! The Pretty Enigmatic Special Boy will now disappear without a word, return silently, and carry a bag full of guns with him. When asked, this character refuses to answer or gives a vague answer.

These characters are physically fit, good looking even when covered in blood, sweat, and dirt, have tons of knowledge on many subjects (especially any conflicts or phenomena your characters are trying to solve or get through), always win their fights (physical and verbal), and have pretty much no flaws. Everything they do is written as something to goggle over. Give your character some flaws that get them into trouble or that affect their narrative.


These characters are extremely vague. They never give straight answers. They make people wonder about their past even when they have no reason to hide anything about their life. This is not the same as being quiet or shy. These characters are vague on purpose. Every question they answer is carefully crafted to create vagueness. And all the other characters accept it, see it as intelligent, or see it as romantic.

Let your character give some straight answers every now and then. They can still be vague, but use it sparingly and only when needed. Think about why your character would want to be vague.

No Change

These characters are unbelievably static. From start to finish, nothing about them changes. They don’t learn from anything because they’re always right. They may warm up to other characters, but nothing much beyond that happens. They’ll still make the same decisions, they still have the same opinions, they still see the world in the same way.

The Angst

Here is information on writing angst.

How to Fix It:

Give your character flaws. Make them change over time. Let other characters respond accurately and don’t romanticize unhealthy behavior. To romanticize something is to make it seem beautiful, desirable, or better than it actually is. You can include the above traits, but it’s really about how you write it that matters.

You can also look at my male characters tag on the tags page for more tips, things to avoid, and male characters that are not as common in fiction.