Welcome to day two of our interview with New York Times bestselling author Bob Mayer. Let’s get right to Bob.
Adrienne: What have you learned about the difference in the male and female creative process?
Bob: Jenny and I were presenting in Reno and she mentioned in front of 200 RWA members that my hero in DON’T LOOK DOWN never said “I love you” to the heroine. I replied they had only been together five days. She pointed out that they had sex with 48 hours. I told her it only took about 15 minutes to get to that. But the lack of the “I love you” caused me to get hissed at by everyone in the room. So I put it in. In the middle of a gun battle, when he’s regretting not having a set of night vision goggles.
It took Jenny and I a couple of years to understand why she collaged and I used an Excel spreadsheet. I don’t think it’s a male/female thing, but creative brain thing. She’s excellent with details but has a hard time ‘seeing’ the big picture of the book. So the collage sits in her office, she looks at it, and she literally sees the big picture. I can ‘see’ the big picture but am lousy with details. So I keep an Excel spreadsheet to the left of my keyboard and fill it out with a line for every scene as I write the book. It allows me to keep track of details.
The big difference, I believe, is that men are linear and woman tend to be circular. Two men have a conversation it goes in a direct line with a point to be made. Two women have one, and it’s all over the place with random connections. Neither are right or wrong, just different.
Bob: Hissed at again. In my earlier books, if there was a sex scene, it was integral to the plot because someone had to die, so that the other character could go out and wreak vengeance. I just learned the other day that I was the only male on the RWA Honor Role. Doing the literacy book signing a few years ago, I was the only male in a room of 500 authors. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. My agent and I are discussing it right now, because I don’t know if my plan should be to write straight thrillers or romantic suspense. I’m thinking the latter-but, like everything in publishing-it’s a good news, bad news thing. Good news is, I would be unique. Bad news is, I would be unique.
Adrienne: How do you craft realistic male characters?
Bob: They don’t speak. They think action is speaking. But I learned that the same action could be interpreted many different ways, so speaking might be a good idea. Another thing learned.
Adrienne: You’ve started a Warrior Writer Workshop based on your Green Beret Experiences: why should a woman take it?
Bob: 78% of readers are women. 56% of fiction is romance. It’s a woman oriented business. I actually think Warrior Writer helps women a lot. It helps a lot with developing plot and thinking in a different way. With men in the class I often have to break down their stubbornness. Women tend to be more open to learning. I’ve had several authors take the class and get published and/or move their career up a level because they expanded the way they viewed themselves as writers. Some have gone on to be NY Times best-sellers. Not so much because of the class, but because they wanted to learn.
Warrior Writer gives you a nine step plan (What, Why, Where, Character, Change, Courage, Communicate, Command, Complete) that gives writers a flow to becoming a successful author.
How to plan a career with a strategic publishing goal and to approach agent/editor with this goal and plan.
How to become a better writer using the Who Dares Wins template.
How to develop subordinate goals in support of that strategic goal in terms of books, theme, unifying concept, all the way down to organizing one’s day-to-day writing.
How to run your business as an author, self-employed in the world of publishing.
How to understand the points of view of others in the business, such as agents, editors, publishers, and importantly readers.
How to do an ‘author’ dissection to find a successful author whose career can serve as a template for yours.
How to face the fact that fiction authors tend to be INFJ character types while promoters are the exact opposite: ESTP. And speakers, presenters, non-fiction writers, while having many of the ESTP qualities, conversely lack the traits most successful authors have. For both groups, tactics on how to go into your courage zone to expand your comfort zone and do those things you don’t want to, but have to in order to be successful.
How to be the best marketing person you can be as an author. What works, what doesn’t.
What blind spot in your character is hurting your writing and your career? In the workshop, we dig to find this blind spot using various tactics, and the develop a plan to correct it.
Warrior Writer focuses on those things authors fear, giving tactics on how to overcome those fears that often can be debilitating.
For artists it gives you the Warrior’s Path to Creativity. Writers workshops tend to focus on the writing and not the writer. Maybe it’s not the writing that needs to change, but the writer. I’ve taught thousands of writers over the years, and the largest obstacle is not their writing, but their approach to writing. Who Dares Wins helps examine that in detail and learn how to change.
Bob’s Bio: NY Times bestselling author Bob Mayer has 40 books published. He has over three million books in print and is in demand as a team-building, life-change, and leadership speaker and consultant.
Bob graduated from West Point and served in the military as a Special Forces A-Team leader and a teacher at the JFK Special Warfare Center & School. His latest book is Who Dares Wins: The Green Beret Way to Conquer Fear & Succeed. He teaches novel writing and improving the author via his Warrior-Writer program. He lives on an island off Seattle. For more information see http://www.bobmayer.org/
Thanks to Bob for spending these couple of days with us.
Bob will be checking in again today to answer any burning questions you may have. No hissing allowed!
Be sure to stop by on Friday when our visiting professor will be bestselling author Allison Brennan.
- Bob Mayer Part I
- Anatomy of the Male Mind: Women Writing in the Male POV
- Getting the Goods on Badasses
- Weekly Lecture Schedule for June 7-11: C.J. Redwine, Wayne Levine & Ann Charles
- Part Two: Internet Dating-One Guy’s Perspective