Posted On October 21, 2009 by Print This Post

He Said, She Said: A Tale of Two Scenes

Good morning and welcome to Anatomy of the Male Mind.  Not long ago, one of our readers asked if we could have two authors create the same scene from a male and female point of view.  We loved this idea (how could we not?) and tapped into Jeanne Stein and Mario Acevedo for help. 

Our only request was that both scenes be written utilizing the same factors (location, time, etc.).  Jeanne and Mario took it one step further and gave us the same dialogue from both  points of view.   

Let’s turn it over to Jeanne and Mario for some fun. 


Felix-Anna, Not Quite Wedding Crashers

Mario Acevedo

He Said  


She was definitely a vampire.  It wasn’t just her scent–that undead aroma mixed with dried roses–but it was the way she carried herself.  Proud.  Aloof, like she didn’t belong here.  A kick-your-ass vibe coming off her like cologne.

Champagne flute in hand, she circled the enormous wedding cake, a gaudy column of icing that towered over the table set in the middle of the reception floor.  A string quartet played in one corner of the room.  The other guests milled about, sipping punch or champagne, as we waited for the wedding party to arrive.  Wall-to-ceiling windows overlooked the Golden Gate Bridge with a view that said: Ain’t no recession in this neighborhood.

She wore a designer dress, a glamorous slinky number that covered her trim form with just enough material to remain decent.  Stiletto pumps made her legs look dangerously inviting.  My fangs started to itch.

I fell in step behind her and acted like I was interested in the cake.  But my attention was on her rump to see if I could detect a panty-line beneath that clingy sheath.

“The answer is no,” she said.

Since I was the only one within earshot, she had to be talking to me.  “What was the question?”

She turned to face me.  “Whether I was wearing underwear.”  Her blue eyes simmered with attitude.  “That gaze of yours was as subtle as a grope.”JailbaitZombie

“Blame your dress.  And your shoes.”

She gave me the once-over.  “Didn’t the invitation say ‘white tie?’ ”

I smoothed the front of my white shirt.  “I was close.”  I wore black jeans with a black leather jacket.  “My clothes are washed and my boots polished.”

“And you bathed?  Right?”

“Armpits and everything.”

Her lips pursed to hold back a grin.  “Pure class, aren’t you?”  She quirked an eyebrow toward the other guests.   “This is not your crowd.  You crashing this party?”

“If I had a choice, there’s a dive in North Beach where I’d rather spend the afternoon.  I owe the bride a favor so I have to stick around.”  Which was true.  But I was in San Francisco on an assignment and was killing time.  This reception was good cover for my trip here.

She put her champagne flute on the table and panned the room with a restless expression.  “A dive?  Sounds interesting—”

My cell phone vibrated.  She cocked her head toward the faint buzz.

I expected the call.  Time for me to split.  I turned for the door.

“Heading out?” She asked.

“Duty calls.”

“Lucky you.”


Jeanne Stein

She Said 

cropheadshotWhat am I doing here?

I look around the room. Big white wedding bells. Flowers in tall vases. A champagne fountain flanked by three-tiers of some kind of white-frosted concoction.

What were they thinking? This is a vampire wedding. Okay, the champagne works. But a cake? Especially one that probably set the bride and groom back a cool thousand? Who the fuck is going to eat it?

I pick up a glass, circle the table.

I feel him looking at me.  His eyes on my butt. When I turn, meet his eyes, he looks away. He acts like he’s looking at the cake, but I keep my eyes on him and sure enough, his gaze circles back. This time to my chest.

Not that I have a particularly impressive chest. I was not over-endowed as a human and as a vampire, it didn’t improve. But I’m wearing an Armani jersey number and Jimmy Choos. A scarecrow would look good in this outfit.

I pick up a flicker of thought.

“The answer is no,” I say.

He acts surprised. “What was the question?”

“Whether I was wearing underwear. That gaze of yours is subtle as a grope.”

“Blame your dress.  And your shoes.”

Since he’s giving me the once-over, I return the favor. He’s not bad looking, not too tall, maybe five-nine or ten, just a hint of a five o’clock shadow on an otherwise clean-shaven face. But what he’s wearing makes him look as out of place as I feel: black jeans, white dress shirt, leather motorcycle jacket, short zip-up boots.

Nice outfit. “Didn’t the invitation say ‘white tie’?”

He’s not letting me into his head. Probably so I won’t read his intentions. Like I need mental telepathy to figure it out.

He says, “I was close. My clothes are washed and my boots polished.”Stein Cover

“And you bathed? Right?”

“Armpits and everything.”

“Pure class, aren’t you?”  I glance around the room.  “This is not your crowd.  You crashing this party?”

“If I had a choice, there’s a dive in North Beach where I’d rather spend the afternoon.  I owe the bride a favor so I have to stick around.”

Restlessly, I sip at my drink. I don’t know why I came. Weddings are not my thing. No one seeks me out. Having extra-powerful vamp mojo tends to isolate one—other vamps either fear me or resent me. And I’m alone. No date. Everybody else is paired up like animals in the arc. All except–

I look up at the guy. He’s still watching, waiting. Then he smiles.

I put my glass down on the table. “A dive? Sounds interesting—”

A purring sound. From his jacket. Too faint for most to hear, but I do.

He puts his glass down. He was expecting the call.

“Heading out?”

“Duty calls.”

Figures.  I sigh and pick up another flute of champagne, watch him walk toward the door. “Lucky you,” I say, raising the glass in a salute to—whoever the hell he was.


Thank you to Jeanne and Mario for a wonderful post.   And thank you to Holly Atkinson for giving us this great idea! 

Readers, we’d love to hear what differences you found between the male and female point of view? 

Jeanne and Mario will be with us today to answer questions.   Be sure to join us on Friday when CJ Lyons will discuss turning points and pinches.


Bios: Mario Acevedo writes the Felix Gomez vampire-detective series for Eos HarperCollins.  He travels the psychic plane to research his stories about vampires, werewolves, alien gangsters, and radioactive nymphomaniacs.  In the latest adventure, JAILBAIT ZOMBIE, Felix battles zombies for the ultimate undead smackdown.  Mario lives and writes in Denver, Colorado. Visit Mario’s website at

Jeanne Stein is the bestselling author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Anna Strong  Vampire Chronicles. Last April, her character, Anna Strong, was chosen 2008’s Best Urban Fantasy Protagonist by RT Book Review Magazine. The fifth in the Anna Strong series, Retribution, was released in August.  Visit Jeanne’s website at


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10 Responses to “He Said, She Said: A Tale of Two Scenes”

  1. Jeanne and Mario, thank you for accepting our challenge! And a special thanks to Holly for the fabulous idea.

    I loved the contrasting viewpoints. Very interesting how the female vamp went from mysterious and sexy (male) to bored and average Joe (female). The male vamp didn’t seem to vary much.

    Thanks again,

    Posted by Tracey Devlyn | October 21, 2009, 5:47 am
  2. This was fascinating — thanks to both the writers for doing this. The difference in the presentation of the physical details was so interesting. In Mr. Acevedo’s version, the physical details of the cake, the room, the view is presented mostly factually with a little zippy commentary (the “ain’t no recession here”), but Ms. Stein’s version is presented much more though her mood, filtered through her “I don’t want to be here” mood. I loved the difference in how the male vamp experienced the vibe from the female vamp and how she experienced it herself.

    Thanks again!

    Posted by Natalie | October 21, 2009, 8:09 am
  3. morning all!

    Oh, what fun reading! =) Nothing like a good vampire story to get the blood flowing first thing in the morning… lol….(ok, yeah, it really is too early for puns)

    The biggest difference I noticed was that in Mario’s version “She wore a designer dress, a glamorous slinky number that covered her trim form with just enough material to remain decent. Stiletto pumps made her legs look dangerously inviting. ” and in Jeanne’s “But I’m wearing an Armani jersey number and Jimmy Choos. ”

    Mario describes the outfit in detail, Jeanne’s description includes brand names, and lets the woman design the outfit herself with those names.

    For the man’s outfit…Mario says “I smoothed the front of my white shirt. “I was close.” I wore black jeans with a black leather jacket.” and Jeanne says “black jeans, white dress shirt, leather motorcycle jacket, short zip-up boots.” Now in this one, Jeanne describes his outfit with much more detail and Mario describes the mans outfit with much less detail than the womans.

    That’s what popped out at me the most! =)


    Posted by carrie | October 21, 2009, 8:14 am
  4. Mario & Jeanne –

    Thanks so much for joining us today! I loved reading the subtle differences between your scenes. It seemed as though Mario’s scene emphasized action a little more, while Jeanne’s heroine thought about how she felt about being at the wedding.

    Good stuff!

    Posted by Kelsey Browning | October 21, 2009, 8:36 am
  5. Thank you Jeanne and Mario for being with us today. I loved this post! The thing I noticed was how the male vamp immediately checked out the female (typical male!), while the female noticed the surroundings first. LOL.

    Fun stuff!

    Posted by Adrienne Giordano | October 21, 2009, 8:50 am
  6. How should I say it? A demonstration is worth a thousand words? You could post those two examples as a classic demonstration of the difference in male/female perception — using the same dialog was a touch of brilliance. The nub of the matter, it seems to me, is how he perceived her and how she perceives herself.

    Absolutely fascinating.

    Posted by Beppie Harrison | October 21, 2009, 9:09 am
  7. Now this was interesting how she tossed off what she was wearing nonchantly and then descirbed his clothing in detail. Mario did the opposite but didn’t give a brand name like Jeanne did. Both povs were great ways to view the scene.

    Posted by Kathy Crouch | October 21, 2009, 12:37 pm
  8. Interesting and informative. But will you write about this one more?

    Posted by Kouba | October 22, 2009, 7:13 am
  9. I enjoyed both POVs. It was interesting that both characters were on the same wavelength but journeyed differently to get there.

    This was excellent!

    Posted by Liz Falkner | October 22, 2009, 12:12 pm


  1. […] Romance University has a very fascinating post up. Two writers—one male and one female—were asked to write the same scene just to see how different the male/female perspective was. I noticed immediately that their focuses were different, right down to the details they chose to highlight. The male voice (at least to me) felt more confident and aggressive. While the female voice, while equally engaging and entertaining, was less sure and … I’d say ’softer.’ Go take a look see and give me an opinion. FWIW, while they’re both great, I kinda like his better. I’m more drawn to his voice. […]

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