How Male Characters Check Out Female Characters

Gender dynamics: scoping out the possibilities

When a person enters a room, and the person is not wholly satisfied in his personal romantic endeavors, he generally scopes out the area for available and desirable women.

Fiction often trips up in allowing the scoping, but failing to account for the action that inevitably follows such sniffing-out behavior.

Bad Writing (aborted scoping):

Henry came into the bar, and a smell of Ungolian manure washed over his face. He looked around, and saw a pair of sisters from the moons of Brian-on-Dell. The older sister had a pair of tentacles creeping from the sides of her neck, and the younger sister was coated in a thick layer of oozing black mud.

The oldest sister was holding a glass of Krag between her hands, and her left tentacle was snapping lightly against the surface of the blue liquid. Henry could hear the faint splish-splash of the Krag; the younger sister’s thick orange eyelids flickered towards the sound, and she frowned.

Henry walked through the dimly-lit bar; he veered towards the sisters, and when he passed the younger sister, he tilted his chin towards her, a light smile on his face.

“Bold man, that,” the older sister murmured, when she thought he had passed out of earshot. Henry grinned, and a satisfied squirm went through his hips. I’ve still got it, he thought.

Good Writing (scoping aftermath):

Henry came into the bar, and a smell of Ungolian manure washed over his face. He looked around, and saw a pair of sisters from the moons of Brian-on-Dell. The older sister had a pair of tentacles creeping from the sides of her neck, and the younger sister was coated in a thick layer of oozing black mud.

The oldest sister was holding a glass of Krag between her hands, and her left tentacle was snapping lightly against the surface of the blue liquid. Henry could hear the faint splish-splash of the Krag; the younger sister’s thick orange eyelids flickered towards the sound, and she frowned.

Henry walked through the dimly-lit bar; he veered towards the sisters, and when he passed the younger sister, he tilted his chin towards her, a light smile on his face.

“Bold man, that,” the older sister murmured, when she thought he had passed out of earshot. Henry grinned, and spun around. He slid into the booth beside the slime-covered younger sister, and breathed in deeply.

“I bet your skin is lovely under all that mud,” Henry said, staring straight at the tentacled older sister.

“Are you talking to me?” the older female demanded, her orange skin flushing harshly.

“No,” Henry said, smiling.

“Go away, Merdoth,” the younger sister murmured. Henry’s whole body, which had already been warm with the thrill of his daring, became positively volcanic at the velvety sound of the younger female’s voice. What had been a momentary whim on Henry’s part solidified into a fervent desire. I will have her, he told himself.

The older sister was glaring daggers at Henry.

“Excuse me, buddy,” she began, but the younger sister cut in with a long diatribe in another language. Merdoth’s face, already flushed, became unbearably vivid. She stood abruptly, clutching her glass of Krag in both hands, and swept away.

“Who are you?” the younger sister asked Henry, as soon as Merdoth was heading away. Henry turned, and met the female’s eyes, which gleamed from beneath the Ungolian manure.

Henry’s sense of adventure turned, in short order, into chilling fear. What if she was ugly, under all that?

“I’ve got a feeling about you,” Henry said, keeping his voice casual.

“How long do you think this feeling will last?” she asked. Her wide mouth was curved beneath the rough surface of the manure. A touch of pink was visible, under the rancid green.

“The more I hear the sound of your voice,” Henry said, “the more I think the feeling will never leave me.”

The younger sister smiled; her eyes were wary.

“I will meet you after moon-under time in the lobby,” she said. “You will have five minutes to convince me you are interesting. Don’t be late.” She pushed her slime-covered hand against Henry’s ribs, as though prompting him to slide out of the booth, to make way for her to leave.

“Why can’t I meet you now?” Henry demanded. Her touch sent shivers of desire through his bones. He could not see her face, but something about her intoxicated his senses, and made a river of fire run through his veins.

“I want to get out of this booth,” the lady said. Henry smiled, but his eyes were hard.

“I want to know your name,” he countered.

Relationship overtures have consequences; anyone can set up a meeting between two characters. Set yourself apart by following through on the initial maneuvering of your sniffing-about male characters.

Advertisements