Men Supporting Women: Tips On Writing Supportive Male Characters by Natasha D. Lane
Once upon a time, fantasy novels were full of heroic men with swords. They were tough, strong, and skilled in battle. If they weren’t warriors, they were magicians with unique abilities. Think Lord of the Rings, Robin Hood, or The Bloody Crown of Conan. See what I’m getting at here?
Thankfully times have changed and women are carving their path in fantasy. It’s common for these fantasy novels to be housed by covers with youthful, mysterious women. Usually, they’re standing in a field or by a body of water, and clad in glistening armor or a jeweled dress. Think of works like Sea of Shadows, Graceling, or A Court of Mist & Fury. These women were not to be toyed with.
But when stepping into a genre that was once so male-dominated, how can writers craft male characters without them naturally take the spotlight? How can these characters support female leads?
Well, it’s easier than you think. Writing a supportive male character is like writing about your best guy friend or a close relative. Think of all his traits and quirks. Then, write them into the character. Basing characters on those we love and interact with is the easiest way to bring them to life.
However, if you’re hitting writer’s block with this particular situation, here are key items to remember:
First, a male character doesn’t have to be submissive for a female character to be dominant. Writing, like life, doesn’t have to be built on extremes. Though two dominant characters may butt heads, this isn’t fact. Perhaps the male character isn’t as stubborn as the female lead, so he’s fine occasionally stepping aside. Maybe the female lead isn’t above asking for assistance. You’re the writer. The power is yours.
Onto our next point. The male shouldn’t constantly try to rescue the female lead. Part of being supportive is trusting your partner. He should believe she can handle herself. Or, if he initially thinks he has to rescue her, he quickly learns and accepts that the female character is self-sufficient.
Lastly, the male character doesn’t condemn the female when she has a moment of weakness. This can be summarized by the saying: “Don’t kick them when they’re down.”
I hope you enjoyed this read on supportive male characters! Keep scrolling to learn more about me and how we can connect.
Natasha D. Lane is a friend of most things caffeinated, a lover of books (particularly fantasy), and a writer to her core. Her most recent fantasy novel The Pariah Child: Sarafina’s Return released August 1st, 2019. Connect with Natasha on her website, Instagram, Twitter, or GoodReads.