Writing, Reading, All Things YA

Writing Boys by Nyrae Dawn, author of What a Boy Wants


I get asked often how I write boy POV “so well”. First, I personally feel weird using the term “well” because I’m not sure if I really DO write it well, but I try super hard to make it as authentic as I can. Second, it’s a really hard question for me to answer because in a lot of ways, it just comes to me. When a character comes to mind, their voice is usually just there for me.

It’s hard because I never want to sound like I’m trying to stereotype all boys into one category. I KNOW they don’t all think, speak, act the same. When I refer to guys in this post, it’s just boys from my experience. The guys I know and have known throughout my life.

One thing that I think helps me is I was always friends with a lot of guys in school. Most of my friends were boys. You know that girl in a book or movie who is almost like, “one of the guys” where she sees and hears a lot of things other girls don’t? The one who they feel comfortable being themselves around and talking about other girls around because she’s just a friend? Well that was me. I heard and saw A LOT. LOL. I draw from those boys I was friends with a great deal when I write a guy.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when I read a boy POV book and he sounds like a girl. Again, I’m not trying to throw all boys and all girls under one blanket, but I think most of us will agree that girls and guys think differently. Or they process things differently. We react differently than each other and that’s something I always try to remember.

I think most boys are visual and physical. I don’t think it means they don’t feel things as much, or that they don’t love the same way etc., but let’s be real, I think a lot of guys express feelings in a different way. Where I may tell my husband I love him, he’ll tell me I look really “hot” (which I know I don’t!). LOL. I know he loves me and he does tell me, but often times it’s in a different way than I would tell him. I also fully believe that he has different things going through his head, but it’s not always the things that comes out of his mouth. We’ve been together for 13 years and he still isn’t big about talking about his emotions, but his actions show me how he cares.

One of my favorite things about my hubby and the guys I was friends with growing up is how competitive they could be with each other, or how much they would give each other crap, but they were also fiercely loyal and would have each other’s backs. I try to draw from that when I write my boys.

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Nyrae’s books about boys

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4 thoughts on “Writing Boys by Nyrae Dawn, author of What a Boy Wants

  1. Awesome. Not sure if I’ll every try my hand at it. I think it depends on which stories “come” to me. My first novel has an adult male POV. Now I’m gonna make sure he doesn’t sound like a woman! But just getting teens’ voices right is hard.

    • I try to not write teen voices, I try to just write voices in general. Teens are seriously the smartest readers… They catch everything and can smell a fake on the first page… That’s the scary part of writing teens as an adult… Then add a male POV on top of all of it! It’s a challenge and I love writing the male voice, or trying to, anyway! ;)

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