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Want to Write a Privileged White Male – Part 2

Okay, so here’s Part 2 in which, as promised I share some of the things men have said to me that just go to prove their PWM standing, though in some cases it’s more a case of just sheer stupidity, I’ll let you decide which is which.  Of course, there are levels of PWM extremism which is why I’ve given two definitions in some cases, also remember, some men are like this because they don’t know better and some are like this because they believe that they already know best.  Don’t cast them all in the same depth of shade.

What he says What he means
You seem to have misunderstood … You’re wrong and it’s your fault
I didn’t intend … It’s not my fault
… it’s a longstanding trademark… And I’m not going to change
… my lack of protocol is legendary… I’ll do what I want regardless
… I wasn’t bypassing you … I can’t see it so it can’t matter


I was, and I don’t care

… I suppose this is typical of me … I’ve no intention of changing
I’ve never experienced… Therefore, it didn’t happen
I haven’t seen that You made it up
It’s just me being me You must make allowances


I don’t see why I should change

What you need to understand is… Your tiny female brain can’t cope with the big male facts
Don’t worry your pretty little head… You’re a bimbo with no brain, let the big clever man take care of things
It’s not equality they’re looking for, it’s female privilege How dare any woman think they’re as good as me


I’m higher up the ladder than my skills warrant and I’m under threat.

… shouldn’t dress provocatively. It’s women’s fault that I can’t control my sexual urges
Why Privileged White Males? Isn’t that racist? If I posted about … I’d be banned You’re discriminating against me and I’m going to whine about it.
I don’t have to put up with your attacks. Adieu! I can’t find a way to counter the valid statement you just made so I’m flouncing out.


Should you want to put the cherry on the cake of the PWM character – and let’s face it PWMs think they all deserve the cherry – you could always have him use a number of the above phrases in a so-called ‘apology’ then email mutual connections of some description to tell them how he tried and so that “everyone can appreciate [his] grovelling.”

What now follows is quotes from other people who shared their experiences with me,

What they said What I heard
Don’t want a baby? Keep your legs shut. Birth control is not my responsibility.
Slavery’s not too bad, they were housed, fed, and clothed Humans who aren’t like me are worth less, may not even be human.
Can’t do anything without it being some kind of sexual assault! I don’t respect women and should be able to grab what I want, when I want.
There’s no such thing as the gender pay gap Women aren’t as skilled as men so aren’t worth the same pay


As mentioned, feel free to use any of the above for inspiration, but here are two quotes from Val Portelli and her book “Story of A Country Boy”, that illustrate exactly what I’m talking about:Another perennial that I’m sure more then than a few can identify with, probably anyone who isn’t a privileged white male, in fact, is the repeating of your idea as if it’s their own.  Love that one.

‘… when I asked what was for dinner, she had the cheek to tell me to make it myself! Well, if that didn’t deserve a slap I don’t know what did.’

‘She didn’t apologise, but the next morning I came down to find a proper cooked English breakfast so I forgave her.’


Before anyone screams, yes – I know not all men are like this. I’ve given extreme definitions to illustrate the point. I suspect that this blog will offend a man or two, but if it does, perhaps those men should stop for a moment and question why they find this offensive.  I find parts of this offensive because it’s been used against me.  I find parts of this offensive because it’s been used against others.

The unfortunate truth is that privileged white males exist.  As it is a part of human experience there will be people who want to write about it, which is why I’m putting this out as what to consider if you want to portray a written character as a privileged white male.  In real life, most men, thankfully, do not think or act this way and hopefully, in a generation or two, none of them will.

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Want to write a Privileged White Male? Part 1


Do you want to write a character who is a privileged white male?  No, I’m not sure why you would either, unless he’s the villain of the piece in the modern era. And yes, there is so much on this topic that I’m having to split this into 2 blogs.  Well, there’s probably enough for more that 2 blogs, but there’s a limit for most things.

Now I don’t claim I’m perfect, far from it, I have nasty little thoughts of prejudice, but I try to recognise and reduce them.  What I’ve found of late is that there are some men who think that they are being prejudiced against when actually, the level of the playing field is just being evened up.  They simply don’t see that they are the product of a system that actively promotes them over others.

Anyway, I’ve encountered a fair bit of this behaviour over the years, so I thought I’d share some of the things that have been said to me and if you want to use them, feel free. If I find a need for a loathsome character of this nature, I’d sure I’ll be trotting a few of these out too.

On the topic of positive discrimination:

  • It’s discrimination
  • If I did something for only white heterosexual males, I’d be locked up
  • The best women will always rise
  • Why should we have an International Women’s Day?
  • Why should I put up with something mediocre just because it’s from a woman?

It’s discrimination – yes, it is, but it only feels bad to you because you’re being excluded from a tiny, tiny race when you’re allowed to enter all other races and are in fact, given a head start in most.

If I did something for only white heterosexual males, I’d be locked up – Oh if only!  In the UK the vast majority of everything is still run, led and set up to support and promote white heterosexual males.  So, there are a few things out there that want to actively promote women – yey for them, everything else is already yours.

The best women will always rise – Yes, they will. The problem is that anyone below the best, including the very good and the good women, still get pipped at the post by mediocre or useless men.  Why should women have to fight for what men are handed on a plate?  A few weeks ago, I was talking to a woman working in the construction industry and she asked why a man younger than her with less experience was given the promotion she was after, and she was told that it was because she had children.  When she pointed out that so did the promoted man, she was told, “Well that’s different.”  You want to see how male-dominated all the major events/breakthroughs of the last 200 years are, go look who got the praise for putting men on the moon, who got the awards for discovering DNA, there are hundreds of examples, just open your eyes to them.

Why should we have an International Women’s Day?  – Because the other 364 days are year are all about men, 365 days a leap year, and let’s face it, even on International Women’s Day, some men still find a way to make it all about men. This is the same reason we need Black History Month because everything else is whitewashed.

Why should I put up with something mediocre just because it’s from a woman? – Why should put up with mediocre and rubbish from men, just because they’re men?  Despite 100 years of the vote and 30 years of Equal Opportunities legislation, we still don’t have equality in the workplace.

This is now a long blog, so I’ll finish here, but don’t worry, you won’t have to wait long for part 2 in which I’ll share some of the things PWM say and what they actually mean.

Also, I want to say that these examples are from a minority. I know most men, and women, out there are actually good guys trying hard to straddle the world our grandparents and parents knew to the one we live in and the one we want to make better for our children and grandchildren.





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How Not To Piss Off An Editor – Part 2

editingHere is another in my infrequent series (here’s the first one if you want to see it) of how you can help yourself when it comes to not annoying your editor.  These tips are not any magic wand, but if you do follow this advice you are much more likely to form a good connection with your editor.


Read your own work.  Now I’m the first to admit that this has problems because you will end up reading what you think is there rather than what actually is there, but this is hugely important.  Especially when it comes to dialogue.  If you want to know does your dialogue flow – read it aloud, say it yourself.  If you can’t stand the sound of your own voice, then either get someone else to read it to you or get a PDF reader that can.  I use Adobe (the free download – I can’t afford the full version), it has a built in reader.  It’s monotonous tone to listen to, and you have to figure out the tricks to get it to work properly (no curly apostrophes or speech marks) but it sure makes your own mistakes jump out at you.


Run a spellcheck.  I received a manuscript with five spelling mistakes in four lines a few weeks ago.  It wasn’t a great piece of writing to begin with, but when I get words like dam spelt damn, I realise that the author hasn’t just failed to check their own work, they’ve failed to show any respect for the reader – or the editor and don’t forget in this case they were paying for my services.  But here is the thing that spell check won’t always tell you – you might spell the word right, but it could be the wrong word, homophones are a nightmare for this.  Also, for example, I often see a lot of confusion over there and their or where and were.  These are irritating typos, everyone does them as they type, but they can be found.  If the grammar check on the word processing package you use isn’t up to much, try Grammarly.  I find that this particular grammar-nazi can be a bit of a pain when it comes to colloquialisms and modern usage, but it picks up the little things that the author’s eye will miss.

Consistency – Names

In the last part of this, I rattled on about formatting consistency.  If you follow this blog you’ll also have seen me talking about names.  One of the things I mention there is to not be afraid of changing names.  In my latest WIP, I had to change the names of five different characters – one character got changed twice.  The reason for that was that all the names were starting with either the same letter or containing the same sounds.  So you see I do understand why an author would change a character’s name which is one possibility for why sometimes as an editor I get an odd name jumping out and sitting there wondering who on earth this character is only to realised that it’s a Rose by some other name that didn’t smell so sweet.  The worst I ever had was one scene containing one boy and one girl and seven names.  Ugh!

As I say, no magic wand, but avoid what pitfalls you can then the editor can concentrate on the import parts of helping make the work better.

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How To Write

Where I work 151001There are lots of ways to get that story out of your head and onto the pages, different things work for different people.  So where do you start?

Are you a pantser or a plotter?

First time I was asked this I had to ask what a pantser was, it’s someone who just who just sits down to write and lets the story tell itself.   I’ve heard Enid Blyton wrote many of her stories that way, don’t know how true that is but I remember hearing it.

Of course, the other alternative is to plot out the story from start to finish. Not necessarily in minute detail, but know where you’re going, at least the general direction.

On that criteria when it comes to novels I’m definitely a plotter.  For a short story, I might just write, but novels definitely get plotted, but rarely so tightly that I can’t use something new that comes to mind in the writing.  For example in the steampunk novel I just finished the first draft of, I pdoorsomething in the background of chapter three that I hardly took any notice of, it was literally only there to give more of a steampunk flavour to a character building chapter.  However,  by the time I got to a crucial twist at the end of the book, that background got brought very much to the foreground, in fact without it, my characters might have failed to do what they needed to do. The plot didn’t change but it left me enough room to get creative, and after all as writers, creative is what we’re meant to be.

I believe that even when I plan a book, and I can do in great detail often specifying where characters are even if they are off page, being open to changes along the way is important.

Once you’ve decided to plot or just go for it, will you write from start to finish ordot about to write scenes as inspiration takes you?

Have to say I’ve done both.  The steampunk I mentioned earlier, that was done in individual scenes as I figured what I wanted to happen in that scene, but I was jumping back and forth through the timeline of the book.   That worked for two reasons.  Firstly, because I had plotted the story out (loosely) so as I found a scene that worked in my head, I wrote it.  Secondly, because I’ve had a lot of other stuff going on the last few months, snippets of time is all I’ve had. However, since I had just finished, I now think that thisis going to be one of the most difficult edits I’ve ever faced.

I have tried to just write scenes as I’ve seen them then string them together but that’s tended to be stories about Mc and Mac, two specific characters – a cop and a pathologist -who usually end up working best as a series of short stories, they don’t seem to want to do a whole book together yet.  Which is kind odd since the end of the first story has one asking the other out. And the last story I have written so far in their chronology has them married.  But hey, sometimes you can’t control what charters will agree to do.

In thinking about this blog I stopped to think which way I prefer to write, and I think my preference is for writing a book start to finish.  That’s probably quite boring but it’s what works for me and I suspect most writers.   I find that the most effective way to ensure that any new threads that appear are best woven into the fabric of the story.

So turns out I’m a plotter who works from start to finish.  How about you?


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