I once tried to write a story about a woman who marries her former college professor. All I know about him is that he quit teaching to tend bar, moved like a gorilla, and proposed to Female Lead on a gondola in Venice.
I never finished it. My wife tore it apart for me:
"You really need to stop writing from a woman's point of view. Because you don't write like a woman. You write like a man who thinks like a woman."
That's probably the best writing advice I have ever heard. But yesterday, walking to class, I saw some construction workers walking on the opposite sidewalk. They are part of the project going on. As far as I can tell, this project involves driving huge trucks all over a dirt field. Sometimes they spray water.
I have been listening to the book on CD of Can You Keep A Secret, by Sophie Kinsella. I actually examined the construction guys and wondered which of them Emma, the heroine, would want to date!
"Hmmm, no, those two guys are big fatties, and besides, they wouldn't make her feel special which is what she needs. That guy in the front is the supervisor... she does date her boss in the book... maybe... what about the shy, nerdy one with glasses and a polo shirt? Probably doesn't do much actual construction... Emma would appreciate that..."
In the end I decided Emma would go for Supervisor Man, and she would help him not to be such a demanding workaholic, and he would help her get promoted at work by making her see her own talent.
All this in a ten minute walk. I don't know what's happening to me.