This one is a story about an older woman dating a younger man. “Men Are Such Boys” was written before the term cougar became popular, and I don’t think of the woman, Deirdre, as a cougar, which has taken on a derogatory connotation.
This is simply a story about a woman who thinks of all men as boys. Boys in bigger bodies.
In the first few drafts, I cut back and forth between Deirdre’s point of view and that of the young man, Randy.
I was quite fond of the story then, but it wasn’t getting the response I wanted from readers. Nobody really liked it, and I didn’t know why.
I needed to do something, but what?
Then, I don’t know why, I decided to present almost the entire story from Deirdre’s point of view, then again from Randy’s, finally bringing the two viewpoints together for the ending.
That did the trick.
Readers started saying it was my best story yet.
As I told the astute interviewer from Book Club Queen (who got me thinking about this story), I believe it’s because you get more uninterrupted time with each character, enough time to bond. And you naturally buy into the first point of view before finding out there’s more to the story. That change in perception makes it more interesting, I think.