Monday, November 10, 2008

Well I'm totally stumped

I was real excited about being a part of the Chatelaines. Thrilled to be in such great company. Certain that Monday's would be MY day to blog. And now that its finally here I'm stumped. I don't know what to blog about.

I just spent the past ten minutes surfing my lonely blog. The one that no one ever reads. Maybe I could just repost something from there. (and I reserve the right to do so in the future) But nothing inspired me. Nothing was topical.

I thought about posting my childhood experience with the Mothman but it just didn't seem like the timing was right. I should save the Mothman for a week when we're discussing woowoo stuff, or halloween which is an entire year away.

They hey, inspiration! I realized I had writers block. Or maybe its just blog block. And then I realized that I'd just gone through it with the wip, Breath Of Heaven and I'm only on chapter two.

The problem was when I introduced my hero, Rhys, as an adult. In chapter one he shows up as a ten year old boy who almost died and is saved by a kindly Knight who then asks him to write him a letter every year on the anniversary of the day. (yes the knight will ask for a favor in return some day and it involves his daughter) We find out in chapter one that Rhys has no parents and an loveless childhood.

When Rhys shows up as an adult I want him to be skeptical of love. Its just something people talk about. Its something people use. It doesn't really exist. Rhys doesn't believe in love. The problem was Rhys sounded like a "player" He really was a bit of a jerk. Couldn't have that. The readers are supposed to love the hero not want to smack him, even if he deserves it at times.

I messed around with this chapter all week since I was in a biaw challenge and also doing nanowrimo just for fun. It just wasn't working. It took until Friday for me to figure out what was wrong. And it was an easy fix. I won't tell you the specifics of what I did, but basically it just took a bit of rearranging of who did what and adding some more layers to Rhys' character as to why he was acting that way.

So what do you think? Is it okay for the hero to be a bit of a jerk as he begins his journey? Or do you want to love him from the start?

8 comments:

Jennifer Ashley/ Allyson James / Ashley Gardner November 10, 2008 at 6:40 AM  

Good post, Cindy! You broke through your blog block. :-)

Hmm, do I mind if the hero is a jerk or do I want to love him right off? I love to see characters develop through a book, to become different and better people in the end. But a romance hero--I personally need to fall in love with him right away. However, that doesn't mean he has to be perfect right away (dull, dull, dull). I love a hero because of his weaknesses--he is strong, but at the same time, he struggles with a flaw (e.g., doesn't believe in love).

Your Rhys sounds interesting--I look forward to meeting him when you're all done and the book is in print.

Gerri Russell November 10, 2008 at 8:59 AM  

Congratulations on working through the block, Cindy. It happens to all of us.

As for your hero, Rhys, I kind of like heros who are "challenged" at the beginning of the book. It gives them room to grow into the hero we know they are.

Sounds like you are on the right track! I say go with it and see where he takes you.

Bonnie Vanak November 10, 2008 at 9:21 AM  

I like the sound of your Rhys too, Cindy.

I like a little tarnish, or even more, on my heroes. Nigel, the hero, or anti-hero, of The Lady and the Libertine, my upcoming April book, is a thief, libertine, and a liar, as well as an English earl. But he has a great journey along the way, on the path to redemption.

He's a naughty boy. There's something to be sad for naughty boys. :-)

Bonnie Vanak November 10, 2008 at 9:22 AM  

Duh, I meant to write SAID, not sad.

LOL!

Nancy November 10, 2008 at 10:18 AM  

Hi, Cindy--

Congratulations on working through the block! I think it's okay for a hero to be a bit of a jerk at the outset. I wonder, though, if the problem with that lies in different perceptions of what's "a bit" of a jerk versus what's "so very" a jerk? I've noticed I'm more willing than some to bear with a hero who needs a tad more growth.

Rhys sounds very interesting!

Joy Nash November 10, 2008 at 2:34 PM  

Cindy,

I'm all over imperfect characters! I love their potential, and love the journey to their best selves. Isn't a combination of darkness and light more interesting than absolutes? Btw, I like my villains dressed in shades of gray, too.

What annoys me is when I pick up a book and start reading about a couple who could have been the prom king and queen from my high school. You know -- beautiful, rich, tall, stylish, nice, smart-but-not-too-brainy...in short, perfect in every way, even down to the light hitting their white teeth! Don't you just feel like burning the gym down, just like Carrie??

My favorite imperfect book character of all time is Thomas Covenant from Stephen R. Donaldson's Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever series.

joy

Sonja Foust November 10, 2008 at 6:24 PM  

I read (and write) Desires, so it's practically a requirement that the hero starts out as a big jerk. :) Glad you got through your writer's block! Rhys sounds like quite a guy.

ddurance November 11, 2008 at 6:06 AM  

I would have to say that most heroes do start out as a jerk, probably due to the fact that they've been basically lonely all these years. They've had someone to fill their beds but not their hearts. It is the addition of the heroine that turns him into a sweetie. :-)

Deidre

Cindy Holby

Gerri Russell

Joy Nash

Bonnie Vanak

Emily Bryan

C.L. Wilson

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