It’s always fun to start on a new novel … and it’s work too. But hey, I’m a writer, and mulling about plot and characters on paper and then working to transform the ideas into real book equals “living the dream.”
As I sketched out basic thoughts for Almost Like Being in Love, my second novel in my Destination Wedding series, I ran into a mental roadblock with my hero, Alex. Chatting with Alex – yes, yes, I did just write that I “chatted” with an imaginary person. I do this via a written character interview. Me asking questions and my character answering. Stay with me.
Now where was I?
Oh, yes. Chatting with Alex – and all I discovered was how steady he was.
• He doesn’t do drama.
• His greatest dream is the “typical America dream: own a home, start a family.”
Alex wasn’t boring me . . . well, not exactly. But he wasn’t giving me much to build a story around. And to be honest, the fault didn’t lie with my imaginary character – but with me. I was the one creating him, after all.
I talked my character dilemma out with one of my mentors. Her advice was brief and brilliant: Rough him up.
In other words, I needed to figure out why Alex didn’t do drama – why he was so calm, cool, and collected, why home and family was so important to him.
So why do I share this with you, romance readers? Yes, I wanted to give you a glimpse of my writing process – the whole “talking to imaginary characters” procedure, which involves asking why, over and over again.
But I also wanted to ask you what kind of heroes you like: Do you like heroes who have been “roughed up” and have a past that makes them less than perfect? Or do you like heroes who have their act together, who know who they are, where they’re going, and live calm, cool, and collected?
Let’s put it to a fun vote:
Sally Bradley says
Wow, this is a really hard question, Beth! I don’t know that I can pick one; it depends on the story. In my last book, my hero was very quiet, serious, calm, didn’t do drama–until the heroine forced him into it. :) In my next book, though, my hero is very rough and dramatic. He doesn’t hide his emotions, his anger, etc., at all. So it’s making for a bit of a wilder ride there. But again the story demanded it. So… How’s that for an answer? :)
Sally Shupe says
Loved this post!
Trixi O. says
It depends on the storyline for me too. If they are roughed up due to something in the past & God has worked in their life to become the kind of man he is today, then what an exciting ride this would be! If he is more gentle, sensitive, all put together kinda guy, then he knows what he wants & is quite steady especially in the faith department. Each storyline is different & calls for different kind of heroes. I don’t see any right or wrong, as long as there is a good balance throughout the book! Just as real life people are different (backgrounds, personality, etc) & God works in them.