Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Being an Ass

I feel the need to poll the world.

I have had a few of my "harder" heroes get labeled as asses. Mostly because there was one scene or another where the hero is trying very hard to make sense of his emotions. He gets frustrated and lets his temper fly. Usually during sex.

Here's the why.

It's a moment of passion where you are completely vulnerable and your partner could devastate you. If you're in love with the person and afraid to admit it, you might employ the opposite emotion: anger. It's targeted at yourself (or the hero's self) and he needs reassurance even if it comes off as a gruff attack.

I pride myself on creating realistic characters. Each character has his or her own persona unique to their circumstances, and they respond to stimulus the way they uniquely would do that. They aren't perfect. They're human. They've had to make tough decisions, or they are a touch arrogant. These are traits that make them "real". And real is what the author strives for.

So when there's a hero in a story who is mostly heroic and ends the story heroically, is it so hard to believe that their humanity has slipped along the way at critical moments when their emotions or doubts get the best of them? Isn't it these traits which allow us to identify with them, get angry at them, and ultimately love them more for becoming a better person at the end?

I guess I don't get it. Do you (this is that polling part) want a perfect hero, or a flawed man who has an emotional journey just as relevant as the heroine's journey? Do you want a one-sided relationship test, always knowing that ONE of the two-some are completely well-adjusted, or do you want to show the reader that both parties struggle only to come together in the end?

I don't know if you know this, but I learned a long time ago, that no matter how perfect you are together, you have to work at it to make a relationship happen. Two people from two different backgrounds are going to approach the same question from a different perspective, even if they reach the same answer.

So why is it so hard for people to say, "Wow, this hero blames himself for so much that isn't really his fault. He's being a dick right now, but he'll pull through"? and then actively believe that the author will indeed make it all work out in the end?

I just don't get it. Good thing I don't really care if people think my hero is a dick as long as he proves himself by the Happily Ever After closing. I'd even go out on a limb to say that if your pair isn't having bitch/dick moments, they aren't being truthful to themselves or the readers. No one's perfect, folks. I refuse to whitewash a story to make them that way.

The end.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm with you:) I want any character to behave realistically. Remember my Wild At Heart character Steve? Had a hard time getting him past readers 'because he's so angry'. Well duh...if you'd just been released from prison and was suddenly rejected by an establishment in your hometown, you'd be pissed too!

Wow...is this a current wip, where the guy loses his temper during sex? Can't wait to see how THAT turns out, lol!

Kenzie Michaels