Showing posts with label men. Show all posts
Showing posts with label men. Show all posts

Saturday 9 March 2013

Would We Marry Our Fictional Heroes if They Were Real?

I ask this because apparently there has been a trending topic on Twitter this week- #FictionalCharactersIWantToMarry.

In the short piece in the Guardian Bookblogs section 'Want to marry a fictional character? You could do so much better', Alison Flood makes some interesting remarks, read it here.

So who would I choose?

The first one that springs to mind is Alex Randall from M M Kaye's 'Shadow of the Moon' (I mentioned this book in my glomming post). There he is trying to do a tough job in a volatile situation, falling in love and then having to watch her marry another man, but maintain a co-existence, only to have everyday life violently fall apart with the Indian Mutiny, and then keep not only himself alive, but the woman he loves and one of her friends too... He's strong, compassionate, dutiful and emotionally torn by the circumstances.

Mr Darcy? No, I think I'd want to kill him after a week!

I suppose I do have a soft spot for my hero, Hugh, from my current work in progress. He's considerate but not a push-over; he can be tough when needed but not a bully, dependable and intelligent.
I've just realised that I've been borrowing a few characteristics from my OH for Hugh, but I won't tell him that. :-)

Fictional characters are just that, fictional, but to be believable to the reader, they have to display characteristics that we recognise and can relate to, whether they are things that you like, hate or are indifferent about.

Perhaps you could liken reading to a series of short relationships; some are disasters, others are fine while you're together, and a few stay in the memory and become longtime friends.

What do you think?

Monday 16 April 2012

Scarred Baddies Are a Stereotype...

Late last week there was an item in a few of the newspapers about stereotyping in movies of those with facial disfigurement- scars indicate a baddie.

If you are interested in the campaign to change this attitude, then you'll find the BBC News article here and the Changing Faces website here, where you can watch their short film that is being shown in 750 cinemas across the UK.

But it got me thinking about how disfigured people are viewed in romantic fiction.

In the classic, Jane Eyre, Mr Rochester is injured and blinded in a fire. Apart from his intention to commit bigamy by marrying Jane, while his first wife is still alive and locked up for her own safety, he's not seen as a baddy, he's just a man in an impossible situation.

In an historical romance context there are going to be scarred heroes and minor villains...

Before guns, men used swords, and in a fight or a battle if you didn't die from the vicious sword wound you'd probably die from blood poisoning. And if you did survive there would be scars- yes they would fade a little in time, but they would still be visible.
Wounds would be sewn with a needle and thread, and the neatness of the scar would depend on how good the doctor (or whoever was doing the stitching up) was with their stitches...

No doubt there were people in past times who turned away from those who suffered disfigurement, or heavy scarring, just as many still do now days.

Certainly in some of the American historical romances I've read over the years, the heroine drags the scarred and/or disabled hero back into the light, and back into society by the healing power of her love.

The baddies in these stories often lack scars, in fact they look just like anyone else- they can even be women!

So no cinema stereotypes there, quite the opposite in fact...

Monday 2 April 2012

Romance Terminology-Hero Types...

For any UK reader of Romance novels, who venture into US romance blogs, or reviewing websites there are terms you might not recognise, as well as those you'll be familiar with. So read this ABC of Romance from a few months ago and see which ones you recognise.

Alpha and Beta males are fairly standard. But now you can add Gamma Males. I like this term, as I really think my heroes fit this description. Gamma males are a mix of Alpha and Beta types and for me they can have everything I might want.

Now we like Alpha males (strong, dominant men who take charge), but honestly, I don't think I could live with one all the time and not want to smash him around the head!!!

Likewise Beta males are good (smart, know the value of humour, friendly, but aren't going to throw you over their shoulder and take you back to their lair), but sometimes you might like a little bit of those Alpha  tendencies...

So with a Gamma type you can have the nonthreatening hero who will turn into the decisive, instinctively strong male who will fight to save or protect, when those he cares for are threatened.

Alternatively, your strong man can show a softer side, supporting an unlikely charity, or has a pet that was an abandoned dog, and has now become his shadow...

Would you add any UK terms to the list in the article?

Are there any terms you particularly like or dislike?

Would you define the main types differently?

Yes, you guessed, I'm married to a Gamma type- and wouldn't change him... :-)
(Perhaps that's why most of the heroes in my stories are Gammas too.)

Thursday 6 October 2011

Moustaches For a Reason...

Not on me I'm glad to say...

If you read any historical romance the only time the hero appears unshaven is when they have had a life threatening injury and are unconscious or in some situation where shaving isn't possible.
Okay that may be a bit of an exaggeration but the hero doesn't usually have a beard or moustache. Even in Victorian settings, when facial hair was more fashionable, the heroes still seem to be clean-shaven.

Now you may wonder why I'm mentioning facial hair in a writing context, well there is a good reason.

A fellow writer on the Talkback forum-Steven Chapman- will be growing a moustache for the whole of November. He is taking part in the Movember fund raising event for The Prostate Cancer Charity.

"During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in the UK and around the world. The aim of which is to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men."

I live in a house of males- hubby and four sons- plus the numerous attractive males in the creative part of my brain, so it's not quite so strange to be giving a donation.

Steven reasoned that if all the people he knew gave even 50p each it would make a good amount.

So if you know a man who wants to take up the challenge, then point them in the direction of Movember. Or if you prefer you can make a donation to an individual, a team, or just a general donation- you'll find a link on the Movember page.

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I'm off to the New Writers UK Book Fayre and Festival on Saturday and hope to see the talk by Mills and Boon author Kate Walker.

So my weekend post will be a little late...