Daily Archives: February 21, 2014

Uncooperative characters

This story I’m working on now is driving me mad. Or more specifically, my hero is.

Oh, he’s nice enough. In fact, he’s kind of funny, one of those men’s men whose blend of humor leans heavily toward sarcasm. And like most heroes, he’s hot–tall, handsome, muscular, and sexy, and he knows his way around a toolbelt.

What’s not to like, right?

Well, for starters, he’s a recovering (sort of) womanizer. He spent most of his youth breaking hearts and blowing around town like a fun-seeking missile, and settling down are two words that never made it into his vocabulary. His walls are high and thick and solid as steel, and he’s a master at holding everyone at arm’s length, including my heroine.

Every time I try to shape him up on the page, he pushes back. I tell him readers need a redeeming quality or two, but he wants me to keep his big ones locked down tight. I point out all the nice things he’s done — helping out an elderly neighbor, acting all tough and protective of my heroine when she finds herself in a jam — and then he goes and does something to prove me wrong, and himself an ass. He refuses to cooperate.

If my heroine doesn’t kill him, I just might.

As writers, we talk a lot about writing the story that wants to be told. Clearly, this hero is trying to tell me something, I’ve just yet to figure out what.

And the only way to do that is to keep writing.

What about you? What is your favorite kind of hero?

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