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?

About Kimberly S. Belle

Kimberly Belle grew up in Eastern Tennessee, in a small town nestled in the foothills of the Appalachians. A graduate of Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, Kimberly lived for over a decade in the Netherlands and has worked in marketing and fundraising for various nonprofits. She's the author of two novels, THE LAST BREATH and THE ONES WE TRUST (August 2015). She divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam. Keep up with Kimberly on Facebook (www.facebook.com/KimberlyBelleBooks), Twitter (@KimberlySBelle), or via her website at www.kimberlybellebooks.com.

Posted on February 21, 2014, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I often find that if my characters won’t do something, it’s because they’re not ready yet. So maybe it’s a questions of finding something he IS willing to do, which will show his softer side. Something endearing and manly at the same time? Like you say, the only way to find out is to keep writing! He’ll tell you when he’s ready. 🙂

  2. I call those characters curmudgeons and, while difficult to write, they’re oh so much fun to read! Keep writing,, Kim.

  3. Thanks, ladies! And you’re right ~ the only way to get to the bottom of him (and the story) is to keep writing. 🙂

  4. I love men like you described because they are more real than the struck dumb with love heroes. Can’t wait to read his story when you’re finished!

  5. Ditto what the others said, Kimberly. As I was reading your description of your hero, all I could think was YUMMMMM. 🙂

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