Hero Journey

I’ve been immersed in research for the last week, so when I picked up a new romance this morning I was more excited than usual about reading. I took the book with me to work out and dug in. The opening scene was awesome. I loved the heroine, loved the writing. Couldn’t wait to see what happened next. Couldn’t wait to meet the hero worthy of this dynamic woman.
The elliptical hit 15 and I turned the page and met the man.
Three pages later I put the book down.
I know character arcs are essential in genre fiction. I’m all about reformed bad boys. I love the alpha male.
BUT when the hero’s story opens with us learning he’s a player times a thousand, loves sex, thinks he’s good at it, uses women like they’re nothing and then sends the one he spent last night with home with a best friend so he can bed her too, uh, that’s crossing the character arc line. I guess lots of people don’t mind a beginning like that. I did. I really liked the heroine. I wanted her to find happily ever after. But this hero wasn’t going to be worthy. If he hadn’t sent the woman he’s spent the night with home with his friend, I would’ve been fine.
It made me realize that I need to work hard at making sure my heroes are heroic in some way even when they’re being total jerks. Hope I can do it.
I plan on finding out tonight. I’ve been struggling with my writing the last two months. Thank God I found my journals and discovered that I’ve written two and a half books a year the last two years and in both of those years, I didn’t write in January and February because of my schedule at work. It’s deadline hell, so that made sense. Pretty relieving.
But I knew the deadline stress at work wasn’t what was stopping me with my new WIP.
My new work was stopped because the current situation is directly related to the past. A past I didn’t have figured out. I knew how the book was going to end, but I didn’t know why because that past event that sets the whole story in motion was still too vague. Last night I worked on that past event with my CPs. I’m ready to write today. I’m thinking about doing two possible things I’ve never done before. Writing the ending to see if my vision works and writing a prologue that might never see the light of day but will paint that beginning event vividly in my mind.
Writing the end is kind of scary because I sually write like crazy in the middle just to get to the last third of the book. I love writing the end usually.
The prologue is no problem. When I’m done with it I might even decide to make it a part of the book. I’ll have to decide if the reader needs to know that stuff to understand the book.
I know one thing. I’m excited, and it’s about time!

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