Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The joys of being a writer Pt1

Having pointed out some of the Things They Don't Tell You about being a writer, it seemed only fair to point out some of the Joys... And I've been a good girl and increased the word count on my current work so it seemed fair to give myself a reward...

So we'll start with one of the absolute best things. Well, in my opinion anyway...

The biggest part of creating your story is casting your hero and heroine. And it's exactly like casting a movie. We have in our minds eye an image of our characters, we know who they are and where the story will take them (in theory) and as the majority of romance writers are women it is only natural that we have some real fun picking the hero out.
And herein lies the first joy... You get to search for hours on the internet for research purposes... for pictures of great looking guys who look like our hero. It's a tough, time consuming job. It involves dedication, patience, a keen eye. And I for one, take it very seriously...

I mean, I take my writing very seriously, I like to do the best job I possibly can. Wouldn't anyone do the same thing??? And it's not just finding the right guy. (Is it ever?) The picture that we're going to keep as a screensaver or clip to a board at our work station or paste to the top of our word doc has to give something in return for the honour of being cast. And this is where the artistry comes in.

There has to be something about him that embodies the essence of our hero; a look in the eyes, an expression, a hint of a smile. Something that hints at the man we have created on the page so that when we look at him, we don't see just a great looking guy in a photo. We see our hero. Is our guy troubled by something? Does he carry some hurt from his past? When he looks off into the distance what does he see, who does he see? When he smiles is he smiling at our heroine? When he gives us that smouldering look, what is about to happen? Who is the person behind the picture? What will he tell us to write as we look at him? So many questions. And all within the short format of a contemporary romance...

It's all part of the joy of writing. Because we get to answer all the questions. And not only that, we get to create a darn near perfect guy. Well, okay, not perfect. Because lets face it, it's a hero with flaws that makes for a more romantic leading man! As, in my personal opinion, does one with a sense of humour. But the thing they all have in common, in both of the lines I write for, is that they are strong men, mature men (well 28 to 34 in my case). They are successful at what they do, be that as a Park Ranger like Ryan in my first book The Bridal Bet or as a Fireman, like Shane in White-Hot!, my first Modern Extra. They are self-assurred, capable men who don't necessarily go into the story looking for the love of a lifetime, but as the journey progresses we see them gradually realizing they've found it and fighting to keep it, no matter what the odds... (You can go awww anytime you want btw) So while we're creating this wonderous hero who never leaves the toilet seat up, never burps or passes wind, never hogs the tv control so we are forced to watch football, always replaces the spent loo roll and puts it in the right way round, it is sooo important to have a strong visual image that matches our imaginations vision.
That's why we simply must trawl through dozens of pictures to find him. It has to be done!

I like to feel I know how to suffer for my art...

Oh, and right this minute, I can make you a story for all these guys...

2 comments:

Donna Alward said...

I can't believe you have Eion Bailey up there. He is so scrummy with the most delicious eyes!

And I know, it's amazing how we suffer for our art. *sigh*

allyblake said...

I'm quite partial to that one of Hugh Jackman. Write about him please!