I’d like to finally blog about a question that was posed awhile back and kept me thinking — distracted, really.
Now that my daily routine has settled down, having gone from doing nothing most days to having something to do now that I’m employed AND still writing novels, and figuring out a new, productive time schedule, I just have to get this out of the way so I can move on to other things.
The question was about a most memorable character in any book I’ve read then expound on why: what about the way he was written caused this character to become ingrained in my heart and mind.
Great questions, right?
I’m not partial to getting involved in the why’s or how’s of my own writing. I’m more concerned about the how’s and why’s of the story itself, but after thinking long and hard about how to respond to this question, it makes sense to start thinking more about the ways to evoke feeling in my writing as well as to make sure the story itself is worth the read.
Having read dozens of romance novels over the years and especially recently, I did bump into a most memorable character in another Lisa Kleypas novel.
It was her The Hathaway’s series of Regency, and the first story wasn’t about him but the young matriarch of the dysfunctional yet charming family members.
His name is Kev Merripen, and his story came in Seduce Me at Sunrise: #2 in the 4-part series.
Kev is hot.
A foundling gypsy child the Hathaway’s adopted, and yet he never made himself a part of the family but more of a servant/protector/go-to guy for the eclectic bunch.
Super tall, dark features, great body — prerequisite goodness — all helped to make me want to get to know more about him, and I couldn’t wait to read his story. As a matter of fact, I was so filled with anticipation that I skipped #2, reading it last just to let the moment build up in my mind. He appeared in each of the four stories, so it wasn’t like I was being hung out to dry for the self-inflicted duration. What it did was help me to discover bits and pieces more about him so that when I finally did read #2, I had a better understanding of him and his characteristics.
Now, the reasons why he became so intriguing had just as much to do with the way in which Miss Kleypas teased me with those bits and pieces of key information about him and his past than it did to know he was so exceptionally attractive . . . I think.
She always described him before telling me what he was up to in a particular scene, mentioning his quiet nature, his brooding expression, and his inability to participate fully, even when things go horribly awry in the story. Kev was always there to lend a hand, save the day, and fix whatever problems one or more of the characters got into, but in a wraith-like manner — zooming in to do his job before vanishing in the blink of an eye — to avoid anyone’s actual notice or to give thanks for his efforts.
By the time I was ready to read his story, and when I finally understood why he behaved the way he did, it made perfect sense and helped draw me even closer to this fictional character. He’s someone I’d like to know in reality, or at least a close facsimile at any rate.
In #2, the author also managed to keep him at bay for a majority of his romance. He’d always adored the one Hathaway sister but remained at a safe distance even after she recovered from her illness and returned to England, eager to get with Kev and really love him the way she, too, had wanted but wasn’t able due to that illness.
The thoughtful things he did not to show her that he cared but in response to his own feelings for her. She never told me he felt incapable of love nor deserved to receive it, but she wrote him in such a way that it was obvious that was what he was thinking and feeling.
Kev is the type of character who thinks he knows best — toward her — and wouldn’t harm a fly — certainly not to the woman embedded in his hardened, not frozen, heart.
Cuteness in a grown man kind of thing.
So, in answer to this burning question, it makes sense to want to incorporate these types of emotions in my own writing. Not to copy, but to learn from the subtle ways in which another author manages to inject those emotions and make the reader want to know even more; because she’s become infatuated with a fictional character based on the way he’s written into the story.
There needs to be a reason why he’s not only aloof but also semi-receptive to change. He needs to come off as someone desirable yet plagued by some amount of self-doubt to keep him from giving in too soon or being so flippant as to be unbelievable.
There are instances where this can be reversed and the female lead is the one dealing with issues while the male protagonist moves forward with a relationship in mind regardless of her inadequacies or self-doubts.
Finding the right words to convey and evoke those emotions can only make the story more of a joy to read.
Finally . . .
Being suddenly busy and daily-schedule confused, I was too late to participate in this week’s Blog Hop. Please pay them a visit and read what these amazing author’s have to say about humor and inspiration in writing, starting with Collette Cameron‘s pretty blog.