Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I want a Roman Gladiator, but that doesn't mean my story's heroine does.

I am writing a story, which keeps growing in size, and I don't know what it will end up being; whether it will be one of those long short stories, or a novella, or a book, who knows?

I just have a habit of starting stories, working on them a while, putting them away, then forgetting about them, then picking up right where I left off for another round of good writing life. This seems like a cycle that is still in its adolescence, because I have yet to finish a story written in this fashion.

It may take years to write a good story with all kinds of stops along the way like that, but I guess it's better that way, because more often than not, the time I've spent away from a piece has turned out to be good for the piece, so I'm not worried.

But I wanted to talk about this particular story I'm working on at the moment. It is one with characters that could be written a number of different ways to make each of them more or less unique literary figures, depending on what route I decide to take.

There is one particular character, the male hero of the story, who I have written as a successful chef, with a popular TV show. So far, I've made him out to be in his thirties, living with his mother, who is bed-ridden, and whom he takes care of, and someone who is shy, almost to the point of being afraid of women. Now, at first glance, in real life, such a character would not exactly be your ideal male figure in a story where there is a romantic relationship developing between him and a strong-willed woman--a doctor, no less-- but I think that could be what makes the story all that more interesting and challenging to write.

In no way am I saying that there aren't stories with these types of characters in them mixed together out there already, but in my case, up until now, I've always written men in such a way that makes them fit to be fighting lions at the colliseum in Rome, instead of handy with a whisk. I do that mostly because I like to escape with writing, and what better escape than the kind you create yourself by writing a man the way you want him to be?

But really, writing my idea of a fantasy man isn't going to create anything but cliche-filled reading material that interests no one with a hunger for something deeper than a character profile of a romance novel hero. Alongside my sword-wielding-ready men, I also like to write women who are strong-willed, stubborn and not afraid of anything except heights. That is something I don't feel like changing just yet, but my male characters are getting an overhaul.

On top of him being a TV chef, I am enjoying making this one a house-slipper-wearing, soft-spoken and laid back individual, who does laundry and lets it dry on a clothesline to make sure the fabric stays like new. Did I also mention that he keeps a walkie-talkie handy so his mother can always get a hold of him when she needs him? That's aside from his cellphone, which he answers even if he's on the air, all for his mom. He may sound like a wuss, but behind every such man is a great woman who makes him a true man.

I don't know how fun this will end up being for a read, but I'm sure having fun writing it!

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