Monday, October 11, 2010

Falling in Love Again

I confess. I fall in love a lot.

In the last year, I've fallen in love with four guys. The first three were named Jack, Julian and Jordan and then I read Clarissa's hilarious post about how "there are 26 letters in the alphabet, why as writers do we tend to get stuck on two?" (Insert big laugh.)

Wait... huh?

So the fourth was named Beau.

I'm talking about the male leads in my books, of course.

Naturally, I love my main characters. They're typically amalgams of females I've known, characters from movies or books, women I've interviewed, my imagination... And then I put them in tough situations and see how they get out.

But there's always a fellow there. And how can you not fall in love with him?

He's usually an amalgam of guys I've known or interviewed, characters from books or movies, my imagination...

Sometimes he's not interested in my MC (Jack) or he's interested but something's keeping them apart (Julian) or she's completely out of his league and he doesn't even try (Jordan).

Or he's in her league and does one great thing after another for her, but she refuses to let him help her or involve him deeper in her problems (Beau).

I'd like to think I'm not alone here. I mean, don't you have to fall in love with your main characters to write a compelling story? Or is this all a function of the type of stories I write. (YA)

Perhaps if I were a male (or still a female) writing action-packed fantasy or mystery-thriller novels, I'd think of my MC as more the idealized version of me or someone cool I'd like to hang out with...

I don't know. I'd probably still fall in love with them. But that's just me.

I'd love to hear about your MCs--are you in love with them or are you just good friends? You think this is all a function of genre? Is it possible to write a good story and not fall in love with your MCs?

Have a great week, guys~

28 comments:

Vicki Rocho said...

I fall in love a lot, too. And I tend to think you need to have a strong reaction to the main players (either love or hate) in order to keep going -- to make sure they get what's coming to them.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Try again without the typing errors...
"Sigh... sounds as though this type of writing is great! Wish I wrote for the grown-ups too..."

Rayna M. Iyer said...

My MCs are female, so while I love them I am not in love with them.
The men they love? Let's just say, I live vicariously at times.

Jen Daiker said...

I love all my protagnists and my sidekicks, and my guys. They are the peanut butter to my jelly and I love them all dearly!!!

Each person represents something in my life, I don't realize it in the end, but I think as writers you always add a little sparkle in your novels, how else do we make them different from others?

Now there have been times when my characters and I aren't even friends, I know Stephen King has proven you can still sell a book even though you aren't a fan of the character (Carrie) so it gives me inspiration if I fall into that whole!

Great post :) I'm currently in the honeymoon stage as well, with NaNo around the corner the words will be flowing soon enough!

LTM said...

@Vicki--right! I mean, how else can you do the whole butt in chair for 75K words? bluh--it's tough w/o being invested~

@CAC: You could try! :D it is fun, though. I very much enjoy it. Would be nice to start getting paid for it... ;o) <3

@Rayna: LOL! Like on the train (you) or in the grocery (me)... must guard those eyes when mentally composing. :D (ehrm, sorry sir. It's not you, it's MC~)

@Jen: Honestly, I do, too. I think we get to know them so well it's impossible not to think of them as our babies. And yes! I think NB posted something about the components of voice that was v. good~

Stephen Tremp said...

My antagonist's girlfriend, the main assassin, is modeled after Jessica Alba. So yeah, I fell in love with her.

Stephen Tremp

LTM said...

LOL@Stephen~ And it def. keeps you going back to the writing chair, yes? ;p

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I think there's so much romance inherent in YA that you can't help but fall in love with the boys. Well, I do, at least. I have a more complicated relationship with the girls. :)

Carolyn Abiad said...

I don't know how my husband deals. Not only am I off in my own world, I've fallen for someone there too! Good thing it's just a crush... :D

Hart Johnson said...

As your grim darkness mystery writing friend... I think I am back a step. In my Cozy, I really love Annie (the MC's best friend) but my MC has some annoying habits and trouble with the truth... so I love her... but it is more the unconditional fruit of my pen love... Her boyfriend? a bit of near miss if you ask me... but I love the relationships--that is where the fun comes it to me.

Clarissa Draper said...

I've only fallen in love with one of my characters, the others, not in that way. I love them as friends or enemies or brothers or sisters but not in love - love. But, I can understand why it happens. We spend so much time with them.

CD

Matthew Rush said...

My phone has more contacts that start with the letter J than any other letter.

LTM said...

@Susan: I think you're right. Yep, that works for me! But honestly, I also love my MCs--who are always female--even when they act out. I understand them~ :o)

@Carolyn--shew, and Haydon is H-O-T... HOT. :D

@Hart--you're not so grim. ;o) Yes, working out their relationships is fun as well~

@Clarissa--v. interested in "the one." ;o)

@Matt--and I didn't even mention Jason or Jackson... :D

Jennie Bailey said...

GREAT post! I can't believe you've fallen in love with four in the last year. I'm only at two (unless you count...okay, make that three but two are from one work). I feel lack a slacker at love. I need to step up my game. ;-)

DL Hammons said...

I've mentioned all my MC's in my will. They get the laptop. :)

Cruella Collett said...

I don't necessarily love my characters, actually. I love certain aspects of them, or I love what they do or what they say. Often I find myself looking at them with a distant irony, almost, "you silly thing, why do you think you will get away with that?". But then there are the exceptions - I could easily have developed a crush for the love interest of the MC in my WiP, though I also get a little annoyed with him. And then there's that character from another WiP that I'd just like to meet, because he sounds so wise (no idea where he got that from, certainly not from me!).

I love that you love your characters, though. It makes me think I'd get along with them beautifully :)

Creepy Query Girl said...

Great post. I def. had a crush on a few of my male leads. Writing something from a boy's pov changed all that though. As much as I love my MC- it was kind of like writing from my own male alter-ego. So...I love him like a brother I guess. lol.

Andrea Franco-Cook said...

I haven't fallen in love with any of my characters, but a few intrigue the hell out of me. Then again, my book is a supernatural thriller/horror, so romance is not the driving force behind the plot.

LTM said...

@Jennie--three's not too shabby! And you're a newlywed, so I'll count yours twice. ;p

@DL--BAH!!! :D

@CC: Now you're just being sweet. ;p And you're like the puppetmaster. Or God... goddess. :D

@Katie: I bet! And you do it so well. Never tried the male POV, but it would be an interesting exercise. Perhaps one day. ;o)

@Andrea--that's so cool. I think b/c of your genre, that's about the closest you can get to falling in love~ :o)

Ellie said...

I am working on art submissions now, so my MC is my artistic alter ego.
I love how great your characters sound; I think you can write a good story and not fall in love. I could write about my in-laws and there bs, it would be quite a story. In love with them;No way in hell! Yes, I think it can be done. It would be my revenge to tell all the scrappy, mean things they have done. It would be in print and I could get paid; sounds like sweet revenge....

Julie Musil said...

I fall in love, too. My last wip had three guys with a female protag. What? I love each and every one of them, even the bad guy. I've only just finished the first draft, so I hope in revision one of them doesn't have to get the axe. I'd be so sad!

DEZMOND said...

Now, I'll probably sound stupid :) but I'm guessing not loving your own characters is like not loving your children which is - :((((

LTM said...

Hey, Ellie--Thanks! And I love artistic alter-egos~ Perhaps you could write the story of your inlaws (outlaws?) as a comedy... ;p

@Julie--Wow! My current WIP has three guys to one female protag. But they have vastly different relationships. At the moment, I'm working to figure out who will help her the most. Tough stuff~

@Dez--hey, man! I can't imagine being able to keep writing if I didn't love them. But I don't know. Is it possible not to? :o)

RaShelle said...

I'm completely in love with one of my characters right now. His name is Luke. Ah, he's gorgeous, sweet, kind - everything a girl could want . . . but, there's always a but, right? LOL Falling in love with your characters, IMO, helps write better, I think. YES.

Clarissa Draper said...

Thank you for the mention. That's really cool.

CD

Talli Roland said...

My MC is a very strong female, and it's safe to say people will have a strong reaction to her initially! And I have fallen in love with the male protagnoist in my book... sigh!

Anne said...

I'm falling for my main man in my WIP. Sexy rule breaker! Sigh.

N. R. Williams said...

All great questions. My MC is a woman, but the guy that loves her is everything I would want in a man. So, yes, I did fall in love with him. What is more scary is the villain whom I have compassion for.

I found you through Clarissa when she posted about the blog award you gave her. Now I'm following you.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, fantasy author