My bar for heroism is quite simple: anyone who saves others from discomfort and distress by means of immediate competent action is a hero to me.
For instance, the man who came to our house when we suddenly had no hot water, discovered our boiler was over twenty five years old, had rusted out, and replaced it within an hour. As he was hauling away the rotted old boiler, I thought, that man is my hero.
Heroes are not cheap, however, and the bill in my crumpled hand was for a thousand dollars. My husband came home the same day with news. He is a professor and was asked to give a prestigious lecture – that came with a stipend of exactly one thousand dollars. I can tell you how it feels to hug him joyously, but could I ever use him as a model for a hero in a book? It would be a challenge. He, too, is a very competent fellow and like most competent fellows out there in the world, he is a man of few words.
And that’s my problem in a nutshell: I know what a hero does, but what does he say?
They say action is character, but action only takes you so far, my pretties. The words a hero uses are crucial for creating a living, breathing three dimensional character. Looks, glances, and being handy with a drill (I speak metaphorically) only do so much of the heavy lifting.
Take the plumber-
No! I spent the entire time gushing with gratitude. He didn’t actually have much of a chance to get a word in edge-wise, but even when I would pause for breath whatever he said didn’t stick with me. I have no idea how he would sound as a character. All I remember is some rather large stooped shoulders on the level of my nose, his faded yellow canvas work overalls, and a kind of pugnacious, blond-but-balding face.
Yep, you're losing me now.
So this is what happens as I write: the first draft comes out like a silent movie. My hero performs very well, gives me many promising glances, yet says practically nothing. The second draft is agony as I slowly find his voice. At a certain point I have to put my foot down. No more shrugging. No more putting ones hands in ones pockets. By the end of the novel, I know exactly what he would say, down to how he would order food at the restaurant, etc. Getting to that point, however, is sheer hell.
For our anthology The Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires, I knew that my heroine in “Sexsomnia” would be horribly shy. Then something magical happened: because my heroine was shy, the hero would have to do the talking. So he did.
I’m writing Sexsomnia II, and lo, this hero is a talker as well. I’m giddy with relief. For once, it’s like taking dictation. I’ve already outlined Sexsomnia III and I can tell right now that hero is a much more silent and broody type. Sigh.
Okay, I've got dibs on him already.
Four paranormal stories of erotic temptation & paranormal thrills!
THE IMMORTAL LONGING OF BRENNA BANG by Liz Everly
When a vampire materializes through her computer, successful vampire-romance romance author Brenna Bang finds herself marked for inescapable passion with a tech savvy bloodsucker.
THE LYING, THE WITCH & THE WARDROBE by C. Margery Kempe
Christina tries to figure out how to unlock her grandmother's wardrobe and uncover what happened all those years ago when the goblins came to offer their sensuous erotic fruits.
SEXSOMNIA by Madeline Iva
Jenny needs to unravel the mystery of what she does at night and who she does it with in order to subdue the sexual demon inside her.
DIVINE by Elizabeth Shore
Locked in an abandoned mental asylum, an ambitious filmmaker soon discovers she’s trapped with a Dionysian god. He offers her a glimpse of astounding future artistic success—but there's a price to pay.
For more from Madeline and men with big tools, click here: http://ladysmut.com/2013/05/20/hes-handy-carpenters-their-big-sexy-tools/ @madelineiva
Or find the whole team on www.ladysmut.com