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Sascha_Illyvich
August 2nd, 2007, 01:57 PM
Readers, Authors welcome to my first workshop at Coffee Time Romance. I figured it was best to just jump in and see how this thing works okay? Ready?


Author Gender seems to be the biggest problem many writers face when creating characters and it’s just not necessary! I’ve been cross gender writing for years and the biggest compliment I’ve received was regarding how well I had my editors fooled when they finally spoke to me. When asked how I write the other gender so well, I replied that observation was my biggest tool used to help me identify. Look around you at TV, newspapers, music. If men aren’t being portrayed as tough and rugged by the media, then they’re portrayed as angry and aggressive.

But Authors have to be objective in their portrayal of their characters! Men aren’t aggressive and angry for no reason at all (most anyway!) but unless we dig further into the depths of the man’s mind, and his soul, we’ll be lost forever in testosterone!

Let’s start from the top and go inward, shall we?

Give him a physical description: Obviously your publisher, audience and the genre dictate a lot of that, but we’re still given quite a bit of control. My Opeth Pack Males all have similar features, they’re all Hungarian by birth, smoke cigars, drink, have muscle, etc. Typical characteristics. Give him facial characteristics too. Does he smirk? Or frown a lot? The usual.
Then the tough question comes out. Why? Why does he frown, dress casually, wear his hair the way he does?

Probably because he’s a man and that’s the way he likes it. Our first encounter with him may take form in any setting, but one thing should be clear from the start. Don’t mess with me! This applies if your hero is ultra Alpha or even Beta with strong Alpha tendencies. Variations occur.

Again the tough question must be asked, why is he such an ass? Or why does he react the way he does in today’s society when his method of being is no longer a necessity for survival?

A-Ha! Now we’ve hit a key phrase! His method of being is no longer a necessity for survival. This leads us to asking what archetype is he?

Take a breather!

Sascha_Illyvich
August 2nd, 2007, 02:55 PM
Before we get to the male archetypes Iíd like to ask you to think your heroes. What situations will we as readers find them in when we meet them? How did they get there? Begin to create a character history in your mind. Who named him, and why? Does his name mean anything? Did you give him a name and then he changed it on you in the middle of writing? Hey, it happens!
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So, for a little discussion, letís talk about our favorite male heroes from various books and movies, just to begin pinpointing examples and get our creative juices flowing! Iíd like each of you to pick your favorite hero, can be from any romance and tell us why you like them . What is their positive trait and negative trait?
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Iíll probably be making reference to Christine Feehan and Sherrilyn Kenyonís characters because of the depth of emotion those authors put into their heroes.

rgraham666
August 2nd, 2007, 03:22 PM
My favourite hero from other's work is from Andrew J. Offut's War of Wizards series. His name was Pyre of Ice. One of the wizards in question.

He is not typical of any character in fantasy. He's rather older than most heroes but not ancient or even elderly, and lithe rather than bent or overly muscled. He also comes off as standoffish at the beginning.

But, damn, was he good. Sneaky, careful and not afraid to go to the wall for those what he believes in or those he loves. He was a great character.

Of the heroes I've written, my favourite is my vampire, Georges Belleveau. In many ways he's very human; inquisitive, intelligent, joyful, passionate. But the monster is always there, the bloodlust boils just under his surface. He gives me lots to write about.

Chapman208
August 2nd, 2007, 03:36 PM
>>>>Look around you at TV, newspapers, music. If men arenít being portrayed as tough and rugged by the media, then theyíre portrayed as angry and aggressive.

Interesting. My feeling from watching TV shows and commercials is that men frequently are portrayed as clueless dolts. We have the dad who can't figure out how to feed the kids breakfast cereal. Or the husband who blows up the BBQ grill out back (or burns his tongue licking the A1 sauce from the hot grill). We have the sex-obsessed 20-something in bars, the car-obsessed 30-something, the TV/sports-obsessed husband, the...well the list keeps growing.

Why is it the moms are always the practical ones and the dads are always the idiots?

Chapman208
August 2nd, 2007, 03:47 PM
Indiana Jones and James Bond come to mind. Indy is irreverent, wisecracking in the face of danger, and James is just the epitome of cool. We don't really see a lot of depth of emotion from James. He keeps it all bottled inside, while Indy lets it all out. They're quite different characters, though in the end both play the hero who saves the world.

As for my own characters, my favorite so far is Donatello Sunrise (Sunrise Destiny). He talks somewhat like a 40's private dick, wisecracking and making bad puns, but the story is set in the near future, so he has to face adventures with aliens and spaceships, which makes for an interesting juxtaposition. He lost a wife and little girl to a hitman, so there's great empathy in him for kidnapped/abused women, and at the same time rage against those who would perpetrate such crimes. Since his wife's death, he's had trouble with relationships; he dallies with hookers, rather than meeting and getting to know "proper" women, because he doesn't have to worry about emotional entanglements this way. But then he meets the right woman and his defenses start to crumble.

Sascha_Illyvich
August 2nd, 2007, 07:13 PM
>>>>Look around you at TV, newspapers, music. If men arenít being portrayed as tough and rugged by the media, then theyíre portrayed as angry and aggressive.

Interesting. My feeling from watching TV shows and commercials is that men frequently are portrayed as clueless dolts. We have the dad who can't figure out how to feed the kids breakfast cereal. Or the husband who blows up the BBQ grill out back (or burns his tongue licking the A1 sauce from the hot grill). We have the sex-obsessed 20-something in bars, the car-obsessed 30-something, the TV/sports-obsessed husband, the...well the list keeps growing.

Why is it the moms are always the practical ones and the dads are always the idiots?



I personally believe it's because the media grew tired of the above mentioned (mine) man quickly when they found it could not be sold to the masses. Men ARE portrayed as sex hounds too and that's not obviously anymore 100 per cent accurate either.

When many of us were growing up, men were "men." *Ahem* They did the manly things and didn't ask too many questions. The 50's generation had man at one standard, the 60's I believe changed that. Men are now allowed to "feel" more than they ever were and while the change is good for men as a whole, their portrayal is not entirely all that great.

Sascha_Illyvich
August 2nd, 2007, 07:30 PM
Indiana Jones and James Bond come to mind. Indy is irreverent, wisecracking in the face of danger, and James is just the epitome of cool. We don't really see a lot of depth of emotion from James. He keeps it all bottled inside, while Indy lets it all out. They're quite different characters, though in the end both play the hero who saves the world.

As for my own characters, my favorite so far is Donatello Sunrise (Sunrise Destiny). He talks somewhat like a 40's private dick, wisecracking and making bad puns, but the story is set in the near future, so he has to face adventures with aliens and spaceships, which makes for an interesting juxtaposition. He lost a wife and little girl to a hitman, so there's great empathy in him for kidnapped/abused women, and at the same time rage against those who would perpetrate such crimes. Since his wife's death, he's had trouble with relationships; he dallies with hookers, rather than meeting and getting to know "proper" women, because he doesn't have to worry about emotional entanglements this way. But then he meets the right woman and his defenses start to crumble.

That's what it usually takes for a man in a romance novel to start to break. Someone else. Men get wrapped up in their emotions as well as women do, but as you mentioned, many prefer to bottle it up. It goes back to our discussion of Aarchetypes, which I'll cover in the next lesson.

D.N. Lyons
August 2nd, 2007, 07:38 PM
My favorite man in a series is actually from a video-game, I'll call him K.

He's rough, he's tough, he thinks with his fists first and his brain later. And he gets in fights with girls. Hahaha, but he's not even human. I think I'll excuse his moppy red head for now.

Maybe you've played this video-game? It's called Sonic Adventure 2.

Yeah, that's right. HIM. With his bent tail, and his queerly Lego-like shoes, and his humongous fists. Hahaha. And his hair, it looks like a mop with red hair-gel in it. Hahaha.

Plus, he runs around nekkid. <3

And, here's a leprechaun, just because I felt like putting him here.:leph:

Nicole Gestalt
August 2nd, 2007, 08:09 PM
My favorite film hero has to be Sgt. Oddball played by Donald Sutherland in the film Kelly's Heroes. He was just so laid back and chilled but at the sametime had enough presence to get the respect from his men without having to resort to anything other then gentle persuasion and belief that things would turn out good in the end. I guess he's not a typical sort of hero and is definatly not the real muscle bound type but he's the one that stood out to me.

In books I've not really read any that have a male hero in them, at least not any that have really stood out.

If I'm to go for the more typical hero type I would have to look at one of my male partners past lives, he fought and died protecting his loved one and it's something that makes me cry everytime I see it (I do past life readings so it doesn't sound as odd as it might seem!)

I suppose when it comes to writing I like my male characters to not be typical, I prefer it when my character think slightly outside the box although I went against my norm when I wrote Summer of Fire. The male hero in that is a muscle bound firefighter who became a firefighter after he lost his wife in a fire. He finds himself falling for a police woman but has to overcome his feelings of loss for his dead wife. I tried in that to create a character that was strong on the outside but inside had a lot of emotions and feelings pushed deep down. I think it worked out quite well in the end although it was hard to write.

Sascha_Illyvich
August 2nd, 2007, 08:40 PM
My favorite film hero has to be Sgt. Oddball played by Donald Sutherland in the film Kelly's Heroes. He was just so laid back and chilled but at the sametime had enough presence to get the respect from his men without having to resort to anything other then gentle persuasion and belief that things would turn out good in the end. I guess he's not a typical sort of hero and is definatly not the real muscle bound type but he's the one that stood out to me.

Do we all always think of the muscle bound male when we read the word hero? Your example is as good as any other and will be covered in the next lesson :)

In books I've not really read any that have a male hero in them, at least not any that have really stood out.


If I'm to go for the more typical hero type I would have to look at one of my male partners past lives, he fought and died protecting his loved one and it's something that makes me cry everytime I see it (I do past life readings so it doesn't sound as odd as it might seem!)

I suppose when it comes to writing I like my male characters to not be typical, I prefer it when my character think slightly outside the box although I went against my norm when I wrote Summer of Fire. The male hero in that is a muscle bound firefighter who became a firefighter after he lost his wife in a fire. He finds himself falling for a police woman but has to overcome his feelings of loss for his dead wife. I tried in that to create a character that was strong on the outside but inside had a lot of emotions and feelings pushed deep down. I think it worked out quite well in the end although it was hard to write.

I think there is not a real definition for "typical male hero" because as writers we all strive to create memorable characters. But we have an attachment to those males that you describe which I'll talk about in more detail in the next lesson because he related to our heroine's journey.

Good conversationso far. :)How'm I doing Karenne?:lol:

Sascha_Illyvich
August 2nd, 2007, 08:45 PM
:lol:
My favorite man in a series is actually from a video-game, I'll call him K.

He's rough, he's tough, he thinks with his fists first and his brain later. And he gets in fights with girls. Hahaha, but he's not even human. I think I'll excuse his moppy red head for now.

Maybe you've played this video-game? It's called Sonic Adventure 2.

Yeah, that's right. HIM. With his bent tail, and his queerly Lego-like shoes, and his humongous fists. Hahaha. And his hair, it looks like a mop with red hair-gel in it. Hahaha.

Plus, he runs around nekkid. <3

And, here's a leprechaun, just because I felt like putting him here.:leph:

I figured Mario could kick his a** anytime lol! Seriously, aside from the humorous point, why the choice in Knuckles? He's obviously male, what was your attraction to him? He does fit into our next discussion of Archetype

Sascha_Illyvich
August 2nd, 2007, 09:23 PM
A few other things we need to bear in mind when creating our male heroes and the male mindset are what are his habits? What does he eat, drink and like to do for fun? Can he be found in a bar shooting pool, or is he the type to be outside lounging instead?

What does he read? How does he speak, is he clear and concise or does he speak in riddles? Does he have witty comments for things? To really create a character we already have to get inside their head, but based on the information you've been given, hopefully you'll start to see a difference in a male's head that is fundamental to his survival, at least in the appearence.

D.N. Lyons
August 2nd, 2007, 10:39 PM
:lol:

I figured Mario could kick his a** anytime lol! Seriously, aside from the humorous point, why the choice in Knuckles? He's obviously male, what was your attraction to him? He does fit into our next discussion of Archetype
Well, he's strong, he's tough, he's got the nicest shade of violet eyes, he's introspective when you get down to it [that was a BIG one]...and he's got an awfully deep, sexy voice for a furry. He puts sex appeal into Sonic Adventure 2.

...of course, this is me talking after I admit that I love the color red because of him, and that I had a crush on him in high school because I loved to play furries with my friends. I outgrew it, now I have a crush on Neptune and Mars. *Wink*

Sascha_Illyvich
August 3rd, 2007, 04:02 PM
Well, he's strong, he's tough, he's got the nicest shade of violet eyes, he's introspective when you get down to it [that was a BIG one]...and he's got an awfully deep, sexy voice for a furry. He puts sex appeal into Sonic Adventure 2.

...of course, this is me talking after I admit that I love the color red because of him, and that I had a crush on him in high school because I loved to play furries with my friends. I outgrew it, now I have a crush on Neptune and Mars. *Wink*

Hehe, fair enough. Sowhere does he fit into lesson two?

Mmmm..furrires....*gushes*

David Boultbee
August 8th, 2007, 01:52 PM
I think that my favorite male character from the movies is Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan in Patriot Games & Clear and Present Danger.

He is just an ordinary guy who gets into some extraordinary situations and does the best he can. He never takes the easy way out and keeps his sense of honor and obligation at the forefront, despite what it may cost him.

Interesting enough, Harrison is one of the few actors from the original Star Wars movies who is still big today. Perhaps it is this everyman appeal that makes him work so well, regardless of the genre.

BTW Anne Archer rocks in this movie. She doesn't have a big role but she plays it well.

Sascha_Illyvich
August 8th, 2007, 02:20 PM
I think that my favorite male character from the movies is Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan in Patriot Games & Clear and Present Danger.

He is just an ordinary guy who gets into some extraordinary situations and does the best he can. He never takes the easy way out and keeps his sense of honor and obligation at the forefront, despite what it may cost him.

Interesting enough, Harrison is one of the few actors from the original Star Wars movies who is still big today. Perhaps it is this everyman appeal that makes him work so well, regardless of the genre.

BTW Anne Archer rocks in this movie. She doesn't have a big role but she plays it well.

Ford's roles in Star Wars movies have been excellent representations of the archetypes we've discussed in the following lessons. His ability to transform over the years is amazing, making him a great character to movel Heroes from.

Chapman208
August 9th, 2007, 02:04 PM
That's what it usually takes for a man in a romance novel to start to break. Someone else. Men get wrapped up in their emotions as well as women do, but as you mentioned, many prefer to bottle it up. It goes back to our discussion of Aarchetypes, which I'll cover in the next lesson.

Sascha: It's interesting, but when I wrote the book, I thought of it strictly as sci-fi. But I'm I'm starting to wonder if it doesn't fit as much in the romance category. It's certainly not a steamy romance. On a 1-10 scale (with 10 being way hot), it would probably rate a 1 or 2, but I think it works just as well as a paranormal romance story--boy meets girl, they have (off-screen) sex, they get caught up in a dangerous situation together, help keep each other alive, fall in love, get married, get into more danger, barely survive, and by the end fall even deeper in love (due to the closeness of two telepathic minds). Definitely HEA.

It could be interesting selling it as a sci-fi/paranormal romance novel. I don't think I would have thought of that, if not for this forum.:)

Mark.

Sascha_Illyvich
August 9th, 2007, 02:31 PM
Sascha: It's interesting, but when I wrote the book, I thought of it strictly as sci-fi. But I'm I'm starting to wonder if it doesn't fit as much in the romance category. It's certainly not a steamy romance. On a 1-10 scale (with 10 being way hot), it would probably rate a 1 or 2, but I think it works just as well as a paranormal romance story--boy meets girl, they have (off-screen) sex, they get caught up in a dangerous situation together, help keep each other alive, fall in love, get married, get into more danger, barely survive, and by the end fall even deeper in love (due to the closeness of two telepathic minds). Definitely HEA.

It could be interesting selling it as a sci-fi/paranormal romance novel. I don't think I would have thought of that, if not for this forum.:)

Mark.

Good point Mark. Steamy sex doesn't make the book a romance, it's the focus. Where is the focus of your novel? Is it on the two characters acheiving a goal through their relationship? ive as you've mentioned?

If that's so, ask your publisher about pushing to the paranormal audience. Have you read Christine Feehan's novel Mind Games? I was turned off at first even though she's one of my favorite authors because I"m not big on military stories and I could really do without the genre. Just a personal thing, but the book kept glaring at me and once I started reading it, even with all the sci fi technology, I became entranced. I focus in my reading on the relationships, and her heroes in that series as well as the Carpathian series fit much of what we're discussing so far.

Glad I could open up new thoughts in your head :) HOpe that helps you sell more!

S

Chapman208
August 9th, 2007, 04:50 PM
Good point Mark. Steamy sex doesn't make the book a romance, it's the focus. Where is the focus of your novel? Is it on the two characters acheiving a goal through their relationship? ive as you've mentioned?

....

Glad I could open up new thoughts in your head :) HOpe that helps you sell more!
S

Sascha: The story opens as a mystery (women disappearing all over town) that the main character (a private detective coerced by a Mob boss whose daughter is one of the missing) has to solve. The story segues into an alien-abduction story, but that's what throws the male and female leads together. For the rest of the book, it's them against the aliens, the police and the Mob, with telepathy thrown into the mix.

It's hard for me to tell whether this would play well in the romance arena. (I don't read--or intentionally write--romance.) Fortunately, my publisher knows the Romance field well. So she could tell me whether it's best to market it as a paranormal romance/sci-fi novel, or strictly as SF.

The ending, after the hero and heroine jointly defeat the bad guys, is all about HEA.

Thanks again for your help, Sascha!:)

Sascha_Illyvich
August 9th, 2007, 10:11 PM
Mark,

Glad I could be of some help. If you recall, from Kayelle's workshop in June, extending our audience is key :)

S

Chapman208
August 10th, 2007, 01:19 PM
Mark,

Glad I could be of some help. If you recall, from Kayelle's workshop in June, extending our audience is key :)

S

Sascha: Missed that one. I joined CTR in July (after someone here wrote a great review of my book:)).