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View Full Version : Thursday - Topic & Poll - Characterization



Minnette
October 16th, 2008, 09:36 AM
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Historical Hunks & Kick-Ass Heroines - Characterization in the Historical
Moderator: Lyn Armstrong

<O:p</O:pDefinition of hero/heroine on Wikipedia: Hero and heroine came to refer to characters (fictional or historical) that, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, display courage and the will for self-sacrifice - that is, heroism – for some greater good, originally of martial courage or excellence but extended to more general moral excellence.


<O:p</O:pWow, they summed up hero/heroine in a nice, neat little box. The fact of the matter is heroes and heroines are much more than the above. To keep up with today’s fast-paced market, writer’s are branching out into new horizons where they are pushing the envelope with characterization. You’ll find a great deal of historicals no longer have helpless heroines who faint at the sight of the hero fighting the villain. No. She is the one fighting the villain with kick-ass moves and skilled swordsmanship or should I say swords(woman)ship. She is the one struggling for survival, protecting her clan, taking on the traditional “hero’s” role in battling the war against evil. These kick-ass heroines may be written in historicals, but they embody powerful women of today’s standards.


<O:p</O:pAfter all, who would want to read about a heroine sitting in a corner, crying while her castle is under siege and her family is about to be killed? That’s not to say the heroine cannot show emotions. In fact, it is important for a writer to pull in the full range of emotions a heroine feels during high times of stress. The reader must feel her highs and lows as if they are experiencing the heroine’s journey themselves.


<O:p</O:pSo why do readers love kick-ass heroines?


<O:p</O:pI may be a little biased as all my heroine’s in the Celtic series are larger than life, powerful women. However, most of them did not start out that way. In fact, my heroine’s story would usually start off with her being in a submissive or subjugated role and through adversity, she grows and finds the courage and inner strength to fight for what she wants, which is usually the hero.


<O:p</O:pI believe these types of heroines are popular because the reader gets to follow the character’s emotional growth, and know that they are not perfect. At the same time reinforcing that women are powerful. A heroine can take control and still find love and romance waiting for her at the end of the battlefield.


<O:p</O:pWhich leads me to the historical hunks:


<O:p</O:pLike the heroines, these hunks have changed over the years. Long gone are the days when a knight rides up on a white horse and a sparkle shines from his perfect white teeth. That halo has been knocked off his head and for good reason. It’s not realistic. Heroes must be given a flaw in some way to “flesh out” his character. It may be small or it may be huge, but for the reader to identify with the character, they must have at least one imperfection. After all, the characters cannot be perfect because humans are not perfect. That’s not to say our devilishly handsome men cannot be chivalrous or courageous. Indeed, they do need redeeming qualities, but there is something about a “bad boy” that has readers lusting after him. The hero in “The Celtic Witch & The Sorcerer” is a very bad boy. He is a cruel sorcerer that has evil blood running through his veins. When you add that he needs sexual pleasure to fuel his powers, he is anything but one of the good guys. However, underneath his cold exterior you get a glimpse of his vulnerable side and his secret need for the heroine’s kindness and good nature.


<O:p</O:pSo why do we love these historical hunks?


<O:p</O:pDoes it stem from the fairy tales we read as children? Or is it knowing that the alpha male will always win in the end using his strength, skill and superior intelligence? That good will conquer evil and the hero will whisk the heroine away to live in his castle where they live happily ever after?


<O:p</O:pOr perhaps historical heroes have an edge over more contemporary heroes. Most of them have been raised in a simpler time where men were manly-men and the elements were harsh and often brutal. They lived by a code of honor, bravery and chivalry yet understand and adore the elemental nature of a woman.


<O:p</O:pThere are many reasons why we love historical heroes. Be it a Scottish highland chieftain, a Roman general or a struggling farmer whose ethics are pure, readers love to get lost in their enticing world, to be seduced by their alpha male presence, bearing and confident poise.


<O:p</O:pThere is an old saying in the romance industry: “Women are romance writers because it is the only time they get to control the alpha male.”<O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

And I wouldn’t want it any other way. ;0)<O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

DISCUSSION: Why do you love historical hunks? Who is your favorite kick-ass heroine in real history?

<O:p</O:pASSIGNMENT: Write a paragraph of a hero or heroine with a flaw.
REMINDER: Don't forget, if you don't comment at some point during the seminar, you won't be eligable for the $25.00 gift certificate being given away on Saturday. :)

Minnette
October 16th, 2008, 09:42 AM
Good morning, everyone! I will be off the computer for a while this morning, but Lyn's article about characterization is simply marvelous, as a friend of mine would say. I'll see you in a few hours. Enjoy! M:)

Adrianne_Brennan
October 16th, 2008, 09:44 AM
I have stated this before, and it's something I had to learn for myself: the best sort of guy is the good guy with a bad boy streak. :)

You want that sort of thing in romance--the thrill of the bad boy, but the security and emotional connection with the good guy.

Package them into one person, and you not only get a more well rounded character, but one which readers will want to take home with them. LOL

Lisa Griffin
October 16th, 2008, 10:29 AM
I love the dark, tortured type. lol.

Lyn Armstrong
October 16th, 2008, 11:36 AM
The sentence for the poll topic was chopped off.

It was suppose to say...What type gets your heart racing?

Lyn Armstrong
October 16th, 2008, 11:46 AM
I agree with Adrianne and Lisa. I love the bad boys. In The Celtic Witch & the Sorcerer my hero is the ultimate in being bad. He was very dark but very sexy at the same time. LOL.
In fact, I kept him that way throughout the series. His true love is the only person he shows affection and love. He antagonizes everyone else, especially his brother-in-law.
Those who read Lady of the Mountain will see how I've pulled his bad-boy image through.

Lisa Griffin
October 16th, 2008, 01:01 PM
I agree with Adrianne and Lisa. I love the bad boys. In The Celtic Witch & the Sorcerer my hero is the ultimate in being bad. He was very dark but very sexy at the same time. LOL.
In fact, I kept him that way throughout the series. His true love is the only person he shows affection and love. He antagonizes everyone else, especially his brother-in-law.
Those who read Lady of the Mountain will see how I've pulled his bad-boy image through.


I can't wait to read it then, Lyn! Just my type hero!:swoon:

Adrianne_Brennan
October 16th, 2008, 01:45 PM
Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do? :D

Yeah they're fun to read...and write!

Minnette
October 16th, 2008, 01:52 PM
I LOVE my bad good guys...in fact, even Marius has his very dark side, believe me...and the bad guys in both books are detestable, but strangely appealing. The evil Sirdar in my Starsight series is the ultimate badguy, and extremely sexy. I'm actually doing a prequel to the series that features him before he went "completely" bad. Just couldn't help myself...I like a touch of dark sometimes. ~LOL~ :ph34r:

I'll be in and out today...

hollie
October 16th, 2008, 01:59 PM
I agree with Adrianne and Lisa. I love the bad boys. In The Celtic Witch & the Sorcerer my hero is the ultimate in being bad. He was very dark but very sexy at the same time. LOL.
In fact, I kept him that way throughout the series. His true love is the only person he shows affection and love. He antagonizes everyone else, especially his brother-in-law.
Those who read Lady of the Mountain will see how I've pulled his bad-boy image through.

Oh but he is so gorgous smilies/cloud9.gifand I he would defend his brother-in-law if he needed it. ok so only so he could play on it for every and because his wife loves her brother but he's a good guy a heart he just doesn't want to be (guess who my fave character is lol )

Lyn Armstrong
October 16th, 2008, 02:17 PM
I LOVE my bad good guys...in fact, even Marius has his very dark side, believe me...and the bad guys in both books are detestable, but strangely appealing. The evil Sirdar in my Starsight series is the ultimate badguy, and extremely sexy. I'm actually doing a prequel to the series that features him before he went "completely" bad. Just couldn't help myself...I like a touch of dark sometimes. ~LOL~ :ph34r:

I'll be in and out today...

OH Marius is soooo sexy. In both books. I love his Roman arrogance. He could take on the world without breaking a sweat. Gotta love a man with that type of confidence. Lusty Drool Smilie

Lyn Armstrong
October 16th, 2008, 02:19 PM
Oh but he is so gorgous smilies/cloud9.gifand I he would defend his brother-in-law if he needed it. ok so only so he could play on it for every and because his wife loves her brother but he's a good guy a heart he just doesn't want to be (guess who my fave character is lol )

Hmmm...let me guess...the sorcerer? LOL.

Adrianne_Brennan
October 16th, 2008, 02:24 PM
I LOVE my bad good guys...in fact, even Marius has his very dark side, believe me...and the bad guys in both books are detestable, but strangely appealing. The evil Sirdar in my Starsight series is the ultimate badguy, and extremely sexy. I'm actually doing a prequel to the series that features him before he went "completely" bad. Just couldn't help myself...I like a touch of dark sometimes. ~LOL~ :ph34r:

I'll be in and out today...

Looking forward to reading about Marius even more now. :D

hollie
October 16th, 2008, 02:45 PM
Hmmm...let me guess...the sorcerer? LOL.

How did you guess?? :whistling:

rgraham666
October 16th, 2008, 02:57 PM
Why do you love historical hunks? Who is your favorite kick-ass heroine in real history?

Hunks don't get to me. At least not the way they do the ladies. ;)

My favorite 'bad boy' hero is Pyre of Ice. He's one of the wizards in The War of the Wizards (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=War+wizards+andrew+offutt&x=0&y=0) series of books.

At the beginning he's almost unknown. But greatly feared. Nobody wants to deal with him.

But as the books progress you learn more about him. I got to like him a lot. Sneaky, underhanded, subtle and dangerous, yet all in a good cause.

The fact that he gets the central character of the books; Tiana of Reme, captain of the pirate ship, Vixen, adds the sort of fillip I like in a book. ;)

My favorite heroine from history is Elizabeth I. She had an enormous effect on history. And did it from inside the highly constricting social roles of the time. That takes a lot of brains and a lot of guts. She may not have ever swung a sword but I doubt she'd have any problem if required to.


ASSIGNMENT: Write a paragraph of a hero or heroine with a flaw.

I'm in a lazy mood so I'll just post a little from my favorite bad boy creation, my vampire, Georges Belleveau.

__________

So, Iím walking alone. I hear the waves washing the shore. The colour of the stars twinkles in my eyes. At times like this I feel calm. What I am no longer bothers me. I donít feel the need to hunt. I am at peace, for a moment.

__________

How's that? ;)

Lyn Armstrong
October 16th, 2008, 03:35 PM
I'm in a lazy mood so I'll just post a little from my favorite bad boy creation, my vampire, Georges Belleveau.

__________

So, I’m walking alone. I hear the waves washing the shore. The colour of the stars twinkles in my eyes. At times like this I feel calm. What I am no longer bothers me. I don’t feel the need to hunt. I am at peace, for a moment.

__________


How's that? ;)[/quote]


Good job, Rob. I love the lead up. It gives a tease as to what he is that bothers him.

Lyn Armstrong
October 16th, 2008, 03:36 PM
Anybody else willing to take a stab at it? Write a flaw for a hero or heroine.

Vivian A
October 16th, 2008, 06:40 PM
Real historical heroines? There are so many, but a few that immediately come to mind are Boudeccia, Elizabeth I, and women who ran the French Salons such as Marie Geoffrin in the early 18th century.

Historical heroes are great because they remind us of a time of chivalry. When actions reflect moral character.

Lyn Armstrong
October 16th, 2008, 08:04 PM
Real historical heroines? There are so many, but a few that immediately come to mind are Boudeccia, Elizabeth I, and women who ran the French Salons such as Marie Geoffrin in the early 18th century.

Historical heroes are great because they remind us of a time of chivalry. When actions reflect moral character.

Oh, I have never heard of Marie Geoffrin. She sounds like a great character.

Thanks for your input, Vivian.

Lyn Armstrong
October 16th, 2008, 08:10 PM
The winner of Lady of the Mountain, fourth book in the Celtic series is....

Lexee Toste smilies/dancingspots

Congrats, Lexee. I will be sending you an ebook copy right now.

Tomorrow is the last chance to win an ebook in the Celtic series. And this time, the winner will get to choose which book he/she would like. So get your emails ready. Until then, goodnight.

Mary D
October 16th, 2008, 08:16 PM
Here's one from my first published story, War of the Lights (still available at strangehorizons.com). I tend not to have villains, just people with flaws.

[We] needed an engineer, someone who could make things go. Of course we were in tech country, and the University of Texas oozed brain power out its pores, but I balked at trying to explain the situation to anyone. They'd think I was crazy.

I settled for an engineer who already thought I was crazy: my ex-husband Toadstool. I left messages all over town because his company had gone DOA instead of IPO, and his drinking buddies hadn't seen him for months.

When he called, his voice sounded different. I gauged him to be at the zero- to two-drink level. However, the words were the same: instead of "Hello," an accusation.

"Carolyn, you've got my ohmmeter. I can stand your getting the house, but taking a man's ohmmeter, that's low even for you."

I knew my part in this scene, but Al needed his help. I tried cunning instead. "That's why I'm calling. You left some things upstairs, and I need to clean it out for a roommate--"

"You touch my tools and I'll rip every key off your piano!"

I bit my lip. Maybe three to six drinks, though he wasn't slurring at all.

Minnette
October 16th, 2008, 08:27 PM
The winner of Lady of the Mountain, fourth book in the Celtic series is....

Lexee Toste smilies/dancingspots

Congrats, Lexee. I will be sending you an ebook copy right now.

Tomorrow is the last chance to win an ebook in the Celtic series. And this time, the winner will get to choose which book he/she would like. So get your emails ready. Until then, goodnight.

Woohoo, Lexee...you are soooo lucky! smilies/bump.gif

Minnette
October 16th, 2008, 08:31 PM
Here's one from my first published story, War of the Lights (still available at strangehorizons.com). I tend not to have villains, just people with flaws.

[We] needed an engineer, someone who could make things go. Of course we were in tech country, and the University of Texas oozed brain power out its pores, but I balked at trying to explain the situation to anyone. They'd think I was crazy.

I settled for an engineer who already thought I was crazy: my ex-husband Toadstool. I left messages all over town because his company had gone DOA instead of IPO, and his drinking buddies hadn't seen him for months.

When he called, his voice sounded different. I gauged him to be at the zero- to two-drink level. However, the words were the same: instead of "Hello," an accusation.

"Carolyn, you've got my ohmmeter. I can stand your getting the house, but taking a man's ohmmeter, that's low even for you."

I knew my part in this scene, but Al needed his help. I tried cunning instead. "That's why I'm calling. You left some things upstairs, and I need to clean it out for a roommate--"

"You touch my tools and I'll rip every key off your piano!"

I bit my lip. Maybe three to six drinks, though he wasn't slurring at all.

~LMAO~ What a WONDERFUL scene. I love this style...in fact, I'm using something similar in my new project. Isn't writing humor fun? I have to pick up this book...M:)

Adrianne_Brennan
October 16th, 2008, 08:31 PM
Congrats Lexee!

rebelheart
October 16th, 2008, 09:09 PM
I believe we love historical hunks because they come across as males who are not afraid to be men. With the feminization of men in today's society, we want a male who takes control of a situation without coming across as a jerk. We can get caught up in it without being afraid, whereas if it were a real male acting that way, we may see only the "jerk" side of him without giving him a chance to show his softer side in love.

Not to be political one way or the other, but Sarah Palin is a real kick-ass heroine, IMO.
She kicks ass with her calm, cool, polite, efficient, and intelligent manner. Just an all around beautiful woman whose leadership qualities are reflected in her forthright manner and her honest spirit shows in her steady gaze. She's got more balls than a lot of men. And she hunts! Wow! A real model for an alpha heroine.

rebelheart
October 16th, 2008, 09:12 PM
BTW, the poll was tough again. I had a hard time deciding between the Chivalrous Knight and the noble Scottish chieftain. And i see if I had picked the chieftain instead of the knight, then Chietain would be tied for 1st. Julie

rebelheart
October 16th, 2008, 09:14 PM
Sorry, I see I posted the discussion topic on the wrong thread. Here goes:

I believe we love historical hunks because they come across as males who are not afraid to be men. With the feminization of men in today's society, we want a male who takes control of a situation without coming across as a jerk. We can get caught up in it without being afraid, whereas if it were a real male acting that way, we may see only the "jerk" side of him without giving him a chance to show his softer side in love.

Not to be political one way or the other, but Sarah Palin is a real kick-ass heroine, IMO.
She kicks ass with her calm, cool, polite, efficient, and intelligent manner. Just an all around beautiful woman whose leadership qualities are reflected in her forthright manner and her honest spirit shows in her steady gaze. She's got more balls than a lot of men. And she hunts! Wow! A real model for an alpha heroine.

Lisa Griffin
October 16th, 2008, 09:27 PM
I totally agree with you on Sarah Palin. She's a wonderful example of a woman who is feminine but strong when she needs to be. I admire her greatly. And like you say, the honesty in her gaze speaks volumes.

Lisa Griffin
October 16th, 2008, 09:28 PM
Congrats, Lexee!! Whoo hoo!

rebelheart
October 16th, 2008, 09:32 PM
Thanks, Lisa. When she first came on the scene, my husband said that I looked a lot like her! But then he went and ruined it by adding as an afterthought, "I think it's the glasses." Men! Sometimes they just need to quit while they're ahead <g> Julie

Lisa Griffin
October 16th, 2008, 10:00 PM
Ain't that just like a man to give a compliment and then take it back. lol. She's a very pretty, well versed lady. I bet you are too. :) Men! Can't live with them, can't live without them. Haha!

Adrianne_Brennan
October 16th, 2008, 10:06 PM
I...so disagree with people here on Sarah Palin that it's not even funny. O_O I think if I were to go on and say what I think, I think I'll wind up starting a fight, and I really don't want that.

With all due respect, let's not discuss politics on here, okay? I think that Palin is the epitome of everything a woman really should NOT be, and at the risk of people offending each other we should drop the topic.

rebelheart
October 16th, 2008, 10:08 PM
Men! Can't live with them, can't live without them. Haha!

Ain't that the truth!

Lisa Griffin
October 16th, 2008, 10:11 PM
Adrianne, I didn't realize we were talking politics. If I offended you, I do apologize. That wasn't my intent. :( No more said.

Minnette
October 16th, 2008, 10:28 PM
Men! Can't live with them, can't live without them. Haha!

Ain't that the truth!

Except our male member, Rob...~LOL~ M:)

Adrianne_Brennan
October 16th, 2008, 10:31 PM
Adrianne, I didn't realize we were talking politics. If I offended you, I do apologize. That wasn't my intent. :( No more said.

All good. It's just that I don't have a very high opinion of Palin, to put it mildly, and I don't want to offend you with it either.

I think it's best to discuss heroes and heroines who are not current politically. ^_^

Minnette
October 16th, 2008, 10:39 PM
Kind of lean

And the winner is...

Julie Robinson!!!! Woohoo...

Email me at mmeador@minnettemeador.com and let me know which book you would like. CONGRATS, GIRL!!!
:yes::plant:

Lisa Griffin
October 16th, 2008, 10:42 PM
Big Hugs! :wildflowers:

Lisa Griffin
October 16th, 2008, 10:45 PM
Congrats, Julie!!

rebelheart
October 16th, 2008, 10:49 PM
How true, how true! No offense meant, Rob :-)
Same for Adrienne. I was simply replying to the discussion questions about why we love historical males and who our favorite kick-ass heroine is. Note, I did say, IMO. But just to make it fair and balanced, I'd say Hillary is another female who's got more balls than a lot of men I know. She is a strong, independent, and smart woman who still stood by her man despite the jeering. The two may not be "old" historical figures, but they are, as I see it, history in the making. And an older historical female heroine did not come readily to mind when I first thought about the question. That being said, I will be retiring for the night, as my brain is wearing down.

rebelheart
October 16th, 2008, 10:51 PM
OMG!!!! I'm sooo excited. I'm awake now after just seeing that I won one of your books, Minette. Thank you. Julie

mrsgodiva
October 16th, 2008, 11:16 PM
Historical alpha males are fun to read about and safe. They can be jerks in the story but we know by the end of the story the love of a good woman will redeem him.

If I had to pick a real kickass woman I would have to pick Queen Elizabeth I. She made the most of her situation being a female in a man's world.

Minnette
October 16th, 2008, 11:47 PM
Historical alpha males are fun to read about and safe. They can be jerks in the story but we know by the end of the story the love of a good woman will redeem him.

If I had to pick a real kickass woman I would have to pick Queen Elizabeth I. She made the most of her situation being a female in a man's world.

Now that's one I can get behind...E1 was an amazing human being.

rgraham666
October 17th, 2008, 05:54 AM
Except our male member, Rob...~LOL~ M:)
You only think that because you're not living with me. ;)

I will not say anything about Sarah Palin save that I fear she gets the power she seeks.

Lisa Griffin
October 17th, 2008, 07:56 AM
You're right, Minnette. I guess I was talking more of spouses. lol. :) Haha!

Adrianne_Brennan
October 17th, 2008, 09:37 AM
WTG Julie! :D

Adrianne_Brennan
October 17th, 2008, 09:39 AM
You only think that because you're not living with me. ;)

I will not say anything about Sarah Palin save that I fear she gets the power she seeks.

I find her scarier than Hillary right now. O_O

In the meantime, let me add a good female hero: Rosa Parks.

Minnette
October 17th, 2008, 10:33 AM
I find her scarier than Hillary right now. O_O

In the meantime, let me add a good female hero: Rosa Parks.

Agreed. Talk about courage...wow.

Lisa Griffin
October 17th, 2008, 11:43 AM
I also agree on Rosa Parks!! The lady had courage. :) More than I could ever have.

Lyn Armstrong
October 17th, 2008, 03:22 PM
Historical alpha males are fun to read about and safe. They can be jerks in the story but we know by the end of the story the love of a good woman will redeem him.

If I had to pick a real kickass woman I would have to pick Queen Elizabeth I. She made the most of her situation being a female in a man's world.

I agree. I love her as a role model. I wrote her as one of the characters in one of my early manuscripts. She was fun to research.

Lyn Armstrong
October 17th, 2008, 03:29 PM
Here's one from my first published story, War of the Lights (still available at strangehorizons.com). I tend not to have villains, just people with flaws.

[We] needed an engineer, someone who could make things go. Of course we were in tech country, and the University of Texas oozed brain power out its pores, but I balked at trying to explain the situation to anyone. They'd think I was crazy.

I settled for an engineer who already thought I was crazy: my ex-husband Toadstool. I left messages all over town because his company had gone DOA instead of IPO, and his drinking buddies hadn't seen him for months.

When he called, his voice sounded different. I gauged him to be at the zero- to two-drink level. However, the words were the same: instead of "Hello," an accusation.

"Carolyn, you've got my ohmmeter. I can stand your getting the house, but taking a man's ohmmeter, that's low even for you."

I knew my part in this scene, but Al needed his help. I tried cunning instead. "That's why I'm calling. You left some things upstairs, and I need to clean it out for a roommate--"

"You touch my tools and I'll rip every key off your piano!"

I bit my lip. Maybe three to six drinks, though he wasn't slurring at all.


Great passage, Mary. Although I see the "ex" with more of a flaw than the heroine. Is the "ex" the hero?

Lyn Armstrong
October 17th, 2008, 03:33 PM
Kind of lean

And the winner is...

Julie Robinson!!!! Woohoo...

Email me at mmeador@minnettemeador.com and let me know which book you would like. CONGRATS, GIRL!!!
:yes::plant:


Congrats, Julie. :orange: