On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Writing -- How Heroes Cry, Cost of Tears for Readers and Hiding Tears for Hero

Yes, I watched the finale of the Bachelor. I actually watched many of the episodes, more to see the interaction between personalities than because I was very interested in the guy or women (though, IMO, Nikki [sp?] was the most beautiful woman -- and if you watch all the women step from the limo, and watch Stephani, you can see the difference in movement, REALLY interesting).

First, personally, I was not uncomfortable at Jason crying or the amount of times he cried.

I don't think I've ever written a hero who sat down and wept -- or braced himself on a balcony and wept, and I don't know that I would. Tears of pain might leak from eyes. (Did I do that with Bastien in Guardian of Honor? I don't think so. I think he just passed out -- underwater/jerir). I believe Saille Willow of Heart Dance has been my most Beta hero and I'm pretty sure he didn't cry.

OTOH, now that I think about it, I recall trying to find words for a guy's tears, so maybe...ah, I know I've had vision blur (Holm after he was disinherited in Heart Duel?) and maybe wind stinging the eyes (Luthan in Echoes In The Dark?). So I must have done it.

So is it all right for a romance hero to show emotion? I would say if you are writing an alpha hero, the above is pretty much how you handle it. A choked noise, stinging or blurry eyes. One sentence.

I think lingering on the action or the use of words like "weep" "sob" should definitely not be used -- though you might be able to have eyes blur in one paragraph and a couple of paragraphs later have a choked sound or strangled noise.

That is how I recommend heroes cry.

But my heroes hold hands often.

On Celta they hold hands when teleporting, or during a ritual. Ditto, during ritual circles on Lladrana. I'm impatient with the idea that men can't hold hands when necessary to do a task, that it's unmanly or whatever.

So it depends on your culture, and on your readers. Another READER RULE, do not show your hero as "unmanly." Particularly in public. They'd suck it up in public..., which, of course, was why Bastien's life had to be saved by Alexa in Guardian of Honor. So hiding pain/emotion DOES have a cost. Does the heroine know he is suffering or does she misconstrue?

Lots of interesting things to be done with this.

May you know your own emotions -- and show them or not -- today.

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Anonymous cearce said...

On last season's Dancing With The Stars, Brooke Burke and Derek Hough danced the Viennese Waltz as the final competition dance. Brooke did a beautiful dance. The camera went to her husband in the audience and he had tears in his eyes. Talk about a heart melting moment. So I think a hearo can have tears of pride and it wouldn't be unmanly of him.

8:21 AM  
Blogger FantasyAuthor RobinDOwens said...

Yes, I saw that, too. Pride will work...


6:37 PM  

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