Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Double Standard Ramblings

This post relates to yesterday's post, so if you haven't read it you might want to do that first.

After writing yesterday's post, I kept thinking about it later, and I decided I had more to say about it. It goes something like this: I buy into the whole double standard thing. *guilty*. I can't help it. Anyone who has ever read a novel with romance knows that most of the time, the men have to be manly and the women have to be womanly (although I'm all for the ass-kicking sort of womanly :)

Here's the trouble though--most people probably wouldnt want to read the sort of guys I want to write as my good guys. Face it--people who are too "good" are boring to read about. They're awesome in real life, but they don't make for good characters. And the same with the girls I write--the girls who almost NEVER cry (I have a huge pet peeve about weepy girls). If I write a really crazy girl who sleeps with everyone, she’s just a psycho slut. If I write a really crazy GUY who sleeps with everyone, he’s still a jerk, but a reader wouldn’t be so fast to label him. And there’s something about those girls that makes people want to feel sorry for them, whereas with a guy, people would either laugh at him and think he’s a tool or just hate him. And I’m okay with either of those things. I’m even okay with the sympathy as long as it’s not pity.

My first really great antagonist is such a jerk he’s like a parody of himself. He’s funny-tragic, not just tragic. I don’t want to write a sob story. The girls are too tragic, too melodramatic. I hate that in books I read, so I try to avoid it in the ones I write. I’d rather not write about the person who throws herself on the bed sobbing. And you can be sure that none of my male characters do that, although I’ve written a few criers.

The thing is, I’d rather have someone hate a character and throw a book against the wall than get bored and just stop reading. Although I guess either way, if they stopped reading it would be a bad thing. I try to make the men likeable enough that a reader would get it, know why the girl still liked him even when he did bad things. I try to get that balance, making him just likeable enough to keep someone from hating the girl who likes him or thinking she’s stupid. But sometimes it’s hard for me to know, since I’m not very objective—that bad boy sprang from my imagination, so of course I love him. If I met him in real life, I might throw a drink in his face, but still. That’s why I need my trusty pre-editors to tell me, “Hey, your character is a total dick. Why does this girl like him?”

That’s just how my male leads really are. But I could always tone them down if a book ever sold. And I’m okay with them being nasty until them. After all, my protagonist doesn’t always get to be the hero. Sometimes the hero is an anti-hero, or no hero at all but only the person the protagonist sees as a hero. It’s just that sometimes the guy takes over the story so much that the protaganist almost gets lost in there, so the story isn’t even about the narrator but about the person she’s all about. Which is, I guess, how some girls are when they’re in love.

So I’m gonna say it’s all good for now. IF I ever get a publisher, I can make my vampire/orphan/widower, etc, all warm and fuzzy. For now, I’m leaving them hard and prickly. My guys MIGHT bring you flowers and breakfast in bed. But they probably also kill your plants and eat you for breakfast. Hey, what do want, I write about vampires.

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