I Am a Rock. I Am An Island.

It’s hard when you have a hero who won’t open up – like Lorraine said in her post, how is the heroine supposed figure him out when he won’t tell her anything?? I’ve saddled myself with a particularly difficult customer. My hero is a climber and they are notorious for being the strong, silent type. Not that he’s very silent, he’s just used to dealing with his difficulties on his own and he doesn’t – N. O. spells no – want to talk about the accident that killed his mother on K2 (second tallest mountain in the world). See the mountain shot to the right? Well that’s K2 and he’s going to climb it, just see if he doesn’t.

Anwyay, all this makes it extremely difficult when I have to convey this past to the heroine. Because why would he tell her? What would Luke do? He wouldn’t tell her, that’s what! So I’ve had to rely on a third party. I have seen this method used in other stories so I’m hoping it’s okay. And it’s not that someone else tells her, it’s a passing comment made by someone that sets off a whole lot of tension in the hero that the heroine picks up on, which she then confronts him about. He eventually tells her in strictly non-emotional terms just so she’ll shut up about it basically and stop asking him questions. I think it works – hope so!

But now I have come to another dilemma. How do you get a heroine who is all about safety to continue seeing a guy who is all about risk? Especially when she knows she’s falling for him and that he doesn’t want anything but an affair. Argh!!! Think the lust card might have to be played.

Apparently you can get a computer program that will just churn out M&Bs according to that well known ‘formula’. If anyone can find said program can they let me know?? I could sure use it right about now. πŸ˜‰

16 thoughts on “I Am a Rock. I Am An Island.”

  1. Ooh ooh ooh… I want that program too! πŸ™‚

    But for what it’s worth, it’s sounds like you’ve got everything perfectly sorted! I reckon your third party explanation, which then leads to h&H discussion sounds great!

  2. I love the title of your blog Jackie! It caughty my eye while I was visiting felicity’s (for some reason I never get her updates so I dart over there lol) and BAM (yep that’s in capitals πŸ˜‰ ) I was hooked!

    Now I’m pretty sure you’ll need to climb K2 justto get in the hero’s head right? ;P So when are you heading out?

    I love that he just tells the heroine with no emotion whatsoever. That’s a great solution and now I want to read it. No I don’t care if you haven’t finished it!

    I think you will have to play the lust angle. Especially if it’s early on. Alternatively, have the heroine chain him to a tree that’ll stop him climbing mountains πŸ˜‰

  3. When your finished with it Rach, shoot it over to me…

    I’m with Rach – sounds like you have it all figured out – third party explanation sounds like the way to go.

  4. Ooh, I do luvs my blog peeps…

    Rach – perfectly sorted eh? I’ll let you know when (if!) I hear back from Anna. πŸ˜‰ Yep, it’s gonna have to be third party. God knows how else you’re supposed to do it.

    Lacey – the title is vintage Simon and Garfunkel, and could be the alpha male’s special song.
    Oh and I have climbed K2. Many times. At least from the safety of my armchair. Ain’t no picnic let me tell you. :-0
    Yeah, think the emotion-less exposition works. Hopefully!

    Yeah, Janette, third party sometimes is the trick. He wouldn’t be much of an alpha male if he spilled everything after the first shag. πŸ˜‰

  5. Sounds good as usual Jackie!!
    Would he be more inclined to tell her if the 3rd party had the facts wrong? What’s the 3rd party’s goal in telling?

  6. Becca, good questions. Third party was more along the lines of ‘hey, weren’t you the son of that climber who was in that accident?’. It sounds better (and less contrived!) in the ms! πŸ™‚

  7. Hi Jackie

    These guys sound like a really interesting couple of characters. I think if it was me as the ‘safety girl’ and my lover as the ‘adrenaline junkie’ I would probably be with him for the excitement of living vicariously through him. If I never did anything even slightly ‘out there’ I would probably feel like a bit of a dullard deep down, and be looking for someone who inspired me, no matter how much it made my heart race (in the scared sense as well as the passionate one πŸ™‚

    I think the third party’s casual comment is a great idea to get info to the heroine. Getting an emotionally closed-off man to talk about his feelings is REALLY difficult. One character that I’ve written about was a bit like that and he told his story in a very angry manner in order to hide his sadness. I don’t suppose they need to say much to get their pain across.

    Can’t wait to read this story when it’s published.


  8. Hi Kristy, thanks for posting! Vicarious enjoyment…y’know, I didn’t even consider that aspect? The heroine, though, is pretty much against even vicarious enjoyment – though there probably should be some element of that in there. Hmmmmm… will think on it.
    Glad you like the sound of the story – I can’t wait for people to read it either, when (if!) M&B agree to publish it! πŸ˜‰

  9. Hi Jackie. I read this on the RNA’s blog site recently about characters who don’t play ball. I’ve written it out and posted it above my pc. It goes something like this – Don’t ask what happens next – ask yourself “What would the charcters do next?” I’ve been looking at this for the past 10 minutes as I ponder just what to write next – so far it’s not working – but I live in hope! Take care. Caroline x

  10. I think the lust card will work, particularly as she knows it’s an affair for one weekend only.
    Isn’t it a safe way to dip her toes in to see if she’s missing anything, knowing full well she can go back to her safe life once it’s over?

  11. Caroline – that’s really good advice. I think even if my heroine told the hero to get lost, he wouldn’t. Because, well, he’s an alpha male who isn’t going to let a good thing go, no matter what she says. He has ways to make her see reason… πŸ˜‰

    Good point, Lorraine. There’s another element I should add.

    Gosh you guys are all great! I should post my ms problems more often. πŸ™‚

  12. Sorry but the computer programme is jusst an urban myth – one that I’ve been plagued with for all the 25 years I’ve been writing.

    Do you think that if there really was one, then M&B writers would slave over a hot keyboard, beating off the crows of doubt – or that HMB would need to run contests to find new authors?

    Another one to be filed along with ‘the formula’


  13. Kate, an urban myth?? Well, there goes that idea. πŸ™‚ And the formula too? Sigh.

    I still get people asking me about the formula. At least they’ve stopped asking me when I’m going to write ‘real books’. Now, after having their heads bitten off, they just ask whether or not I’ll ever write ‘something else’.
    So many stereotypes eh? And I thought librarians had it bad…

  14. I googled the programe just in case…dang it…Kate Walker was right. And for me, play the lust card. Have her wanting him so bad it defines all reason and logic…like a chocolate craving that cannot be denied or my obsession with Johnny Depp. You just know it is bad for you, but if it was there, within arms reach…would just one little taste hurt. And even if it does, isnt it worth the consequences, just this once…. (my heroine is facing a similar dilemma…so would I be if Johnny Depp ever was passing through Hobart).

  15. Felicity, I am with you re Johnny Depp. Yes indeed, the lust card works for me – I have played it and my heroine is happy. So far. Little does she know the plans in store for her… πŸ˜‰

  16. I could use that program, too.

    It sounds like you’ve got it all sorted. I think the hero needs to be strong and silent and you’ve worked out perfectly how the heroine will find out what’s happening with him.

    My current hero was too vocal in a recent draft and that made him veer towards being too nice (apparently). Not an alpha trait to chat.


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