More About the Non-Sassiness of My Heroine

Have had a little writing hiatus over the past week or two. Actually, when I say writing hiatus I actually mean writing sulk. I went on strike in other words. Not that anyone except me was affected and certainly no one noticed. So yeah, my strike was very effective. Not. Still, it did do me good because now I’m feeling more philosophical about the NTAI, I am ready to get back into writing and I always feel much more enthused after a break.

Anyway, I have been thinking more about my non-sassy heroine and still debating about whether her non-sassiness is a good thing. She really has issues with herself and not much confidence, despite the fact that she is rich and successful. But I’m getting cold feet about her. Is she Modern Heat enough? Is she sympathetic? Or is she too unconfident for a reader to identify with? I keep wanting to pull back on her, which I hate doing because then I slip into having my characters act in ways they actually wouldn’t – at least not without a personality change. It’s a problem. I mean, the eds liked her well enough last year, even though they rejected it, but lots can change in a year. Will they still like her now?

It doens’t help that I am also working on her polar opposite, my eco-warrior heroine. She has sass enough for both of them and I have to say, her terrier-like inability to let things go is proving to be a problem for my conflict. I hope it’s strong enough to explain her actions. Then again, that could be due to my hero and his ability to get under her skin – they’ve got a such a strong love/hate dynamic going on that it’s not bringing out the best in either of them!

Anyone else ever have doubts about their characters personalities? Did you give them their head? Or did you pull back on them?

15 thoughts on “More About the Non-Sassiness of My Heroine”

  1. Pssst I have a sulk every now and then too 😀

    I still like the sound of your heroine because every woman will be able to see a bit of herself in her. You definitely don’t have to worry about her being too unconfident for the reader to identify with because if she got to that stage you’d want to kill her off yourself. You can always tell when you cross that line because she’ll start to irritate you.

    Fingers crossed that it won’t be too long before you hear now 😀

  2. Lacey – oh good! Glad I’m not the only one. Lol, that’s so true re her being irritating. It doesn’t take much to irritate me it has to be said and she hasn’t crossed the line yet. But then again, I may be too close to her. Ah well, she’s had a bit of the hero now which has done her the world of good. hehe.

  3. Coming in from sulk city. I LOVE your heroine and if you have some trepidation about her non sassiness – don’t see there being anything wrong with throwing in flashes of sassiness!

  4. Mmm, the eds liked her last year, but you’re having doubts… Is this a case of familiarity breeds contempt?

    I fear my heroine not only lacks sass, she may well also be identified as suffering from a serious back bone deficiency. Needs must, I keep telling myself as she sorely needs something from the hero and can’t afford to annoy him. Mmm. You’d think one could find a way to kowtow with sass.

    Also, my characters are in such a dark place, no matter how much I try to lighten the mood, they still think the light at the end of the tunnel is an approaching train gunning straight for them. My heroine is wallowing over a past transgression, weighed down by her fear she’ll be too late to save her friend and so deeply in love with the hero she’s willing to pay for her sins by walking away – self sacrificing creature that she is (I never intended her to be so). Both heroes have been sucked into a dark vortex and I suspect it’s somewhere in chapter three – the tone changes dramatically: from dark to darker (again, it just happened). At this point I’m willing to concede that their behaviour is a reflection of the circumstances they both face and that once they resolve some of their issues, their ‘normal’ characteristics will surface and they’ll be able to have some, dare I say it, fun or at least shed some of their dark layers.

    Bottom line, I am riddled with doubts and on the brink of archiving the story for later consideration. However, since I’m half way through, I feel it would be too much of a cop out to bow out now.

    Anyhow, I came across the following – highly entertaining/inspirational author talking about… stuff:

  5. Janette – thanks for the vote of confidence! I like her. And she does have some sassiness to her. Just not in the typical way.

    Veronica – thanks for the link. Good stuff! Nothing wrong with dark – if it’s conflict you want then that’s good isn’t it? I guess it depends what line you’re writing for. If you’re halfway through the story, I would finish it and then see what the issues are. It’s always much clearer to see it as a whole.

  6. Jackie, a timely post for me as you know. I loved what my ed said to me today. A heroine can be good at her job and a 21st century woman while still having insecurities about the way she looks, or be unsure in certain situations or carry baggage from her past. That’s something we can all relate to. She isn’t entirely strong, with no weaknesses at all, neither is she totally weak. And when I’m perfect at character development, I’ll let you know…

  7. Having been lucky enough to read the first chap of Miz Not So Sassy – she’s PERFECT! I found her absolutely lovely and have every faith that as you continue to write her story, you can pull it off!!

  8. Maisey – funny you should say that because it was actually your advice that got me thinking about it! Argh, I don’t know. I think it’s one of those ‘sub it and see’ jobs.

    Rach – love ya, you know that? Lol! I’m SO glad you like her. Cos I do too. I think that’s why I’m second guessing her, because I like her so much. Don’t think I’ve ever had that with a heroine!

  9. Kerrin – oh no, I’m not giving up on her. I like her too much. 😉

    Maisey – yay! Thanks hun! Good to know others like her too. Maybe I’m worrying over nothing.

  10. I’m with Rach – I think ‘Miz not so sassy’ is great and remember her earlier incarnation was much more insecure and still went down well with editorial…

    Welcome back from your ‘strike’ during which I bet your wordcount was still higher than mine!

  11. I’d be so disheartened after the wait you’ve had. I think it’s really unfair of an editor to give a specific timeframe and then miss it … by weeks. I know they are busy people, but it must be so frustrating for you.

    You’re doing really well getting on with your ms while waiting. I really hope you hear soon.

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