The Rudeness of the Frenchman

I’m not talking about Frenchmen in general, just about my particular Frenchman. And his problem with rudeness. Because sadly, in the first chapter he is not at his best and is quite rude to the heroine. Now some people who have met him had no problems with his rudeness and yet others found it difficult. So what’s a girl to do?

He is rude for a reason, naturally. The heroine meets him when he is in considerable pain. For an alpha male who is the leader of a huge corporation, a man for whom control over any situation is vital to him, having some stranger see him when he is in helpless and in pain is kind of his worst nightmare. Especially when she tries to help him. So yeah, he’s rude. He doesn’t want her help. He just wants to be left alone. Unfortunately though, this makes him unsympathetic to some people. I’ve tried to make him less rude but he won’t have a bar of it. He hates the situation he’s in and makes no bones about it.

So what to do? I do have his POV a bit later in the chapter so you get a glimspe about why he’s so rude and I think I can make it clearer but maybe it’s too late by then. Certainly by chapter 2, he’s feeling very guilty at his lapse in manners but again, perhaps it’s too little too late?

But you know, I don’t think I can pull back his behaviour. I like him being helpless. He needs to be too because part of his journey is learning he can trust the heroine – and how better to do that have her rescue him when he needs help? It’s just that he really doesn’t like it, especially because he’s not in control of the situation.

Sigh. What do you reckon? Shall I take a whip to him and make him a bit nicer? That’s if I can. You ever tell an alpha male what he should or shouldn’t do?

19 thoughts on “The Rudeness of the Frenchman”

  1. Hmmm, tricky.
    Does your inner editor tell you that the ed’s will pull you up on it?
    It’s one of the points that came back in my partial feedback last week actually, that i’d crossed from fiestiness to rudeness once or twice (with my heroine rather than hero) and to pedal back a bit, so they def pick up on it.
    I don’t warm easily to rude hero’s, unless I know really early on why. I want to fall head over heels in love with him asap, you know?

  2. Joanne – yeah, it is tricky. My gut tells me he’s acting the way he should and that pulling back on him will make him act in ways he wouldn’t. Not sure what the editors would think. Personally I don’t think he’s HUGELY rude, he just tells her to leave him the hell alone. Then again, I know him but the readers don’t. Sigh. Perhaps I could tone him down a little. If he’ll let me…
    Interesting re your heroine. That can also be tricky eh? It’s a fine line.

  3. i really like the idea of the heroine rescuing him! let her do it!! I’m sure his point of view will get the point across as to why he is being rude and the reader will forgive, i know i read a book until the 3rd chapter before i decide absolutely that i don’t like it, rudeness is not a reason for that, it will make me keep reading to find out why! 🙂

  4. Kerrin – Yes, I like her rescuing him too. He does try and keep control of the situation but he really is in her power. I think I could be clearer actually when I’m in his POV though. Don’t think I was obvious enough about how he was feeling so that should help.
    Gosh, I’m finding how different people read really interesting. You wait till chapter 3 huh? Good to know! 😉

  5. Don’t second guess yourself, Jackie. If this is in character for your hero, then let him be. As you’ve discovered – some readers will be okay with it and some won’t, but you can’t please everyone. Personally, I don’t think the hero telling the heroine to leave him the hell alone is rude. I suppose this depends on the reader as well. But you don’t want him coming across like a wimp that needs rescuing either. If your editor thinks it’s out of line, she’ll sure tell you. Just go with your gut 🙂

  6. I agree that you should be true to his character – let him be rude if that’s what he needs to be at that time.

    However I think to make him heroic, you need to give the reader an insight into his thoughts. Is it possible to write the scene from his POV?

  7. Angie – yes, it’s true that some people won’t like it while others will have no problem with it. I suppose it depends on taste. He is very curt with her in addition to telling her to leave him alone so I guess he’s pretty rude. The heroine puts him in his place pretty smartly though so it’s not as if he walks all over her – which WOULD be rude. I shall reflect more on it I think.

    Leah – I did consider writing it from his POV. The problem with this is that it needs to come back later to his POV because he does something a little…um…forward due to the effects of the painkillers and we need to be in his POV to see why he feels he needs to do this. And I don’t like having too many POV changes in one chapter. Hmmm, could think about that though.

  8. You know I’ve ummed and ahhed on this.

    a) I agree with Angie and Leah – that you need to make him true to himself
    b)I also agree with Joanne that the eds might pick you up on it, but I have to say, I don’t think they’d R you on it but (like with Joanne) tell you they wanted it fix!

    Go for it… I mean… aren’t the French supposed to be rude!? HEHEHE!

  9. Hi Jackie

    Yeah, I think you have to let him be true to himself. I don’t see anything wrong with finding an alpha male ‘rude’ at the beginning of a book. After all, we know for sure he’s going to be redeemed by the end. Perhaps a bit from his POV would be a good idea if you’re worried he’s coming off too mean, just so we can identify with him.

    Good luck with it! It sounds like just the sort of story I love to read.

    Best
    Kristy

  10. The reader does need to fall in love with your hero and so I would suggest starting with his POV. YOu want to give him a Save the Cat moment.

    It may be that you have to move the forwardness to chapter 2.

    That said I did start Impoverished Miss in the heroine’s POV to set the stage, and then shifted over to hero’s once they were together.
    If the reader can understand, the reader can forgive.

  11. Jackie, I haven’t read the Frenchman yet (I need to!) but I kind of like a rude alpha, I have to say. All in the execution.

  12. probably not the best time to comment (umm have had a full bottle of vino) but rude and crude all the way! I agree it all in the execution and you can do it my friend.

  13. I agree with Michelle, A save the cat moment would be good to show that he’s not a total boor, but instead a grumpy alpha. I love grumpy alphas, and as long as he’s not to bad in the second chapter or we have some reason why he’s not too bad, I’d say let him at it! (being rude that is)

  14. Rach – yeah, they ARE supposed to be rude. Lol!

    Kirsty – I’m beginning to think a bit more from his POV might be just the ticket.

    Michelle – yes, he does get some save the cat moments and he’s much more polite in chapter 2. The ‘forwardness’ isn’t too forward – he doesn’t kiss her or anything – he’s just a bit clumsy so I guess I could move it. I might consider starting in his POV first though I’ll have to change it back later in the chapter. Good advice anyway.

    Maisey – the fault my lie with my execution. Lol!

    Janette – love drunken comments on my blog! Hee hee. Thanks for your faith in the Frenchman.

    Sally – yes, he is MUCH less grumpy in the second chapter. And actually, he’s less grumpy in the second half of the first now I remember.

  15. People who are in a constant level of high pain get irritated and it’s impossible to hide that all the time. If you want to water it down perhaps the heroine could make a connection between the pain and irritiability. Chronic pain is a VERY common condition and a lot of people will be able to relate to him, especially when he’s not at his best 🙂 I love it!

  16. Suzanne – yay! I find him quite intriguing too, I have to admit.

    Lacey – that was my feeling too. The heroine does know he’s in pain – she gives him some painkillers. And that’s when the fun REALLY starts. Hahaha. 🙂

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