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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hero Confusion

by Tawny Weber

I'm in the midst of plotting a new book and there's nothing more fun than What If. Well, maybe getting punched in the gut. Or root canal without novocain. Or stubbing your toe in the dark, then falling over the dog and smacking nose-first into the footboard. Not that I've done any of those things. I just equate them with the fun of plotting and What If.

Don't get me wrong. I love What If. I love the process of coming up with ideas, of bouncing possibilities and finding the perfect maze that eventually frames my story. Even more, I love discovering characters and finding the ins and outs of what makes them tick, and tock. And eventually, click together.

What I don't have so much fun with is when I'm almost finished plotting a book and outlining it, and I think its pretty solid. Then I see something that makes me go Ooooooh, I want to do that instead. For instance, the book I'm working on now has a military hero. Max, my hottie hunk, is a wounded war hero and home to make some decisions. Now as I'd originally plotted him, he's a pretty by-the-book kind of guy. A patron of the follow the rules club. And a total sweetie with that soldier boy exterior.

Then, last night I watched Hurt Locker. Wow. Intense, powerful and isn't a bad boy with a little bit of crazy appealing? James is way too out there for my story, but suddenly all I could think of was how much fun it is to write a bad boy. A wild man. An edgy, intense, over-the-top Alpha with something to prove.

Now see, this is the stubbed-toe frustration part of plotting What If for me. I really like my original plot. And to be honest, if I change heroes, I'd have to come up with an entirely new plot to suit this kind of hero. Or I could simply write two separate books, right? Except which one to write first? What would be stronger? The hero or the bad boy? Both are hot, both are sexy, both have unlimited appeal.

ARGH... see my frustration? What If has me cornered and I can't write my way out.

So I'm turning to you... Tell me, what would you rather read? A heroic military man who, while having a few demons, is a pretty by-the-book kind of guy? Or a bad boy soldier boy with a chip on his shoulder who needs to prove something before he can let himself find love?

I'd love to know what you think and am willing to provide bribes. I'll pick one random commenter to win any book from my backlist.

Tawny Weber writes hot, spicy stories for Harlequin Blaze. In January 2010, her novella, YOU HAVE TO KISS A LOT OF FROGS, was out in the Blazing Bedtime Story anthology and her next full length Blaze,, RIDING THE WAVES, will be out in September 2010. Come by and visit her on the web at www.tawnyweber.com

35 comments:

Pam S said...

Both are very appealing to me and both would make good characters. You could take parts of both, he could be a by-the-book kind a guy, but still struggle with those demons he has which could have giving him that chip on his shoulder or cause him to want to prove something.

Caroline Storer said...

Defo the "bad boy with something to prove"! Tell me one woman who doesn't think that *she* will be the one to tame an Alpha bad boy like him! Get writing NOW! Caroline xxxx

host said...

I'm all for 'bad boy soldier boy with a chip on his shoulder who needs to prove something before he can let himself find love' :) but maybe you should finish the book you started and then write another one with the bad boy hero since you are already half way through

Kara said...

What a choice!!! Both are great, but if I had to choose one it would be the bad boy with chip on shoulder!! Gotta love those bad boys.

CrystalGB said...

Both sound good to me. But, there is something about a bad boy that drawn me in. :)

denise said...

If I have to choose, I prefer the heroic military man. I like reading about positive, strong characters. I would love to have one of your books.

Leni said...

I'm picking the bad boy soldier with something to prove. It will be fun to read his story and follow him as he finds love.

Laney4 said...

Can you see me? I'm shaking my head in agreement with the other posters. Would like BOTH, of course, but because you asked, I'd choose the by-the-book guy, probably because I can relate to that.

Just finished DOES SHE DARE? and just loved it. Since I felt like I was living my fantasies in that book (don't want to give it away), I'm betting I'll love whatever you write! Please keep them coming!

Virginia C said...

Hi, Tawny! With deepest respect for our men and women who serve in the military, I suggest a blend of the two characters. Why not a by-the-book career military man who begins to discover that following orders cannot always be black and white. Give him characters and situations to deal with that make him realize his world is not as precisely ordered as he thought. Allow his vulnerabilites to come to the forefront and give him a chance to need as well as be needed. Give him a good, strong woman who has equal needs of her own : )

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Mary said...

A bad boy soldier boy with a chip on his shoulder who needs to prove something before he can let himself find love, sounds better to me than the other. Both could be good but this one appeals to me more.

Tawny said...

LOL A lot of ladies loving the bad boy here today, I see :-)

Since I'm a big fan myself, I can totally get that appeal.

Tawny said...

Pam, great idea :-) I know in his current by-the-book incarnation, he's definitely been trying to prove something, and he's tired of it -which is giving him a major chip on his shoulder!

Tawny said...

LOL Caroline. Yes ma'am, I'll get to writing! I'm so inspired by the comments here, I won't have any choice *g*

Alison said...

I don't mind chips, if they're sensible ones, but when I start saying to a hero 'Just get over yourself and move on to the rest of your life', I can end up not finishing a book (and I hate not doing that!)

Tawny said...

Host, thats what I'm thinking too - I have a deadline for this book, so starting from scratch is a bad idea.

But oh the lure of the bad boy! My tried and true plotting block remover- the treadmill - inspired an idea for a secondary character in this book who is that chip-on-the-shoulder bad boy who will get his own story.

So the next question is, is it more fun to anticipate a hottie hero for an upcoming book after getting glimpses of him in the first one, or is the waiting too much a pain *g*

Tawny said...

Kara, bad boys are definitely HOT, huh?

Tawny said...

Crystal, bad boys do have a strong allure, don't they? Just the idea of writing one makes me go Mmmmm mmmm

Tawny said...

Denise, thanks :-) There is something definitely warm and compelling about our military heroes, isn't there.

Tawny said...

LOL Laney, sure I can see you ;-) And thank you for all the wonderful encouragement!!

Great suggestions - the combo is definitely appealing, but relatable is very important isn't it? And speaking of, YAY that you enjoyed Does She Dare? So Dante was definitely a bad boy, right? *g*

Tawny said...

Oooh, Virginia, great ideas :-) I'm in love with this hero already *g* Black and white is such a great conflict arena, isn't it.

Tawny said...

Mary, they are both appealing, aren't they? But yeah, I'm a major fan of bad boys, so I totally get your preference!

Tawny said...

LOL Alison, I'm so with you on chips going too far. I always want to read characters that are growing and overcoming their challenges. Not wallowing in them *g*

Virginia said...

Hmmm! I think I like a little of both! Depends on what mood I am in! I love the bad boys but also love the good ones!

Bronwyn said...

Hi Tawny,

Downunder these military men (army) are known as AJ's... Not very respectful but in so many ways, army jerk applies to quite a few of them. But as to your question, I think it depends on the heroine. If your by-the-book guy lands himself in some hot water with a chuck-the-book kind of gal, I would read it. But! I lurve a bad boy. I have one of my very own and so I know the appeal. Truth be told, I would buy them both so write whichever one is screaming the loudest for headspace and I'll go with the flow =)

Bronwyn.

Tawny said...

LOL Virginia, thanks. Thats exactly how I feel. This one would be great, but that one would be too.

Tawny said...

Hey Bronwyn ;-)

I hear ya on the jerks. I've known a few, but really most of the military guys I've known (including my husband) are real sweeties. But... that doesn't mean they weren't bad boys as well LOL.

I think you hit the nail on the head - its all down to the heroine. And the heroine of this story is such a super sexy bad girl that I don't know if I can resist the chance to put her and a good boy in conflict *g* Its almost like she was tailor made to push all his buttons (oh wait, she was)

Bronwyn said...

Sweeties they are and honorable to the very last. Military men really are a breed of their very own aren't they... No wonder you wanted to use one (or two) as heros.

I bought my blaze undulgence last night, four stories all together =) With the three other books I bought from Amazon this morning and the three that are in the mail... Well, you can do the math! I'll have to get reading to make room on the TBR shelf!

Have a great day (or night) or whatever it is in your part of the world.

Sue A. said...

I like the guy with the chip on his shoulder. They always give the heroine the toughest time, but they're so worth the trouble in the end.

Michele L. said...

Hey Tawny,

Looks like you should write about the bad boy with the chip on his shoulder first, then tackle a book about the strong military guy next. Ooo...a plot with a sassy heroine with spunk paired with the bad boy with a chip on the shoulder would be a sizzling combination! You could always have your heroic military hero as the secondary character and spin off your next book on him. Whatever you choose, I know it will be a winner! You rock Tawny!

You go girl!

WriterGirl said...

I'm voting for the chip on the shoulder kind of guy. It's so hard for me to read those books with the by the book kind of guy who hooks up with the free-spirited hippie girls.

Tawny said...

YAY Bronwyn - awesome indulgences :-D Happy reading, I'll bet you have a great time!

Tawny said...

Sue, great point :-) It's always good to have a hero that's worth all that trouble *g* And a heroine who can handle him well!

Tawny said...

Michele, I'm definitely writing both these boys now! I'm so inspired by all the comments here today that they are both alive in my brain now *g*

Tawny said...

LOL Laura - no hippie girl love for our uptight boy?

But can the chip-on-his-shoulder guy have the hippie girl? I think I could make that work *g*

Tawny said...

And the winner is:

Denise :-)

Denise, drop me an email with Tote Bags in the subject line and your shipping info, and which of my books you'd like to recieve and I'll get that out to you immediately!

tawny@tawnyweber.com

and you can check out the books at www.tawnyweber.com/bookshelf

thanks everyone!!