[Everything I'm about to say can be applied to female characters, too!]
I’ve been placed in a perplexing state of mind — though most of my states of mind are peculiar, this one is a real biter.
What sort of relationship does an author/writer have with their leading male character?
Personally, my leading man is the type that I am attracted to (dark eyes, mysterious, sardonic), thus I can accurately describe the feeling of the leading woman’s attraction to him. Others might base their star off a significant other, hero, father, or a prince charming that has yet to arrive.
Please reread that sentence before continuing to the next paragraph.
Bestselling YA novels have sparked some rather disturbing concepts regarding fictional men. Young women (and men, too) have claimed ‘husbands’ from their favourite books, and the actors that represent these characters on the big screen are instant sex gods: posters, fan fictions (ughh), ear-splitting shrieks at sequel releases and movie premiers, lewd remarks, even panties with their faces on them! (Why do I torture myself with the Internet?)
Or is that the goal? To spark an estrogen frenzy?
Doesn’t that place the author in a strange position? You’ve breathed life into this man who is a treasured companion and even a friend, who could be representing a loved one, and while you’ve been successful enough to sell millions of copies of your book and live to see a screen adaptation*, your man is ravaged by hormonal women, mauled by their hungry talons.
My relationship with poor, broken, darling Tristan is nothing like the above description. In my mind he’s a person, someone I know inside and out, and I will treat him thusly. Despite the fact that I can’t give him a hug when he needs one or we can’t stuff each other’s faces with ice cream, I can still have a conversation with him, we can go for walks in the woods, and I can definitely still argue with him.
See? He’s a person, not just a body and a great personality.
What sort of relationship do you share with your leading man? What sort of relationship do you have with the fictional men/women in your favourite books?
*Even pipe dreams can go wrong!
PS- Robert Parry is having another giveaway! Enter to win his novel The Virgin and the Crab in celebration of Elizabeth Tudor’s birthday (September 7th, 1533).