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Monday, April 20, 2009

by any other name

So I think this is a bit on the nose: a romance novelist named Rhett Hart.
This is one of the things I like best about the writing process, character building. It is a lot easier than in real life. I can try on a bunch of names and see what fits whereas the rest of us are stuck with our names. In my case, I thank God everyday that my Dad got his hands on the paperwork in the hospital before my mom. Sherry Crocker is infinitely better than the Betty my mom had planned to saddle me with. Yes she did. Here, have a napkin.
Anyway, Rhett is a pseudonym for one of my main characters when wearing his writers hat. Yes, I think a guy could write a romance. How good it would be I cannot say. I don't even know that as the God of this brave new universe that I would let him write a good romance. After all he can't be super jock geek and have his life be all rose petals. How boring is that! Besides, if it was any good he wouldn't need to take a writing class, would he? And then he's just the schlock in the drek and that isn't what I wanted for my boy.
The other fun part of character building is fleshing out the details. Whats he good at? Where are his Kurt Weber flaws for Frasier to find? And how can I show them to my audience without really humiliating him? That's the tricky part. Fun but tricky. And it makes me wonder if I am being a mushy god.
I tend to be really kind to my characters because I want to write happy happy joy. Life isn't like that. It is the biggest criticism I have about Christian fiction, specifically christian romance... its rather flat and platitude riddled. Trust me flat platitudes don't do more than burn someones arse. Writing is about drawing from personal lessons. No one sugar coated them for me. And Kenyon's characters literally go through hell to get to the center of their tootsie roll tootsie pop; it's more compelling that way.
I'm the god of this universe. I better man up.

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