February 15, 2014

Wanted: Romance Characters. Wounded Hero Apply Within @romancebysusan #RLFblog #LD_Rights

Girls' Night Out 
Welcome to RLF! Today's guest post is by Susan Arden / Susan D Taylor.

It's business as usual in writing scorching romance. I power up the computer, drum my fingers, and inhale. Time to find "him" and "her." How about this time I hand over the reins to you to locate a pair of lovers? Would you start with an open casting call in which you hang a sign: hot men and women need apply?
Writing a romance requires that an author open their heart and imagination in the creation of a pair of lovers. In order for the lovers to exist within a story, I need a hook that gets me thinking...excited. As a writer of nuclear heat-level romance, I begin with a visualization of a plot line that begins in a physical spot. A church parking lot, a ranch, a stadium. Someplace where two people might meet and fall in love. But that isn't the place where the story begins. It's a trajectory point where I aim, more than likely a place about sixty-percent of the way through the book where the characters hang out.
Once I get a feel for where the characters and I are headed, I throw open the doors and the casting call begins and that means it's time to dig deep into their lives. The expectation for romance stories is that these contain people who have attributes such as beauty, wit, strength, charisma as well as a host of other attractive characteristics that are displayed throughout the story—sky is the limit. But alas, every author knows that in loving our creations, we must do our writer duty in our creating reflections of humanity by making them human. And as humans, our lovers must have flaws.
So in writing, I draw from what I know and as a past educator, I draw heavily on my education and classroom where I had the honor and pleasure to spend my days with funny, energetic, sensitive, stubborn students who were as varied the colors of the rainbow. But the one characteristic they and I shared is we are learners…people who learn differently. I taught special education and ironically have ADHD and facets of dyslexia. I understand what it means to be reduced to a statistic and boxed into a category. Learners with special needs require supports to actualize strengths to compensate for "things" we don't do so well. I can't tell right from left, but instinctively know cardinal direction regardless of where I'm at. I can do simple math like a calculator but can't understand high order math. I need to use a computer over pen and paper. I read chunks of information but can't read word for word. Numerical order and word order are atypical or are repeated in the wrong order unless I close my eyes and read from the picture in my mind.
In this go round in Girls' Night Out (GNO), I wanted to have a character who reflected those I know. Brett Gold has dysgraphia, a form of dyslexia, and this helped to balance out extreme strength. Brett became the hero with a wound (i.e., wounded hero archetype) in which that "flaw" would affect him starting at a very young age. The hero in GNO had the love of a parent to help him have the confidence to keep striving rather than to become embittered. His dyslexia would give him perspective, frustrating him at times, but widen his horizon to understand the suffering of others. Like the saying goes; bamboo is strong for it bends in the whipping wind where an oak may crack in a strong storm.
So, in Girls' Night Out the heroine, Cory McLemore, is young and struggling to find her footing away from her over-protective family when she encounters a man who seems to have the world by the tail. Brett Gold, an NFL tight end isn't the persona that he and the pro ball profession projects. This is part sports romance and Western, and like any creature who bucks, there's a time for a heavy hand and there's a time for giving some space, and that's what Brett does for Cory. There is spanking as this is an erotic romance and is utilized by Brett with Cory in establishing structure. Yet Brett is more than the typical alpha, he understands his lover's need to find her authentic self where she requires his support to allow her the opportunity to stretch her wings.
In writing the strong, capable hero, a flaw of a disability such as learning difference can humanize someone who otherwise might come off more like a God than a good guy, sweet enough to bring home to meet mom and dad.

Buy This Book

Girls' Night Out ~ A Bad Boys novel (Book 4)

Books Coming Soon

In Sweetest Curse, another type of disability is addressed: Undine's Curse. Stay tuned for that release coming in March 2014.
Double Trouble ~ A Bad Boys novel (Book 5) March 2014 Release

Learning Disabilities

For more information on learning disabilities, please visit The National Center for Learning Disabilities http://ncld.org

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