Saturday, April 21, 2018

Saturday Seven: seven things my characters don’t do - #SaturdaySeven #personality #bloghop

Characters image

I’ve been traveling for the past two weekends, hence didn’t post a Saturday Seven, but I thought I’d remedy that today.

I’ve written a lot of books and stories—it’s difficult to figure out exactly how to count, but I probably have at least a hundred novels, novellas and short stories available. That’s a lot of characters!

While I strive for variety in my characters, the people I create have certain commonalities. In particular, there are some activities they’re very unlikely to ever engage in. This generally reflects my own life and preferences—for the most part these are things I don’t do, either.

1. Play hockey

I know that sports romance is quite a popular genre, but I could never write one. I have zero interest in team sports, either amateur or professional. And I probably know less about hockey than any other sport except rugby. (Okay, I do have a rugby team in an upcoming book. However, they don’t actually play the game in my story.)

2. Smoke cigarettes

In fact, smoking provides a quick way to establish certain sorts of characters (for instance, the hard-boiled, world-weary private investigator so popular in noir tales). So I won’t go out on a limb and claim I’ll never write a character who smokes. I can’t think of anyone I’ve written who does, though.

It’s a bit odd, because many of my characters drink alcohol. Especially wine!

3. Watch TV as a regular pastime

I haven’t owned a television in more than thirty years. When I think about ways to spend my time, TV doesn’t even occur to me. Hence, the same tends to be true of my characters.

Anyway, they tend to be busy doing more interesting things!

4. Trick someone into getting her pregnant

Having a heroine seduce a hero in order to get pregnant is a trope I’ve encountered in some romances. To be honest, I find this notion horrifying.

The idea that a character might deliberately sabotage a woman’s birth control so he can impregnate her is equally repugnant.

Child-bearing is too serious an issue to play with, even in fiction.

5. Be celibate

I might have a character who starts out being celibate (or a virgin). However, given my favored genres, which are erotica and erotic romance, it’s quite unlikely such a character would remain so by the end of the tale.

All right—I can imagine writing a tale with a character who engages in sexual activity in his or her fantasies only. That might be a challenge. I’m not sure you could really claim such a character was strictly celibate, though.

6. Take a selfie

I’m sure it’s a function of my generation, but I find the current passion for constantly photographing oneself to be embarrassing, even a bit pathetic. My characters use their phones mostly for the original purpose of communication.

7. Abuse an animal

I’ve written a few truly despicable villains, people who have no compunctions about rape, torture or murder. However, I don’t think I could ever create a character who was deliberately abusive to animals. Just thinking about that makes me queasy.


peggy jaeger said...

I totally agree with #'s 1,2,4,5,and 7. Unfortunately, I do watch a lot of tv and sometimes I use watching ridiculous realty tv shows for my characters as plot points. And altho I don't take selfies of myself - I do have my characters. Great post. I lovelovelove the stuff your characters WONT do because it says al ot about your moral fiber and your ideals for them - and yourself. Brava!

Lisabet Sarai said...

Thanks for your sweet comment, Peggy. I don't mean to vaunt my "moral fiber". After all, there's nothing immoral about watching TV, or loving sports, or smoking, or even taking selfies!

Lydia Schoch said...

Yeah, I'm really not a fan of characters tricking each other into getting pregnant. There's nothing romantic about that at all.

My SS post for this week:

Judy said...

What a neat list. I so agree with you on #4 and #7. If a character tricks another person into getting pregnant, it would so not be a hero/heroine in my book. Where is the trust element then that's so necessary for a good relationship? My Saturday Seven is here:

Marianne Arkins said...

Absolutely agree, except maybe TV (like nearly everyone else, lol). Animal abuse is definitely a hot button for me. I had to read a book for review a few years ago, where the hero is abused by his father as a child, and at one point is forced to kill his pet dog. I was, and still am, traumatized by that. I may never forget it as long as I live.

ELF said...

I love your "finger people" at the top of the page. Great insight into your characters, I enjoyed reading the list!

My post is here:

Wendi Zwaduk and Megan Slayer said...

I don't even like books where the critter dies. I've read Where the Red Fern Grows exactly once and saw the movie exactly once. Never again. I won't watch Marley and Me for the same reason. I can't imagine #7.
Here's my post:

Fiona McGier said...

The only one I disagree with is smoking. Both of my parents smoked heavily, and though it contributed to their early demises, it was a hallmark of their personalities. I have one hero who smokes at the beginning of the book, but in order to be around a certain person who works at a hospital, he attends smokers' cessation programs there...and successfully quits. I have another hero who smokes at the start of the book, but quits when he finds out why the heroine finds it so repugnant. But my retired spies both smoke...hey, if you can survive 30 years with the CIA, or with KGB, nothing scares you, right? It's a part of their whole, "Enjoy life today, because you might be dead tomorrow," state of mind they both find it hard to drop.

This Saturday 7 is a great idea! I'll have to keep an eye out for next week's entry.

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