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.