“Do not touch anything unnecessarily. Beware of pretty girls in dance halls and parks who may be spies, as well as bicycles, revolvers, uniforms, arms, dead horses, and men lying on roads—they are not there accidentally.” – Soviet infantry manual, issued in the 1930’s
Yes, because pretty girls in a dance hall are a threat to national security, always.
He said, She said covers character arcs:
Character arc. If a character is the same person at the end of the story that he or she is at the beginning of the story there is no character arc. Frex, Indiana Jones at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark is stealing religious artifacts because he doesn’t understand the concept of spirituality, let alone recognize his own need for a spiritual life. At the end, he survives because he understands that there are things beyond knowing/seeing/possessing, things greater than him, and that’s why he survives. Character arc. His antagonist, the Nazi archeologist, also begins the story stealing religious artifacts. He, however, does not learn through his struggles in the plot and therefore he does not arc and therefore he dies in glorious screaming technicolor. That’ll teach him not to arc.
From Wiscon (which, from all accounts, sounds as though it was hot, sticky, and a lot of fun) on Romance and Feminism:
One of the men in the audience asked something like, “What’s the place of men in romance?” Not in a “Why are all you women talking about women things?” that is so common in feminist discussions, but really respectfully, so I was irritated when Stevenson snapped out a response that the focus was all on the woman. I have no problem with the focus being all on the woman, but as other panelists point out, the point of view of the hero is very important in romance and that the reader gets to head hop from the hero to the heroine and experience both sides of the courtship.
Totally agree on that one. Unless, of course, you’re writing a romance that is first person with a focus on the woman’s point of view. If that’s the case, you can’t exactly go switching to the man (well, you can, but you just have to write it very carefully).
In my opinion, though, the best romance novels, the ones that really stand the test of time, demonstrate a balance between the masculine and feminine view—because there’s nothing sexier than seeing through the eyes of the hero just how much he loves and wants the heroine. That’s part of the romance! I mean, we as women know how much we love our men, but we want to know how much the other side loves us. Would most romance novels be as powerful without that? I’m not sure. Katie MacAlister writes fantastic first person romances where you definitely feel the love of the hero—but that’s difficult to do well.
Finally, a delicious sounding salad recipe from Anne’s Food that I am going to try today, maybe with some salmon. I’m hungry. I have a nervous stomach when I’m out in public, so actually seeing me hog-out is a rare thing. But at home, I’m like a pit bull when it comes to food. I’ve practically got a chicken leg hanging out of my mouth 24/7. Which is…probably not the best imagery in the world.
Okay, back to the writing.