Bad Decision on a Bender
I have good, terrible ideas. Good in that they appeal to me, terrible in that part of the appeal is they scare the hell out of me.
Why can’t I just have good, nice to meet you ideas, or good, that’s so stunningly simple ideas? I’m pretty sure my life would be easier if I had good, comforting pat on the shoulder ideas, or even cheeky peer though the fence palings ideas.
But that’s generally not how I roll.
I generally flop about instead.
I want to write a rockstar book and I make the heroine the rockstar when, pretty much the whole best selling part of the genre is about male rockstars. (Getting Real)
I write a billionaire book, but don’t clue in to the fact that most billionaire heroes don’t actually do any work. I make my guy sweat for his money and set the book in Shanghai which necessitates using Chinese language. (Detained)
I write a depressed hero. Because that’s an easy topic to handle. (White Balance)
I write a homeless hero. (Inconsolable – coming later this year)
I write a drug lord. (The Bliss King)
I write a hero who’s been undercover so long he can hardly remember who he was in the real world. He talks a lot. (Floored)
After that hero, I decide to write a hero who hardly talks at all.
Okay, rock chick, rich guy, down, homeless, criminal and confused were easy compared to taciturn.
In what universe is it a good idea to write a character who doesn’t want to talk?
Do you know how much you need talk to move a story forward, dialogue to create the mood, describe the action, ease the hero and the heroine towards their fatal fall in love? Like a lot. Dialogue is flippin’ critical.
And it’s my favourite thing to write. (Because I’m kind of trash at description. Needs to try harder).
So I decide to write a character who barely opens his mouth.
And when he does pry his stiff, cold, intractable lips open, he invariably says the wrong thing, or the right thing in the wrong manner, either way, he pisses people off.
I do this because I was raised by aliens who believe that only doing things the hard way validates your existence. Or something like that. Nanoo, nanoo. Cats are our gods. You’ve heard me talk about my mother.
I have no other explanation for my behaviour or the flopping about that was required to make my taciturn hero happen.
Oh and in case you think that’s not so bad, I had other rules. He wasn’t allowed to stare off into the distance, or walk away, or grunt. He had to struggle with expressing himself. He had to come off as brusque, and awkward and stumbling and know he was hashing it up.
He had to stress for each word and suffer for each conversation, and at the end of the story he had to understand what the heavy cost of not speaking up could be.
He could lose the woman he loves.
He had to learn to say what he was thinking.
But it’s not all long, boring silences and incomplete sentences. I gave him a quirk.
When the clothes are off, when the heat is on, when it’s all skin to skin and mouth to mouth – he never shuts up.
Insecure, features my taciturn, geek hero, Mace, and his boss’s boss’s boss, Jacinata, the woman who gave her everything to be CEO.
Their one night stand was a bad decision on a bender, a sacking, a sexual harassment claim in the making, except it’s more than one night, and it’s more than either of them expect.
And then what?
Over to you.
Fresh from this challenge I’m off to flop about some more and write something equally daft like an astronaut scared of heights, or surgeon who freaks out at the sight of blood, or a voice actor who….
Insecure is on pre-order now and is released on March 22.