Friday, February 6, 2009

Don't Keep It Too Real

I think we all know what we qualities we like to see in our story hero, but do you ever think about what you don't like? I'll bet you do, but it's probably moral values or character traits, right?

Recently I was actually able to go on a date with my husband. Yay! Anyways, dear Hubby was so sweet and solicitous. I had a great time. I also had a lightbulb moment.

There are certain things, no matter how realistic, that I never want to read about a hero doing/feeling in a romance. Please, keep me cocooned in my unrealistic bubble.

Book Heroes shouldn't:

1. Fart
2. Burp
3. Scratch himself in public (y'all know what I mean)
4. Spit
5. Pick his nose

Alright ladies! No doubt you've encountered at least one of these things with your real life hero, but tell me, what do you never want to see a story hero doing? (no matter how "real" it may be)

29 comments:

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Yuck on slimy heroes! I agree with your list. I wouldn't want to have them described with long nose hair, picking lint out of their belly buttons, peeing in the street or any other public place and picking their ears and then looking at what they retrieved! Gag me! LOL!

Jessica said...

Hahaa! You're so funny. And yet our real life guys sometimes do that nasty stuff, right? No wonder we have to escape into romance.
LOL
btw, love the "gag me".

Kristen Painter said...

Just reading that list grosses me out! Can't think of anything to add.

Sarah said...

Absolutely no public unrination. Even if he has been lost in the forest for days. Leave that one to the imagination.

And no swearing. I know it's real and not necessarily gross, but it's also a HUGE turn-off.

Jessica said...

Kristen, it grosses me out too. In real life.
LOL

Jessica said...

LOL Sarah. No peeing in the woods? Hehee. You must've been raised in the city. :-)

Eileen Astels Watson said...

You crack me up, Jessica!! I totally agree. There's a reason why it's called fiction--to give us a break from the too-real reality factor.

Oh, I just sneezed and wiped my hand down my housecoat (guess it's due for a wash now) but till then I couldn't come up with anything to add to your list. Now I'll add: wiping sneeze material (can't bring myself to use the real word in print) down his shirt and especially not on the heroine's sleeve.

You do come up with the greatest topics for this blog!

Captain Hook said...

Unless you write MG. All of those things are perfectly appropriate for a 10 year old boy and the expected audience will get a laugh out of it.

anita said...

I agree with Eileen, Jessie. You do come up with the best posts! This one cracked me up AND grossed me out, simultaneously. Oh, and the title is so apropos. :-)


Although I do tolerate a few of the ones mentioned, depending on the situation: spitting--the hero in my vampire book spits out a drink when he first realizes there might be blood in it; long hair--I rather like long hair on some of my heroes (shoulder length), but it's because I write in the Victorian era when men often had longish hair and wore it pulled back; mild swearing--if it's part of the hero's personality, but I can see how in an Inspirational, that would be unacceptable for a hero.


One thing that I don't think was mentioned is personal hygiene. PLEASE heroes, when at all possible, wash under those arm pits, shampoo that greasy hair, chew some mint leaves, and USE SOAP. Heehee

Oh, and one weird thought did come to me, out of the pages of Dracula by Bram Stoker. He had a crazy character that had no qualms with eating live bugs (flies, spiders, etc...). And it made me realize how hard it would be to have a hero that had "weird" appetites. Imagine writing a kissing scene after he had a hearty helping of grubs. The heroine wouldn't be too impressed. Neither would I. Nuff said. Urp.

Angie Ledbetter said...

My ms is humor, so I can skip some of the romance rules. :)

Janna Qualman said...

Ugh. I just don't like the juvenile comments about, you know, stuff. Save it for the boys.

Jessica said...

LOL Eileen! I totally agree. If hubby did that to me I'd have to hit him. :-)

Jessica said...

Sarah/CH,
Huh? MG? I'm so trying to think of what genre that is. But yeah, I just mean in romances. Little boy books, maybe even harder fiction, this would all probably be okay in a protag.
If you stop by I'd love to find out what genre you meant. Or maybe I'll just track you down at your place. :-)

Jessica said...

Yuck Anita! Leave the grubs for the survival stories. LOL
You're totally right on the hygiene. I didn't think of that 'cause hubby is a great about staying clean. Most guys aren't though. ;-)
Your spitting scene was totally fine. I was thinking more of how some men (who shall remain nameless) spit into the garbage can for no reason. Ewww.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Laughing!! I'd say that's a pretty good list you got there...haw!

Jessica said...

Angie, totally true! :-) But listen, don't let the hot guy gross out the readers, okay? Heeheee. Just kidding. Your manuscript, your thing. LOL

Jessica said...

Janna, you crack me up. Save it for the boys? I love it!

Jessica said...

Thanks Kathryn. I feel strongly about those things.
*snicker*

anita said...

Hey Jessie. MG is middle grade. It's one step below YA.

Don't feel bad. I just learned that term about two weeks ago. Teehee

anita said...

Oh, and I should point out that my hubbie is great in the personal hygiene arena, too. It's just I've stood by enough stinkers in grocery lines to know that some men have issues there. Heh.

Jessica said...

You're too funny Anita! LOL
I just got the kiddos in bed and am fixing to read your chapter!
:-) *rubbing hands in delight*

Irritable Mother said...

Bad breath is my pet peeve. The hero should always be pleasant to talk to. *grin*

Jessica said...

True. Bad breath takes the greatness right out of a kiss! :-)

Rita Gerlach said...

It's funny. Our husbands probably do all these things.

Jessica said...

LOL
That's why I read romance. Hehee.

quixotic said...

I'm not much of a romance reader but I could do without a few personal hygiene issues. Excessive bodily functions might get annoying to read. =p

Jessica said...

Haha. True enough.

Jessica Thomas said...

My heroine has a case of the runs. Is that too real? lol. I didn't describe it in detail, but she definitely sits down on the pot. I'm a fan of grimy details.

Jessica said...

LOL Heroines can do gross stuff, right? That's too funny. Do you write chick-lit or comedy?