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"Chloe Harris" really is the pseudonym for two writers, Noelle and Barbra, who've joined forces to write intriguing and sexy stories. A quintessential eccentric southerner, Noelle seems to find a story in almost everything. Ever ambitious to change her stars, she has a degree in Communications. Barbra lives together with her cat ('Princess Mimi'), who isn't very happy that she is spending so much time on writing. But this folly of the living can opener with opposable thumbs is mostly tolerated.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Protagonists 101, Part Seven

by Barbra

In my blog series “Protagonists 101” I’d like to analyze the basic stereotypical patterns of our heroes and heroines. Part One dealt with The Boss and The General. In Part Two we had a closer look at The Bad Boy and The Trickster. In Part Three we discussed The Best Friend and The Gal With Courage. Part Four examined The Charmer and The Lost One. In Part Five we talked about The Prodigal Son and The Spitfire. In Part Six we looked at The Scholar and The Librarian.
In Part Seven we’ll go through The Adventurer and The Crusader, who both promise a very fast-paced action in my opinion. Needless to say, I love those char types!

The happy-go-lucky Adventurer loves - no, he craves action. He’s bold, audacious and intrepid. In a word, he’s a dare-devil who needs the battle to be genuinely happy. I guess in a way you could see him also as the Indiana Jones type.
The Adventurer in the cellar with a hot woman and a bomb? Marvelous! No matter how he manages to get free - it is bound to be most spectacular. Most likely he’ll let the bomb explode - what a lark! - and it will reveal a hidden passage where he’ll seduce the heroine as soon as he gets the chance, of course. *sniggers* He'll lunge into the tunnel so to speak.

The Crusader is the modern-type heroine. She may be a tad narrow-minded, but not necessarily so. She’s definitely no wallflower or damsel in distress. She’s on a mission: she fights for the good in this world and will run down anybody who dares to stand in her way. She’s tenacious and strong-willed. She doesn’t understand nor tolerate resistance (which is, as we all know, futile). What’s not important for the cause is equally unimportant for her.
When The Crusader finds herself in a bar with a brawl ensuing, she’ll beat all those good-for-nothing drunkards up. She doesn’t have time for their foolish behavior. If the hero offers to assist her - hot stud or not - she’ll tell him she can bloody well take care of herself and he’d better mind his own business.

That immediately calls Nikolai and Renata in Lara Adrian’s Veil of Midnight to mind, doesn’t it? What do you think? Any other examples you can think of and want to share?

3 comments:

Noelle said...

Two things come to mind here. The first would be Skye Masterson and Sister Sarah from Guys and Dolls.
(If I'd had a son Skye Masterson would have been his name.)

And Chistain and Leona from the Sins of Lord Easterbrook. Sorry to always give a MH title as an example but with so little time to read it's all I'm reading except this Brava Title that used the word Clitoris -as we say in the south - fifty eleven times! But that's another story

Chistian is a little exceptional in the fact that what drove him to seek adventure was rather dark. But to me that made the tale all the better.

Samantha Kane said...

I love the adventurer types. You're right, these characters lend themselves to fast-paced action, which can be good. But I have to say that it drives me crazy in some romance books when the author has the characters stop in the middle of all the action and have sex. It usually leaves me going, "WHAT?! They have bad guys chasing them, they're on a tight timeline, it's wet/muddy/dark/dank/dirty/cramped/nasty there, and they're going to stop for a quickie? And they're supposed to be saving the child/world/best friend/nun/high school football team? Hello?"

Sorry, it's one of my peeves.

I'll pick an oldy but goody here and say Ruark and Shanna from Kathleen E. Woodiwiss's Shanna. It's still one of my all time favs. I also think JD Robb's Roark and Eve fit the bill. Hmm, the name maybe? ;-)

Barbra said...

(I’m really sorry I don’t have nearly enough time for hanging out here or anywhere else. I just hope things will calm down soon or else I fear I might kick the bucket.)

Whatever the reason that drove these types to be that way, it has to be something strong and logical. Just to wake up one morning and thinking “Hey, being a reckless daredevil sounds like a lark!” isn’t good enough for me. Also I think that these types require a lot of detailed planning so that nothing they do is out of char or monotonous or stupid. Because herein lies the danger of screwing up big time in my not so humble opinion.

I also hate books where there just isn’t enough time to do it! Call me old-fashioned but I believe there’s a time and place for everything. If the H/H can’t find the time in between saving the world then why the hell do they even want to do it? Simple answer might be to blow off steam, sure, but that isn’t good enough for me either.
Just because the world might end tomorrow and only I can stop it from happening doesn’t mean I’ll stop saving the planet just to get lucky one last time - which isn’t even logical if you ask me. I mean, think about it. If I can stop the Borg from assimilating Earth why don’t I do that now and save celebrating the new dawn of mankind (and populating the earth with my spawn) later? Honestly, all I’d be able to think about while doing it is: “Oh-kay... so... Will I fail now that I’ve wasted three minutes with this guy?”

But what drives me crazy even more is the wounded-savior constellation. A few years ago I read this awful book. Plot: She’s wounded. Badly. She’s under a lot of pain. She can’t move because some predator almost bit her leg off. He saved her just before she took her last breath. All she can really do is lie there and moan in agony. But then there’s this supposedly mouthwatering hero she wants to - no, intends to - no, actually... you know... fraks?
What the... huh??? I’ve had my share of physical pain too and I’m not too embarrassed to say that the last thing I thought about was having sex. Strangely, however, this wounded-savior thing seems to appeal to a lot of writers. I wonder why.

For me such books are wall-throwing material. They’re something for the cold and gloomy winter nights - to make a cozy fire with. I guess I’m not really heroine-material and my thoughts, while perhaps laudable and gallant, are therefore not the least bit exemplary. I’ve come to understand that some heroes and heroines are made of something other (stronger?) than steel.