Wednesday, January 11, 2012

No, My Hero Crush Wasn't Herve Villechaize

For ten minutes of my life I'll never get back, I watched Millionaire Matchmaker. I know nothing else about this show, thankfully, but in the segment I channel-surfed, the matchmaker asked the client who her celebrity crush was so she could get an idea in two words who the client might be physically attracted to. This had me thinking (and maybe my romance writer is hanging out a little) that this method is not that much different than what writers do to get inspiration.

In editing this previous manuscript, I'm trying to get back into a mindset and characters I knew intimately years ago. Like a love affair that went sour, it burned hot in my mind, but I can no longer remember the details, what my hero felt like on the inside, or would he even stop to feel the sun burn his eyelids while he is standing near the lake? The only way to reach the physical and emotional and spiritual person he was at the beginning of the story was to start back at square one. Let's call it a "hero crush" because every romance writer I know germinates a character from a famous seed. Little about the finished hero ever resembles that conceptual moment, but it is a useful tool nevertheless.

Did it work?

For me, not so much. My protagonist was too far past that famous seed to trigger anything, but I still see shades of his inspiration every so often. It was how I attempted to make him real. Now he is far more real than just about anyone I know. The magic of fiction.

Who is he?

If you're a long-time Vortexer, you might know. Guesses in the comments...let's play a game...

Hint: the Frenchman le Salle


Sherry Isaac said...

I suppose I could cheat and scroll through all previous posts, dating back to before I knew you, and at the same time, set myself up for some pretty awesome procrastination time, but my WIP awaits.

So, I won't guess your inspiration, but I will say, magazine models from ads make better inspiration for me, that look, their dress. There isn't a movie or lines, or even a voice or plot line to distract me. My hero is a blank slate, aside from his look, to do with as I please. And as my heroine pleases!

Charles Gramlich said...

I don't think I'm likely to be able to get this one. Most of my characters are such composites that it would be very hard to tell what seed came from where, or who.

the walking man said...


the walking man said...

Oh Yeah I forgot Johnny Depp lives in France.

L.A. Mitchell said...

@Sherry...I know many who subscribe to the magazine technique. Maybe I'm looking at the wrong mags, but they always look like emaciated wusses.

@Charles...Then you have a finer imagination than me ;)

@WM...Good guess, old boy. But alas, incorrect. As is Johnny Depp. Thanks for playing :)

Another hint: He dropped an F*bomb at a Bush-oriented event.