Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Enter The Boy

Currently, right this very moment, I am at the ever-so important part of my book where I have to introduce the boy. You know, the boy the girls will all swoon over and fall head-over-heels in love with. Because you want the reader to like the love interest. Actually, when it comes to Young Adult novels, you want the reader to love the love interest. To pine over him. To toil over him. To dream about him. To scrawl his name on their books and fantasize about him. Okay, maybe that's a bit on the creepy side.

Still, you want the love interest, the boy, the dude, guy, hero to be likeable and cute. And different. He has to be different. What sets him apart from all the other love interests in every other Young Adult book? 

Don't get me wrong. Not all YA novels HAVE to have a love interest. 

Well, except, I wrote one that doesn't and no one seems interested in a girl power novel without a romantic subplot. Most frustrating. 

But I am not ranting about the books agents don't want of mine. No, I am talking about introducing the boy. 

How many of you have fallen head over silly heels for a fictional guy? A lot, I bet. Whether it is Mr. Darcy, the beast from Beauty and the Beast, Edward Cullen (not my type at all), Peta, Patch or Wolverine (just me?) there's been some made up dude who has piqued your interest. I know. Because I know. Sometimes you just can't help it because they are so well written and they have all those qualities you want to write home about when you're away at summer camp. 

And we all know the great traits for your male lead to have to endear girls to them. Smouldering eyes. Dimples. Tattoos. Scars. Wicked smile. Low slung jeans. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

In the past, I like to think I've created some amazing guys. Probably because I like my characters how I like my coffee, strong and dark. No, not really. I don't even drink coffee. Though, I do tend to fall in love with the dudes I make up.

The truth is, I try to make them real. Flawed. A bit dark (because no matter how kind and lovely a person is they always have a darker side to them.) Generous. And, most importantly, they don't staunch the female heroine. Ever. They don't try to limit them or take away from her strengths. This is important to me because I like, above everything else, strong female characters, of which I have created at least ten. 

Some are even ruthless. 

But, enough about my women, back to my men. 

More than anything, I like my guys to have a sense of humour. They have to be unique both in their behaviours and the way they appear. It's the first scene and set up that I find most important. It's how the characters meet and interact that will sell the reader on the bloke or turn them off. It's my job to make sure the guy is well-rounded, charismatic and endearing. 

A big job. 

Basically, I have to craft a dreamboat. 

Luckily for me, characterization and fleshing out my dudes is actually something I excel at. Not trying to toot my own horn here, but if you had the chance, you'd fall in love with my guys. All of them. They are all lovely in their own uniquely flawed and fantastic ways. 

Yes, I did stop writing to post this. And now, back to creating a boy girls will swoon over. No pressure. Ha. 


Jade Eby said...

Love this post. Your writing just in this post made me believe you'd create swoon-worthy male characters. I can't wait to read one of these books and fall in love with your hunky men.

Tyson said...

@Thanks Jade! Hopefully sooner rather than later.

RobRow said...

Dear Ms. Tyson:

When I first wrote my YA novel, "The Girl From Palo Duro," I had a boy love interest for the "girl." But then I decided that the love story detracted from the real story I wanted to tell. So I changed the male lead to a female--no love interest involved. Based, in part, on your post, I've begun to wonder if maybe I should change the female lead back into a male after all.

Rob (RobRow from Authonomy)