Process of Writing: Leading Men

Okay so last time I shared  a rather fragmented view of my thoughts on love stories. I thought about continuing but decided to focus on the subject of leading men instead. I mean, we’re pretty important to love stories, right?

So what makes a man? There are many answers out there; but for me my process has been asking questions ’cause I know I don’t have all the answers. I love action, but the way guys are portrayed in action is usually pretty animalistic with little care for what they destroy or who they damage in their quest for revenge or just being the all round toughest and best. I realize this isn’t always the case. But to make something different I have to be intentional. To give an example I planned in Agents to have Jason be a little more caring  with regards to incurred damage. Ah! Big words, a scene should be more simple.

This just after Jason and Serena have engaged a number of ninjas in a two story restaurant. They win, but basically destroy the decor.

(Both of them are breathing hard.)

JASON

Well fought!

SERENA

Thanks! You too!

JASON

(sighs) Let’s get out of here.

SERENA

Right.

(They clean and re-sheathe their swords. Serena picks up her shades and puts them on. Jason puts on his jacket and they make their way down stairs while he puts on his shades. They arrive and find the room empty with no one at the main counter of the restaurant.)

JASON

Hey! Is anybody here?

SERENA

Whoa, looks like war aftermath!

JASAON

Sure does. Anybody?

(Serena looks around and suddenly sees a mirror in the ceiling, and in it people hiding behind the counter. They look up and see her too. She turns to Jason who is at the last of the standing tables writing out a check.)

SERENA

Jason over here, behind the counter!

OWNER (from behind the counter)

No! No, please don’t hurt us!

(Jason steps over the rubble of broken chairs and glass.)

JASON

We’re not here to hurt you—we’re here to pay for damages. (He places the check on the table) Here this should be adequate.

OWNER

I don’t believe you!

JASON

(Chuckles) Well, check’s on the table man! It’s up to you—take it or leave it. Come, Serena, let’s go.

(Serena takes Jason’s arm and they walk out through the front door. The frightened owner and employes come out slowly from the behind the counter and watch them leave for a moment before grabbing up the check and staring at it in wide-eyed amazement; then at each other.)

Okay so this can’t be done every time, but since the Bell’s are relatively wealthy I thought it was perfect to throw in some consideration for someone else’s property. Respect. Something I think is important in male leads. It comes in handy for the love story part of things, imo. A man who respects other people’s things might find it easier to respect his woman. Do I mean groveling?  “Yes Ma’am.” And letting himself get walking over? No I mean cherishing her. Like how well would you treat a Ferrari? Not suggesting he should imaging she’s a car (that could get sticky) but at the same time she has equal or greater value in his mind. What does that mean practically? Still learning. I’ll let you know when I have it figured out–which will be like never–but I will have a few ideas.

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