Sunday, February 2, 2014

My Last Heroic Hero

Good Morning. Yesterday afternoon I finished with the final dramatic scene of THE CAPTAIN'S COINCIDENCE. I can't tell you what it is, but it was a bear to write. I cried while writing it, so I'm hoping it will bring a tear to your eye as well. (That's how I judge a book -- if it makes me cry, it's a winner.)

Sorry I haven't blogged. I've been writing. As much as I'd like to think I'm awesome at multitasking, I'm not. But I was thinking recently, (amidst the belly aching of all the research I had to do for this book), Richard is truly my last heroic hero.

Within the story, Richard and Robert are sharing this adventure. I don't know why Robert decided to tag along, it actually was supposed to be William, but Robert kept nudging me. And let me tell you, Robert is NOT hero material.  I wrote him exactly as he is -- a rich, spoiled, aristocrat, who is afraid of just about everything. I'd like to think he's Richard's foil.

At one point in the story, Robert calls Richard a "swashbuckler". Great image, huh? Well, it certainly fits Richard's personna. He's not afraid of anything. Or is he? Remember his inner demons? Well, Richard's been fighting them throughout the story. He's had a hard time of it too.

The thing about Richard, he's actually the strong silent type. He doesn't go all Rambo on people, he just quietly takes in all the information and then takes action. The problem with his silence is that he doesn't share these feelings. So naturally, the people around him are quite surprised by his actions when he does take them. Quite honestly, they think he's mad. (Crazy mad, not angry mad.)

Heroes (in my opinion) are supposed to be swashbuckling types -- running into burning buildings to save kittens, flipping overturned cars right side up to save the kids inside, repelling down mountains to save stranded (foolish) hikers. You know, those guys. They drink hard, they play hard, they work hard.

But Richard is broken. He had his life all planned out for him and then Trafalgar happened, and that changed him. And because of that, I tried to fit the elements of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder into the plot. It's hard when you can't use modern language.

I think I've done an admirable job in his progression from the beginning to the end (and Robert too). He's not the same man he started out as -- afraid, miserable, wondering. Of course, he couldn't be.

This has truly been the hardest character I have written so far.

Tell me -- Do you like swashbuckling heroes? Or do you like the strong silent type?

Anne Gallagher (c) 2014

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