The Cad, the Hero and the Ingenue. The veritable trifecta of Romance Novel success.
In other words, the Good, the Bad and the Beautiful of every winning love story.
Yep, fit these three stock characters into an interesting yarn full of flowery descriptions and lurid sex and you’ve got yourself a best seller, baby!
Or so 9 out of every 10 how-to-write-a-publishable-romance claims.
Well, I claim that’s terribly boring.
Archetypes are fine and dandy to use, but I prefer to employ them in supporting roles rather than as the headliners. Of course, this is the exact opposite of how most writers seem to do it.
The off-color sidekick, the quirky neighbor, the acerbic mother-in-law, the pain-in-the-ass coworker. They’ve become so ingrained in our entertainment culture that they are almost expected in some form or other in every good story.
I try to turn that on its head.
The off-color leading man.
The quirky leading lady.
The charming-to-a-fault antagonist.
The acerbic narrator.
Now, these are some characters into which I can sink my writing teeth.
So, don’t be afraid to look at the publishing world and all its norms a little sideways. There is wriggle room out there. Believe it, and embrace it, baby!