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View Full Version : Your main character is a hedonist and a preditor! o_O



sunandshadow
07-04-2005, 04:03 AM
Hey all! :) I'm not upset by this because I consider this critter's reaction more 'bizarre' than anything else, and I've already gotten several positive opinions on the main character, but I thought I'd share the story as an example of a particularly odd rationale for rejecting a story.

I'm writing a romance novel. The main character is actually a hedonist - he likes pleasure, both the sexual kind and more innocent kinds like playing games, gently teasing someone, getting dressed up, drawing, dancing, etc. He regards being happy as being way more important than being respectable. But he's not unethical - he's friendly, kind, protective, helpful, fair, etc. He wants everyone to be happy, not just himself.

As for the predator part, this approximately 25 year old man gets assigned to work with a 17-18 year old. They become best friends, then end up sleeping together. Is that alone enough to qualify the main character as a sexual predator? o_O Even though he loves the younger character as a best friend?

Apparently for this critter there was no doubt about it - my main character is evil, readers won't like him, and I have no business writing a story which promotes being happy while living a shocking lifestyle over being miserable while living a respectable lifestyle. *scratches head in puzzlement* Now, I have proof that this is wrong - the reactions I usually get from beta readers are more along the lines of, "More [of the main character], *drools* I just love his mentality..." and "I gotta love him, he is a very unusual persona and likeable." My only conclusion is that this particular critter must not normally read romances at all, because it's so common for the hero of a romance to be a hedonistic seductive playboy and for the conflict of the romance to be about defying parents or social barriers in the name of love.

katiemac
07-04-2005, 04:09 AM
I wouldn't really let this one get to you. Keep in mind, that of all sexual predators out there, Lolita got published. And it's one damn good book.

brinkett
07-04-2005, 04:18 AM
I don't find it bizarre or odd just because the critter disagrees with you and your beta readers. Not everyone will like your story or your characters. At least this critter explained why he rejected it. It's better than a form letter.

Cathy C
07-04-2005, 04:50 AM
A lot depends on your time period, sunandshadow. If it's historical, then it's TOTALLY in keeping with the mores of the time. If it's contemporary --- well, you might make her 19 instead of 17. I personally don't mind, but reality is what it is. PC is all around us and, Lolita notwithstanding, it's difficult to find a publisher willing to bear the slings and arrows if it gets someone's dander up (of course, there's always Ellora's Cave, which is happy to break pretty much any rule!)


However, predator is fine. Ours is a Mafia hitman/werewolf who never redeems (i.e., he's STILL a hitman at the end.) I believe that Linda Howard's latest is also a contract killer. So, dark and disturbing it's been done --- don't worry about that.

But for the hedonist side, is there a plausible reason IN THE BOOK why she couldn't be 19? Just something to consider.

sunandshadow
07-04-2005, 05:20 AM
Cathy C - Actually this is an alien race, so the ages are all just approximations anyway, both their biology and the length of the year of their planet are different from ours. The plot just calls for the younger character to be the equivalent of a college freshman, first time living away from home and learning a trade, that sort of thing.

Brinkett - I don't found it odd that he disagreed, I just don't understand exactly what seems evil or even unusual to him about about this type of character as a romantic hero.

Katiemac - Like I said, most critters like or even love this character, so I'm upset by it. I'm just glad he wasn't the first person who critted the story, now that would have been distressing.

maestrowork
07-04-2005, 05:29 AM
Don't let one critter put doubts in your head. However, if more than one person say the same thing, then you might consider if it's true. From your description alone (I never read the WIP), it doesn't sound like the person is evil. Is your critter a religious person? To some people, a hedonist is by nature evil.. ;) It depends on if the character seeks out pleasure at other people's cost. Is the relationship between him and his best friend consensual? If so, I don't see why the character is 'evil.'

Granted, you're writing a romance. There might be some guidelines in romance where the protagonist must uphold some standards of virtues: loyalty, bravery, etc. You might ask yourself whether you are straying too far from the Romance archetypes...

brinkett
07-04-2005, 05:38 AM
Brinkett - I don't found it odd that he disagreed, I just don't understand exactly what seems evil or even unusual to him about about this type of character as a romantic hero.

For whatever reason, he didn't like your main character as a romantic hero. Everyone's different. C'est la vie.

As maestro said, it's only one opinion. Just move on to the next place on your list.

aruna
07-10-2005, 10:09 AM
I'm writing a romance novel. The main character is actually a hedonist - he likes pleasure, both the sexual kind and more innocent kinds like playing games, gently teasing someone, getting dressed up, drawing, dancing, etc. He regards being happy as being way more important than being respectable. But he's not unethical - he's friendly, kind, protective, helpful, fair, etc. He wants everyone to be happy, not just himself.



Perhaps what the person is saying with "hedonist" is that the character is shallow, superficial, doesn't have enough depth to him? Someone who spends his time just living it up may appear so to whoever made the remark. But it sounds as if you are dealing with it OK so just move on.