Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Character Discussion: Men!

Vincenzo Amori - Friend, Protector, Guide and the Dynamic Male Lead.

I wanted take this opportunity to talk about a different type of character. I had initially thought I would spend this particular entry to the character discussion, which I had intended to be about the men, talking about the love interests, or potential love interests. But I decided that talking about Vincenzo first would be the better idea.

Because I strongly believe that not every male character needs to be a love interest. I needed someone who could verbally spar with Grisela and who was interesting enough that not only do I want to learn more about him, but I hope that the readers do as well. There are so many things that go into making up a dynamic male lead, and I thought I would take this chance to talk about what I think those elements are.

First, he needs to have characteristics that would make him dynamic, and of course they would be in line with the story. For Vincenzo, he needed to be worldly and experienced, and have an err of sophistication about him that made him attractive, and would leave an imprint in your mind, as he does with Katrine on their first meeting. Who wouldn't be interested in tall, dark and well dressed with an accent?

Second, he doesn't necessarily need to be the most handsome man in the story. Handsome does not always relate to dynamic. His personality is part of what makes him alluring. He needs to have a background that is suggestive of something mysterious, which would make him more attractive.

Third, he needs to be intelligent and have something to offer the narrator and reader that no one else could. Vincenzo offers guidance to Katrine in a way that no one else can, and friendship in a situation where he could have easily taken advantage of her. He wants the best, but expects nothing in return. He needs to be interesting as a person, have things going on that make him fun to read about. This falls in line with interesting characteristics, which is the largest part of a dynamic male lead.

And last, but not least, he needs to be likable. I like him, I hope the reader does. His likeability would make you want him around, and you hope that he comes back when he's gone. He becomes Katrine's best friend and close companion, she relies on him as one would rely on a father. He balances the rest of the world out, especially Grisela. He's the level.

Vincenzo was a necessity for me in the story because of the sense of security he gave. I really feel that there needs to be someone there that Katrine can fall back on when things get nuts, and he's it. Katrine would not have gone with him if he didn't make her feel safe and secure. (you'll find out what I mean when you read Rebirth).

But dynamic male leads are a necessity beyond love interests. Because, in my opinion, sometimes the love interest isn't so interesting. And not only that, but sometimes they are horribly irritating! Vincenzo is great fun for me on a variety of levels, and in many ways I miss him when he's gone. 

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