Thank you for visiting The Riverbend Trilogy's Blog Tour! Here you will find an interesting article about Bookish Boyfriends and learn a bit about the author, Andrea Goodson! Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post and see where you can visit Andrea tomorrow!Bookish Boyfriends: From Edward & Jacob to Mr. Darcy to Gilbert Blythe, how soft is too soft
We’ve all been there, lost in reading our latest favorite novel while quickly and uncontrollably falling in love with a fictional character. If you’re an avid reader I assume you must have a top, all-time novel crush. Someone who exists in the world of literary imagination who has managed to win over your heart for good.
For me, this elusive character has always been Mr. Darcy. Despite the number of contemporary works of romance that I have read, I can never seem to find someone who quite compares to him. And it isn’t because he is so ooey gooey or soft-hearted either. There is something about the mysterious, confusing, and awkward nature of his emotions that had me swooning all over the place for the pretend perfect man.
Now, I’m truly not trying to leave out the marvelous heroines who capture our hearts as well, but today I want to focus on the male aspect of fiction. Especially male characters written from a woman’s perspective.Do women tend to write men as they wish them to be?
Do women writers and novelists envision this perfect, ideal man and then let his character bleed out onto the pages?I would think so, but I am not so sure.
Since I have entered the world of novel writing I have found, even in my own writing, that if this “perfect man” character was real, I might not actually like him very much.
Sure, in the story all’s well that ends well and this elusive Mr. Wonderful can be everything that we want him to be, but would that actually work in real life?
If we compare the way that most men are in real life as opposed to the way most women are (not nearly as whiney and indecisive as they tend to be in fiction) do we find that if we mismatched one real life person with one of our fictional characters that we would end up with the same happily ever after result?
Would most women really want a man who is constantly after them? Always trying to win them over? Compliantly dealing with ever-varying moods and change of mind without the slightest break in his stride?Or, might that become a bit boring after a while? A bit too monotonous and predictable?
This brings me back to why I love Mr. Darcy so much. Yes, he is lovable. Yes, he is appealing. But, plainly put, he is not a door mat.
How many male characters are out there who allow themselves to be trampled on by women in some fantasy game of “You chase me. But I keep running.”?
This happens a bit in my own books. I found myself having the lead man in my latest novels, The Riverbend Trilogy, bending over backwards for a girl who can’t make up her mind if her life depended on it!
A thought struck me as I diligently worked on the third and final installment, Waking Tide.Just how long is poor Will Sundback going to take this crap?
Sure, Lena has her reasons and they are legitimate. She has some deep-seated issues and is under a tremendous amount of stress, worry, and grief. But still, how long, in the real world, would a young, handsome, and confident man allow this to go on before just simply walking away?
So, I guess my question for all my readers is: How soft is too soft?
Does it majorly turn you off of a book (especially romance or romantic suspense) if the lead male is too forgiving, too easy, and doesn’t present much of a challenge?
Don’t get me wrong, a devilishly handsome man who is agreeable to strange mood swings and willing to ride out an emotional roller coaster is quite appealing.
And Will in The Riverbend Trilogy is definitely not a push over. He states his mind often enough and lets Lena know where she stands.
He never sugar coats the truth for her and is consistently dependable with both his opinion and his availability all the while remaining strong and attractive.
Still, I can’t help but wonder that in real life, a woman might get bored with all that love fairly quickly. Not that it would go unappreciated, but it might just be a little too dependable.
Then we have characters like Edward and Jacob from The Twilight Saga who, again, display these same traits.
Always chasing Bella while she remains indecisive and unsure of herself throughout most of the story.
Granted, they are both pretty smoking hot which serves as quite a redeeming quality for them both, but still, perhaps they are a little too understanding, too clingy, too dependable, and just too soft.
Yes, there is a such thing as too soft. However, this softness doesn’t change how much I still adore their characters!
I would have to say that aside from my all time favorite, Mr. Darcy, the closest male character I can imagine as a runner-up is good old Gilbert Blythe.
Gilbert is chummy, fun, dependable, and a bit of a pain. He makes us love him for the same reasons as the above examples.
But Gilbert has a quality that isn’t always found in novels. His arrogance when he is young and his bullying of Anne in the schoolhouse when they were children make him real. He has flaws, just as Mr. Darcy does. This makes him all the more appealing because it makes it more likely that he could exist in the real world. Anne of Green Gables has to be one of my all-time favorite books. It is a lovely story of a girl who could be real, who went through many emotions, fears, failures, and successes that we all do and managed to stay true to herself. When Anne and Gilbert finally end up together in Anne of Avonlea, well, I don’t think I’ve ever had a book give me greater joy than that!
So, ladies, is this what we all want, a man who would chase us to the ends of the earth and back no matter how many times we may have rejected him, pushed him away, or told him we were “just friends”?
As one of my favorite bands, Mumford & Sons put’s it, do we “desire [my] attention but deny [my] affections”?Or do we appreciate the above qualities in a character more if they can manage to maintain an element of realism? If they still possess basic human flaws?What’s your opinion on this?
Is there a such thing as too soft?I don’t feel there is any right or wrong answer to this, we are talking about fictional characters here. I do, however, think this is a noteworthy discussion. If we look at all of the most popular “Bookish Boyfriends”, we find these traits rampant, I’d like to know why.Just a thought.
By Author Andrea Goodson
Andrea Goodson was born in 1982 and had a love of and fascination with writing since she was very young. Always imagining ways in which the world could be different, she began to write short stories when she was very young. It wasn't until many years later that she put pen to paper and began to work on what has become her first novel, Riverbend, part one in a trilogy. Upon completion of that work she found that writing was something she felt meant to do and would never be able to give up. Using her own experiences with hardship and tragedy Andrea uses her writing to reach others in an effort to show the world that we need not be victims of circumstance. Her main characters endure many conflicts yet find the courage and strength to better themselves.
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Thank you for visiting! You can see Andrea again tomorrow on the blog of Sophie Davis - www.sophiedavisbooks.com
Andrea Goodson - www.andreagoodson.wordpress.com