WordBound: Wed, Feb 1

If I’m embarrassed, why on earth would I say? Because prompt? Fine. FINE. Buckle up. This is going to be a wild ride.
*clears throat*
I was nine. Yes. I was young and innocent and I had no limits. My idea had no limits. I had a group of chosen ones in my story, as one would.
But they were birds.
And they had magic powers.
And they went on adventures together.

There. I’ve come out. Are you happy to know? Does this somehow make your life better? No, it doesn’t 😛

Was it inspired by pokemon? Maybe. Maybe not. You’ll never know. The world will never know, and my chosen ones will stay where they belong. In my childhood memories. (I was going to say trash-can, but I don’t want to be that cruel to them. They tried. Nine-year-old me tried too.)

11 Pet Peeves about Male Characters

In case you were wondering there for a second, that I only had to complain about the women, let me put your minds at ease.

No.

I have so many things I can complain about.

So here are:

“11 Pet Peeves about Male Characters”,

or “I’m here to complain about MORE things”.

1. The Sexy Asshole ~
Now, don’t get me wrong, everyone likes confidence. But, when that confidence turns to arrogance and general asshatery, nobody likes it. Especially when it comes from the protagonist/love interest. Most wouldn’t even date this guy, but here is his co-protagonist, falling madly in love with him. Now, I’m not against some sass in my protagonist. But it’s sass. Not ass.

2. The Love-at-First-Sight Guy ~
He doesn’t know her name, he doesn’t even know her astrological sign, and yet, he is in love. He has seen something​ in her eyes, in her aloof loneliness, that he has never seen anywhere else. This is the one for him. Why bother with pesky things like “personalities”, and “opinions”? Why get to know her? He has learned all he needs to know from her silence. From a distance.

3. The Tantrum guy ~
He is a man. Not only is he a man, but he’s a manly man. How do we know this? Because every room he is in is a western saloon. A fight is always about to happen, disaster is just around the corner, and for what? His drink had an ice cube too many. He can only show he’s manly by punching things and killing things. He has no other characteristics than a flaring temper and his manly manliness.

4. The Spoiled Brat ~
He has had a tough life, everything is just so difficult for him, so very tough. Nothing goes his way.
Or does it?
This guy has everything. Does he need to complain about the minor setbacks in his life? No. But he does anyway. He’s not an underdog. He’s just a bitch. He complains about the smallest of things that don’t even matter.
He’s being whiny. And annoying.

5. The Perfect Guy ~
He’s the most beautiful guy around, he’s the tallest man. You can hear angels sing whenever he walks in a room, and the clouds part to rain sunshine on him.
He’s the perfect guy. Charming, romantic, smart.
Maybe he’s a little too perfect. Unrealistically so. There is no other guy like him in the whole book and the reader is constantly reminded of his perfection.

6. The Womaniser ~
This guy has slept with everything that he can sleep with. Everyone is a potential lover. Until he meets the one. The one who will tie him down and show him a different life. She’s unlike any other girl he’s ever met, and he wants to settle down with and forget his promiscuous ways. Because that’s how people work, that’s how people change. Overnight. Just cause.

7. The Statue ~
This is another example of the manly man, but instead of being angry and punching things, the statue feels nothing. He’s just there to be stoic, understanding, and a pillar of support. Men don’t feel anyway, that is known. Real men don’t bother themselves with feelings, or tears.
Without feelings though, there is no character growth, no conflict, no fun. If he’s not gonna feel anything, what’s the point of hurting him? I mean writing him.
Damn autocorrect.

8. The Walking Hard-on ~
Unlike the womaniser, this character has no luck with the other sex (or the same sex), and yet, sex is the only thing he can think about, the only topic he’s willing to talk about. We all know men only think of sex as it is, right? It’s not like they have other worries and problems. Just sex. 24/7. Nothing else.

9. The Comic Relief Bestie ~
He’s there to throw jokes at the reader, to ease the tension, but that’s the only thing he’s there for. To crack jokes. He has no life outside being funny, no other purpose in the story, unless he dies half way through. But he can’t even do that, because then all the humour would be gone from the story. Because all of it rests on his shoulders.

10. The Gay Bestie~
Girls can only hang out with guys if they are gay, or else the writer is obligated to make them a love interest. They just gotta. But if the bestie plays for a different team, the female protagonist is safe to swoon over her counterpart.
And usually, these characters aren’t even fleshed out properly. Their single characteristic is that they are gay, and they follow a whole list of stereotypes. Why break the mould? Why make him an actual character?

11. The Friendzoned guy~
This guy somehow fell through the cracks and didn’t become the gay bestie. So now he is a love interest. But not THE love interest. He’s a bitter shell of a man, that’s going to make some questionable decisions and cause problems, just because he’s in love with the female protagonist. He can’t really help it. She’s there, he’s there. He needs a role in the story.
Why not just throw years of friendship out of the window, just because now he’s realised she’s a girl? The story needs conflict, damnit, and a love triangle is the only way to get it!

Fantasy has truth in it.

Fantasy is not easy to write. There are so many things that can go wrong, so few things that can go right.

Fantasy isn’t just epic quests, an adventure to save the world, or kingdoms at war. Fantasy comes alive in the little details that the writer weaves into the story, the fine threads that make up the world and the people.

It’s that kid who goes on a quest because he wants to make something of himself, because he wants to grow and explore the world around him. It’s that mother who lost her children in the war, it’s the burden that weighs down on the hero’s shoulders every time they have to make an important decision.

Because they can save the world, or they can be the reason why it crumbles and burns.

Things are not black and white in fantasy. At least they are not for me. Magic isn’t bad, the same way a gun doesn’t kill people. But the abuse of power, the misuse of a tool, that’s what’s bad. It’s a king that can be good and benevolent to his people, or turn into a tyrant after the loss of someone he loved. It’s the grief, the pain, but also the joy and happiness that people experience.

Does it matter that they experience those things in a land with dragons and sword-fights? Does it make any real difference if the protagonist is not human, but an elf?

For me, fantasy gets to explore every day things like friendships, discrimination, racism, but in a bigger, larger, and more magical environment. It gets to present things that people don’t usually want to talk about, things they want to hide away, because people expect things in a fantasy story to go crazy.

But it’s not going crazy.

It’s being honest.

You’ll find a way.

If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way; If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse. – Jim Rohn

It is easy to be scared, to make up excuses, and hide from something you want. If you don’t try, then when you fail to achieve your goals, it’s because you didn’t try. It’s a scary thought, to know you’ve given it your all, and you still didn’t make it.

But it’s worth it.

If you want something with all your heart, then you have to find a way to do it, you have to find a way to get up again, no matter how many times you fall down. Dust the dirt off your clothes and get back on your feet because that is the only thing you can do again and again without fail. You can keep trying, you can keep giving it your all.

What other choice do you have anyway?

It’s easy to be scared, to make excuses, and hide from something you want. It’s far more rewarding to try, and even if you fail, you’ll know you gave it your best. It’s far more rewarding to know you’ve given it your all, whether you made it or not.

~ Harris