Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Body counts


My body count (i.e. number of dead people contributing to my story conflicts) is really stacking up in 'Reluctant Heir, Passionate Affair'. A sign of laziness perhaps? 
I'm currently struggling with Bryony Green's comments on ihearts about the Modern Heat hero not necessarily being as tortured as other series' heroes. Yet how to balance this with making sure the conflicts run really deep? Should he be just mildly tortured?A little bit upset? I think maybe it's to do with a lighter touch. If anyone's got any ideas I'd be interested to hear them.

Anyway, so far this is the body count tally for my WIPs:

Maverick Millionaire - 1

Secret Billionaire - 1

Reluctant Heir, Passionate Affair - a whopping 3!

I do have several (now put aside) stories containing no dead people so I'm not sure why I've suddenly gone so morbid.

Have any of you reached a higher body count than me? Do tell :-)

11 comments:

Rachael Johns said...

This poses a good question Lorraine! I'm wondering if someone will ask it tonight on the editor chat at eHarl! Are you going?!

I agree it's tricky to keep the tone for MH yet make the conflict run deep enough! Grrr....

Joanne Cleary said...

Oh dear. I am seeing a pattern here in my work too. I had a dead aunt in my vineyard story and a dead sister in my current story. I'm only planning the one death, but you never know ... :-)

Lorraine said...

Hi Rach, yes I'm going, if I can work out where it is okay! Might try to ask if I can get it in, I should have asked the question in advance.
See you there :-)

Hi Jo, odd isn't it? I'm not sure what made me do the tally. To be fair the deaths in MM and SB aren't really crucial to the conflicts.
Note to self - keep the body count down in future and be more imaginative...

Sri Pammi said...

Hey Lorraine,

After reading your post, I quickly went through my current MS in mind and yep, the body count is 1. Although you'd probably the best with 3.
;-)

Sri.

Sally Clements said...

Hi Lorraine. In my mystery I had 2 dbs at the start (in parts, mummified) and 3 later. Not romance though!

I think the mh hero has wit. He may be tormented and conflicted, but rather than be all tall dark and brooding, he should have some humour. Mine do anyway, but they take their heroines very seriously!
x

Jackie Ashenden said...

I think dead relatives are par for the course when you can't have too many sub-characters. That's why so many heroes and heroines have a high rate of dead/divorced/estranged parents/siblings! Not to mention they provide an excellent source of conflict.

Tortured heroes are lovely but as Kate Walker says, it's all in the execution. I reckon as long as you keep his torture towards the second half of the book, where things naturally become a bit more intense, then it can work. And as long as he doesn't stand around brooding darkly on his pain endlessly, then you're fine. :-)

Lorraine said...

I think wit has a lot to do with it actually. I went online and asked the question (thanks to Rach who steered me in the right direction) and got the confirmation I was looking for - it's all to do with tone...

Lorraine said...

I should clarify - I meant I went online to the editor chat about the competition!

Lacey Devlin said...

Fab post Lorraine. I have no idea what my count is like and I'm tempted to go and check. I expect it to be high unless I've become one of those disgustingly happy people... ;)

Suzanne Jones said...

Yikes, hadn't given this any thought until I read the post - but mine stands at 4 (both sets of parents - a bit too convenient, I think).

XX

Lorraine said...

Lacey - I used to be able to keep dead relatives out of it but I'm definitely noticing a recent trend!

Suzanne - well dead relatives are very useful - cuts down on secondary character action as Jackie said.

Have just realised my count is actually 4 for the prince story but the one I forgot was a grandmother and she died from natural causes so I'm not sure that counts!