neyronrose (neyronrose) wrote,

found the entry and link

I'd replied to a post Josh did quite a while ago about what he wanted to see in m/m fiction (, then took it back here to muse on further (  I'm picking up the other thread that I didn't cover as much in my LJ entry.  I like to see characters who are used to violence as a solution be willing to use it.  (Added: Some of this was Nicole Kimberling's point in the first place, but I thought she made a great point, and I took it in some different directions.)  This is so often a major fail in m/m romance.  Characters are policemen, fighters, military of some sort, and they don't even think to use physical combat as a solution to a problem.    This is women writing the character having these professions because they're "kewl," and not doing the research and/or not considering that the character would actually ever use that skill set.

As much as good guys getting tortured and getting the point of view of serial killers disturbs me in Suzanne Brockmann's books, her SEALs know combat and use their skills.  Even Vic in the PsyCops books has a basic knowledge of how to use a gun, thinks of it as an option he has, and has taken that option.  The police in James' books act in ways I assume are quite realistic, but James is always good about doing the research and having characters use their skill sets.  That's something that is perhaps generally underrated and should get more recognition.

This is going back to my joy over Christian being ready to fight, and even the usually sweet-natured Olli punching the bad guy.  I don't think the heroes of a story should act thuggish just for the sake of committing random violence, but being willing and able to defend themselves and their loved ones is a big plus for the characters for me.  If they're military, using their training as directed should be the expected response for them.  I'd allow for questions if they seem to be bad orders, but generally they should be ready for battle.

In real life, some of the guys I know show a sad lack in even contemplating violence.  My college roommate T. never considered violence as a solution to anything, which was perhaps just as well considering my mood swings, temper, and immaturity at the time.  S. said he'd never even thought of hitting anybody.  Then again, I've been acquainted with some drag queens who were pretty tough and vicious.  Maybe the college kids don't really roughhouse that much around me, but they mostly seem the ones who make bitchy remarks instead.  The women allies in the group are pretty willing to start roughhousing with the men, who try their best never to hurt the women, while the women don't care if they hurt the men.  I guess it depends what kind of group you hang out with.  Then again, one of the kids wants to be a policeman, and seems to have a good mindset for the job.  He seems tough in a more "traditional" way.

In some places in the country, in some sub-cultures, you're not respected unless you can hold your own in a fight with someone in the group.  If you manage it right, then you become a great pal.  In some sub-cultures and sports, you're respected for being able to take pain and keep going.  The tattoo artist who did my rose said I was less of a wuss about getting a tattoo than my brother.  Not that I like pain, but I've learned to endure it to some extent.

How realistic it might be or not, I like it when a protagonist is able to fight, and will do so if necessary.  I don't ever want the protagonists of a romance to get into a physical fight with each other.  But against the antagonist or antagonists, if it's a question of the heroes defending themselves or loved ones, as I said above, I'm perfectly fine with that.  With some books, depending on the group culture in the book, I'm fine with the protagonists casually roughhousing with their friends.  If it's clear that it's just friendly sparring, that's okay.

So yeah, I'm okay with Deniz thinking of violence as a possible solution to problems, although the adults in his life have taught him that it's usually an unproductive solution.  I like that Christian is ready to get in a physical fight with an adversary when he recognizes one.  He's shown as a little too easy to provoke, but that's portrayed as a fault of his.  But they're both protective of their loved ones, Christian with perhaps somewhat more success.  Maybe.  I loved that Olli didn't hesitate to punch someone, though it was under rather extreme circumstances.

Perhaps I am rather bloody-minded, but I like those abilities in a romance hero.


Tags: rambling

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