Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Art of Hero Torture

Ok, so far the Ladies have covered some of the reasons for blogging and why we like to add a little—or a lot—of humor to our paranormals.

Since I agree with all that’s been said, and posting “Yeah, what they said.” might be considered bad form, I’ve decided to look at this topic from a different angle.

Where do I get my humorous ideas?

Imagine, if you will, a hero. He’s dark. Commanding. Every inch the quintessential bad boy, infused with smoldering sensuality. The Alpha. Used to getting his way. Always.

Nice, Huh? I think so. *fans self wildly*

This is the hero I like to torture. I find these guys, by their very nature, provide a veritable smorgasbord of humorous delight. Anyone else with me on this? I mean, come on! Who doesn’t like to watch the cool, confident alpha squirm in his boots? Especially if it’s the heroine making him squirm. Oh! The joy!

But, why do it?

When reading a paranormal, or any romance for that matter, that has humorous elements, I think I enjoy the ones that take real world situations and turn them against the characters the most. This technique can be used most effectively in that very dark paranormal where slapstick doesn’t really have a place.

For me, the humor found in this type of book allows me to connect better with the characters. Face it. In real life, there is humor to be found in most any situation. If you look for it. And, sometimes, you need to do just that in order to preserve your sanity. Humor can help us cope with some of life’s harsh realities. And by allowing your characters to do this, you give them an air of believability. Make them more…human. Even if they aren’t. Human that is.

Have you come across any authors who do this well? Infuse that subtle real-world humor into their books so their non-human characters become real?

~ Sandra Barkevich


  1. Really fun Sandra, I've always thought squirming men were among the most interesting.-debi

  2. Read Sandy Blair's "Thief in a Kilt" last month - it's a light paranormal romance with a bit of a humorous side - and she tortured her alpha - it was great!

  3. Debi ~ Thanks. I wasn't sure how coherent that post was gonna be. I've been a writing maniac for the past week and my brain was kinda fried. LOL.

    DD ~ Yay! Of course, now I have yet another title to add to my miles-long TBR list. I'm wondering if I should have avoided asking that question. LOL

    Sandra Barkevich - Romance Author
    *August 25, 2007 at Sandra's Goings On - Guest Blogger, Betty Hanawa ~ More Than She Wished For

  4. I love paranormals that make me laugh, even if it's mild witty humor that you sorta have to read between the lines to get.

    Two authors come to mind: Teresa Medeiros and Kathryn Smith. Both of these authors will have me laughing with one single line. But it's what I love about their books!

  5. Lynn Kurland. I love her time-travels and she infuses a bit of humor in them as well. There are others, I'm sure, but I can't seem to think of them right now.

  6. When I started reading romance back in the 80's I never liked the way the alpha hero was written. Not because he was an alpha hero, Heavens, no, I love them. But because he always acted like an a**, was always right and always got the last word. Rarely did he get his comeuppance.

    Nowadays the heroine doesn't hide meekly in the corner, she bites back, literally and figuratively :)

  7. I think that's an interesting point -- touches of humor do add reality to an otherwise supernatural situation. It humanizes them and creates a common demoninator for readers. I was just listening to an RWA Conference session last night that emphasized the need readers have to connect with the protagonists, and humor was one of the ways.

    Jody W.

  8. Actually, I love to watch the hero squirm when he falls in love. Great entertainment. Good post, Sandy!

  9. Gena Showalter. The interplay between her (very) alpha heroes and her (awesomely) sharp heroines is some of the best I've ever read. I love it when books really make me laugh, even when they're making my heart go pitty-pat:-) It doesn't happen that often. But Gena gets me every time.

  10. Great post! Sandra Hill's Vikings are always a blast. Also, I love the way Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunters always have that dry, sarcastic sense of humor. No matter how tortured they are, they can laugh at life and at themselves. I love that!