Saturday, September 20, 2008

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match

Have you ever had an incredible hero, but you just don't have a clue who would suit him as a heroine? I have. I've been fighting with this very thing with two or three of my heroes recently. I love the guys. I have a handle on their issues, but do I have a clue who I should match 'em with? Nope.

I just had that problem happen with Godwin Kempe (of the Holding Out for a Hero post). I started a story and thought I knew who his lady would be. She was feisty and didn't suffer fools gladly. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that she wouldn't work for him. He needed a gentler heroine. So much so that the title of his book changed from Seeking Honor to Seeking Beauty. Godwin is illegitimate and I intended to make that the focus of the story - but I realized it wasn't gonna fly. Even though it's still an issue for Godwin, it isn't his main thing.

Godwin is...gorgeous. This is a problem? Yup. Godwin looks exactly like his late father, who was an abusive, ruthless scumbag (or whatever the medieval equivalent would be). Godwin avoids mirrors because when he sees his face, he sees his father. I kept wondering who would work for him when who should wander by but a heroine who was badly scarred in a stable fire. I was amazed when she showed up, but thrilled because she was exactly what I was looking for.

Since I write paranormals, she needed some special talents. It turns out she has the ability is to communicate with animals and when the barn caught fire, the animals were still inside. She freed them, but in the process was badly injured. My heroine, Isabeau, avoids mirrors because of her scarring. She covers her face with a veil and hides her injuries.

In fact, Isabeau has resigned herself to remaining forever unmarried. When gorgeous Godwin arrives, she is sure he won't look twice at her for two reasons. First, he's gorgeous. Second, she met his father who taunted and ridiculed her disfigurement. She thinks, like father - like son. Godwin is sure she stays away from him because he is a bastard son, when in fact it is his resemblance to his sire which is at issue.

Oh, how I love it when a plan comes together! So, have you had a hero, or a heroine, but had trouble figuring out who you'd pair them with? If so, how did you find their love interest? Did you brainstorm? Ask for help? Go to a matchmaker? Inquiring minds want to know. ;-)

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