Thursday, April 7, 2016

Two steps forward, one step back
Writing has some similarities to a soft shoe shuffle. There I was, bombing along with the WIP, when the pace fell off, I went on my trip to the outback, and I came home and re-read what I'd written. Now, the basic drive of the story is fine. Olivia's parents are missing somewhere Out There. She wants to find them and eventually discovers they've chased after something they found in an old book. But it got a bit messy. Why would they have done this? Wouldn't they have done that? Is this plausible? And um no, it's not.

So now I have to flesh out the back story from the missing parent's point of view. What happened? Where did they go? What did they see? What were they afraid of? Who knew? Who wanted to know?

When I've worked all that out, the story will flow again. And I'll have to do extensive revisions of the chapters I've already written. Oh well.

I did a little bit of looking around on the stock sites and bought the picture on the post. He looks a little bit young, but in the future we'll all be like that, able to retain our youthful good looks well into advanced age. Pity I'll miss out. Most of my leading men aren't model handsome. But this one is. And he's rich, and an admiral. And a womaniser.

Which brings me to another issue. Just today I saw a link to an article which explained that bad boys are just assholes. It's well worth a read, talking about the romance tropes where love changes the bad boy. This led into discussions about Donald Trump (doesn't everything) and alphaholes. Please remember the article on alphaholes is not meant to be taken too seriously, and I certainly recognised at least one of my admirals in the description. I want to make the point that in my opinion alphaholes are not bad boys - or at least not necessarily. The people described in the article about bad boys are just that - nasty men who brutalize women, and probably everyone else, to get their way. And I'm not just talking about physical violence. That's not at all the same as a strong person (male or female) who is a leader. Leaders by definition are not always nice. They can't afford to be. Sometimes they have to sack people, or if they're military officers, give orders that get others killed. That's how it goes.

Admiral Jackson Prentiss is an alphahole - a leader who is very good at his job, who has found through experience that ladies flock to him, and fleet personnel want to work on his ships. He's not perfect and he will find that the lovely Professor Olivia Jhutta is more than his match in some matters. I was chatting with him a little while ago, about mistakes.

"Everybody makes mistakes," he said. (He's in hospital with a broken rib, the result of an accident caused by someone else) "I'll recover fully from this. Olivia will suffer for a short time from a bruised ego. The difference is if I, as Admiral Prentiss, make a mistake, it could lead to the loss of a ship and all its complement, or bombardment of a city, or some sort of accident costing thousands, if not millions, of lives. The trouble is that very often doing nothing is the same as making a mistake." And that fact is what I find so fascinating about high ranking military officers, and why I like to write about them.

Admiral Prentiss will make his debut some time this year. Life, as always, gets in the way. I see more hospitals  and more travel in my crystal ball, but the book (still just entitled 'WIP') will get done. Then you'll be able to judge for yourselves.


  1. Was just discussing alpha-romance tropes with someone today. They really are just assholes. Interesting thoughts Greta.

    1. I don't prescribe to the 'bad boy' thing. At all. That's tantamount to women thinking he'll change when we get married. No. He won't.

    2. Alpha assholes in romance exist because the writers don't understand what drives an alpha in romance, particularly paranormal romance.

      A true alpha has to be someone you can trust with your life, without question or hesitation. When you encounter an alpha asshole, he's not really an alpha.

      I have zero patience with them too, and even less patience with the people who write them.

    3. I agree. Alphaholes are usually betas trying to be alphas. They see the perks of power but not the responsibilities and they usually don't have the leadership skills required (which is why they resort to unhealthy ways of maintaining power).

  2. Military leaders during combat do not have the luxury of taking time to wait for all information to form a 'perfect' decision. Waiting can cost lives. Sometimes, they just have to make a quick decision based on the situation; then later, make adjustments to handle the changing situation. Alpha leaders may seem to be assholes. However, I would want one watching my back in a tough situation.

  3. This has been an ongoing debate lately. lol

  4. I don't tend to write about alphaholes because I don't find the type at all attractive. My heroes tend to range from thoughtful beta to alphas with command presence, but whatever they're labeled, they respect their heroines and peers.


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