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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Perfect Guy = Pure Fiction

Alright look, there’s a time in a person’s life where they have to take a stand.

Contrary to what the latest’s bestseller says, No Man is that damn perfect. Why writers do this to themselves and to their readers is a mystery of the ages. The freakishly sexy guy with an ironic name who can do no wrong is getting old and old fast. Guys on average don’t walk around with Pantene Pro-V hair and money to burn. Boys are usually rugged, out of shape, lazy, goofy, broke as hell, or all the above.

Flawless guys don’t exist in the real world, and I’m sick of reading about shit no one else can have. The odds are so slim that it exceeds escapism and falls into cartoonish absurdity. Focusing on externalization to an excruciating degree is not only painful to read, it’s poor character development. Here are qualities I keep coming across out of the NINE YA books I read THIS YEAR alone!

He’s got super strength: he can bench press two school buses full of fat people.

He’s a rebel: he pimp slapped a nun and challenged Chuck Norris to a duel to the death.

He’s super smart/ so old, he knows stuff: He read every book in the Library of Alexandria, can finish the New York Times crossword puzzle in five minutes, and aced Friday’s pop quiz.

He’s got a hot bod: A living Adonis, a bona fide sex god with an eight pack and V-shape torso. Even his gums are ripped.

Smells ridiculously good without external aid: His breath is more refreshing than biting into a York Peppermint Pattie, crisp and sweet like the breeze of the Swiss Alps. (Ricola!)

There’s nothing he can’t do: He plays every sport like a pro, can render masterpieces perfectly, can sing like and angel, can build a car from scratch, knows quantum physics, can pat his head and rub his belly at the same time, does his own taxes, and he can do hair.

It’s cool to have maybe two of these, but to have the full ensemble is wish fulfillment at its worst. If the dude is rich, give a sound reason, namely EXPLAINING what his parents do for a living to warrant that lifestyle. If he smells/looks good, provide a legitimate cause and effect as to why he’s that way, (aka personal grooming). If he’s super smart, let the reader see him do smart stuff, like, I don’t know, STUDY! Knowledge has to get in the brain somehow, let the boy geek-out.

Be careful raising the bar too high. It gives young girls false hope, high expectations, and another reason to be more shallow than they already are. Furthermore, you’ll succeed in pissing off the normal guys who live in the REAL world. Honestly, how can an average, nice guy with a fixed income compete with the godlike entity you’ve created. Flaws are what makes us human and how we relate and rely on each other. If perfection is what you want in your characters then switch genres and call it what it is: Children’s fables.

11 comments:

  1. I just snorted my coffee. My sinuses hurt now.

    But amen! Personally, I like my YA boys to be kind of dorky, sort of awkward (I find awkwardness endearing), and goofy. You know, how they usually are in real life.

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  2. I'm so sorry sweetie. never never never, read anything of mine while drinking or eating. Glad to make u smile. :D

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  3. I think you should put a warning on your post saying not to operate a coffee mug while reading it cause you will snort hot coffee out your nose or something. LMAO! Great post. Except, now I'm really disappointed there isn't a dude out there that resembles my fantasy. :D

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  4. This makes me laugh! And it's SO true. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Were any of the examples human?

    As for snorting coffee, I control the reaction by recycling to-go coffee cups. No coffee near the nose. They've saved my computer from coffee spills a couple times too.

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  6. LOL. This is classic. All aspiring YA writers need to read this. :)

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  7. Hahahaha....Oh Edward.

    This post gave me the lulz.

    Kind of reminds me of Flogging Molly's Kiss Me I'm Shit Faced.

    "I can bench-press a car, I'm an ex-football star
    With degrees from both Harvard and Yale
    Girls just can't keep up, I'm a real love machine
    I've had far better sex while in jail!
    I've designed the Sears Tower, I make two grand an hour
    I cook the world's best Duck Flambe
    I'll take the pick of the litter, girls jockey for me
    I don't need these lines to get laid"

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  8. Yes, exactly. I posted on the Prince Charming mentality a while back. Whatever else people may say about He's Just Not That Into You, I love that they devour the fairy tale in the first few seconds!

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  9. This is great. I love it. That is one of my biggest pet peeves about YA novels.

    ReplyDelete

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