Recently, I was chatting with my husband while I worked on a book. My male character was extremely forthright and had no problem speaking his mind quite frankly. Yes, including certain words that have come to be expected in erotic romance. Not every book I write has those words and not every character I write says them. I’ve always believed in time and place.
But this one character in particular used them quite frequently without any trouble at all. In fact, it wasn’t a conscious decision to use a particular word (let’s just say it rhymes with ‘punt) in this story the first time. I’d worked along, trying to block out noise around me at the time, which made me focus more. The next day, when I read over what I’d written, I actually stopped and asked myself “Where did that come from?” It worked for the character and the situation. In fact, it worked a lot more places as I discovered it fit the character to use the word. I’d told my husband that I had found I had a little trouble dealing with it and he said that made no sense. After I’d stared at him for a few minutes because I had no idea what he meant, I asked him why.
His response? “You are the character.”
Again, a few moments of silence for me while I processed what he said. I immediately protested and said I’m nothing like this character. He’s brash and rough around the edges. I’ll use foul language at times, but never to the extent of this character. I’m nothing like him. Which my husband pointed out wasn’t the truth.
“You created him. He’s a piece of you. Maybe not a piece that you realize, but he’s there.”
Huh. I never thought of it that way. What he says makes sense, if you think about it. As authors, we create something from nothing. We pull in slices of life all around us and create emotional characters and situations in order to tell a story. At times, doing so, we can let down our hair and let a side of us show that we’d normally keep locked away from the rest of the world.