Thursday, May 31, 2012

Good Morning, Todd

Todd opened his eyes and squinted in the dim light. He groaned as his head pounded a bass beat.

"Shit," he muttered, turning his head gingerly to the side. A blond tangle of hair separated itself from his arm. Todd winced in pain as the hair fell from a face too young to be sleeping next him. Red lipstick stained the corners of her mouth while sky blue eyes peered from rings of black.

"Sorry," she whispered, holding the sheet tight as she eased away.

Todd leaned over the side of the bed and snagged a bottle of Gatorade under his bed. He sat up, drinking it in gulps while eying the girl dispassionately. "Where are you going?" he said, lowering the bottle at the sight of her wiggling into her jeans.

"I have a class," she said, not meeting his eyes.

Liar. He wasn't surprised. If he knew one thing, he knew all women were liars. Even the one he'd married. She'd promised to love him in sickness and in health and everyone knew alcoholism was a sickness. They'd drilled it in his head at that AA meeting.

"Be late." He watched her snap on her bra. She was such a tease. What was her name again?

"I can't. I have a test today." She bent down and fished her shoes out from under the bench at the foot of the bed. Sitting, she put them on, looking at him over her shoulder. "You can call me later," she said coyly.

"Sounds good. Wear those jeans. I like the way they make your ass look."

She giggled. How old was she? Standing up, she leaned down to kiss him. He gripped her hair in one hand while sweeping the other over her breasts. Moaning, she put one knee on the bed. A surge of triumph battled with desire. One more time and he'd send her on her way.

He doubted he'd call.
This was a fictional post from Hidden Hollow based on the prompt from Write on Edge to write from the viewpoint of the sex you don't normally write. In my case, that would be the male viewpoint.

I tried to use Nancy's tips when she wrote about noticing what men noticed. Todd's a total jerk, but one thing he'd notice is a young girl in tight jeans. I'm not super comfortable writing men and I'm even more uncomfortable writing about jerks. Mostly because I'm always trying to show motivation. Which causes sympathy. How many of you hated Honey at first and then loved her?

If you want to read more Hidden Hollow, just click on Fictional Mandyland. I've got a pretty solid story going there. Might have to do something about that.


Shelton Keys Dunning said...

Fantastic job and extra brownie points for writing outside your comfort zone!

"I'm not super comfortable writing men and I'm even more
uncomfortable writing about jerks. Mostly because I'm always trying to
show motivation."
It's hard to write from the POV of a jerk, but it's harder reading the POV of a 100% jerk. Don't let fear of showing a human side to your villain stunt his character. Keep in mind that evil people are still people. When you write from a villain perspective, your reader still has to identify with him. Take Hannibal Lecter: a brilliant sinister and terrifying mastermind, but he's still got a soft spot. He's the man we love to hate.

That being said, I think you did a fantastic job with the nuances the protag notices. The tangle of blonde hair, the  "maybe she's too young but oh I don't care because of that ass", again great, great job!

Wisper said...

I think you did a great job writing from a male point of view.  For the character you created in Todd, the details you highlighted were perfect.  I agree with you, too, that writing the jerk/villian point of view is pretty difficult as well.

Barbara_at_de_rebus said...

AARG! I think that was, unfortunately, dead on and awesome. I want to slap Todd. 

The instant classification of her as "liar" - the focus on himself and how he had been wronged - his inability to remember her name - the use of casually dissmissive language throughout.... absolutely wonderful!

I still want to slap Todd, though. :)

-barbara at de rebus

Carrie said...

You definitely nailed "jerk". But then, since I have read previous bits about Todd I hated him right from the beginning so this just cemented it :)

That girl is such a fool. Poor thing...

KathleenBasi said...

Well, you got the jerk. No doubt about that.

Cameron (CDG) said...

So, this guy? Slimeball, but? He fancies himself a victim, and that adds dimension. He's self-pitying, and it's icky, but it helps him avoid being a cliché.

And oooh, I want to slap him.

Mandy Dawson said...

Thank you! You're right. Part of a good villain is making them someone who people can relate to in some small way and then be horrified by that fact.

Mandy Dawson said...

Thank you so much. My first draft sounded too...understanding. Thankfully word limits forced me to edit it down. :)

Mandy Dawson said...

Thanks! I wanted him to see himself as the victim, to excuse his behavior rather than just be a sociopath.

Mandy Dawson said...

Thankfully, it was a one night stand so she escapes with a lesson learned.

Mandy Dawson said...

Thanks. :)

Mandy Dawson said...

It IS icky. I really wanted him to be that guy who thinks he can do what he wants because HE'S the victim.