The Hero's Grand Gesture
That point after the Black Moment, where the heroine has already ripped out his heart, thrown it on the floor, stomped on it, and left it there to rot as she walks out the door, gets in her car, and races away to her regular, sane, average, everyday normal life. Without. Him.
Then, and only then, the Hero realizes that the one thing he must do to salvage his heart, his love, his life with this woman ...
Is the one thing he vowed to NEVER DO at the beginning of their journey.
And that's where the Grand Gesture happens.
Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters Series stripped the Navy Seals -- literally and figuratively. Their women bring them to their knees, make them cry like babies and trash their hotel rooms, make them wear outlandishly horrible bermuda shorts and offer up their own lives to save the ones they love.
JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood vampires always are forced to confront their weaknesses and relive their most humiliating moments in order to purge themselves of the armor they hide behind. Their superior physical attributes melt like putty in the hands of the women they love.
Kristen Higgins turns her heroines inside out. In Too Good To Be True, Grace is finally comes to the realization that her 'harmless' little habit of lying and dodging the truth actually has ripple effects that affect the whole family... not just her own life. And in The Next Best Thing, Lucy faces up to the fact that her life is her own to live, not to be led by the nose to fulfill the family curse.
I'm always intrigued and -- okay, I melt like butter -- with the Grand Gesture. What makes people strip themselves bare, showing their vulnerability, in public no less? What drives them through that humiliation, of showing their weaknesses... facing down their demons... admitting their faults... owning up to their needs and their own humanity?
In all of the works I've mentioned above, from superheroes to paranormal to the girl next door... All of these characters had Desire for the guy/woman they loved, there was no going back. No halfway, no minor measures, no mumbling.
Out Loud, In Your Face, Stark Naked, No Holds Barred, Winner Take All and Loser Go Home, All Consuming, Public .... Desire.
Your hero's goal becomes laser focused, and somehow he/she becomes consumed with communicating that Desire to the one he loves.
And it's not just the burning, throbbing, physical burn and ache of lust; of 'slaking their need' - seems vampires do a lot of slaking-- guess that's what makes them so popular....
It's the Desire to make a choice, and then the guts to follow through.
That Desire propels guys to jump off the high dive, or to cut out giant cardboard letters to invite a girl to prom.
That Desire to make a movie trailer for a marriage proposal.
It's all about the Desire in romance.
Well... among other things, which we'll explore in upcoming blogs on Romance.