I like writing characters. That sounds weird, but I like watching characters grow and change. Mina in The Hunted is not Mina in Hunter’s Moon. Oh, she’s still got a temper, and she has a few odd quirks about Speakers, but she’s in a very different place mentally and emotionally.
So, I had a lot of fun making Rick. He looks like the typical ‘alpha male.’ Tall, super muscular, stupidly good-looking, but he’s six feet and four inches of pure mother hen. Rick is a nurturer by nature, and unashamed of it. You need some chocolate? He’ll bake brownies. You need a shoulder to cry on? His are pretty broad, and he probably has tissues in his back pocket.
So, when I put him in nightclub, and he hears a girl saying, ‘No, please, no,’ he goes to investigate.
And someone asked me ‘why’ the other day. Why would he go over? Why, when he saw some guy with his hands up the dress of women who had obviously been drugged, would Rick punch the guy in the face?
Even more surprising, the person who asked me this was a woman. At first I was shocked, but then I just shook my head. It’s hard to remember how conditioned women are to accept sexual predation.
That’s why I offended another writer when I pointed out that her character was just accepting the sexual assault.
“She’s not like your characters. She doesn’t know how to fight!”
“I didn’t say she had to win, but if some guy had you pinned against a building, in broad daylight, wouldn’t you scream for help or at least try to knee him in the balls?”
She also didn’t like it when I congratulated her on having not one bystander even glance over, you know, just like real life.
I remember these conversations when I create my female characters, but I also remember them when I make my men. That’s why Rick will always punch creepy guys in the face, and why Sonja never needed him to.