Monday, September 03, 2007

Can't Judge a Person by his Cover

This is going to be an interesting blog. I was raking yesterday,(no it has nothing to do with haying this time) and I was going over things that have happened in my writing life the past week and things that have just happened. And two thing struck a chord with me.

1) When I decided to put together a proposal for a workshop on characterization, I also received an awesome review exclaiming over my characterization in the recent book.

2) My SIL sent me an e-mail of a tattooed man.

My mind has been working overtime on why this man did what he did. Ah, I'm digging into his character!

So I'm going to share this man and his tattoo with you and I want you to tell me something about this man. I can't put the photos here because it would make this X-rated! But I'll explain:

This man- I'm judging by the tone of body and other *ahem* attributes that he is mid to late 20's. But I could be wrong he could be in his thirties and I'll explain my logic in my answers in the comments section.

Okay, his tattoo covers the area a pair of snug boxers would cover. It is a beautiful piece of art, which is what I thought it was at first. Yes, I know, I'm so naive! It is something you would see in a fantasy piece of art with clouds, rock formations, gargoyles, in pinks, purples, blues, greens, yellows. Here's the kicker, the head of his penis (tattooed) is the head of a dragon! His shaft the neck, his testicles the dragon's chest and the dragon's wings are spread across his groin in such detail, I thought all of this was (as I stated) a picture until I got to looking closer and then saw the side views and such. This entire(as mentioned before) area of his body is tattooed! He was either under the influence of drugs or he had a pretty big statement to make.

So my challenge to you ladies. What would motivate this man to do this to his body? What is in his character to have to make this kind of a statement? And what a great character he would be!!


Paty Jager said...

My character thoughts- If he is in his twenties, he is making a statement that his body is art and only the worthy will be able to "experience" the dragon.

If the man is in his Thirties- he believes himself to be a man who takes what he wants and despoils the innocent maidens.

The first man would be a hero, the second a villian.

Alice Sharpe said...

The only way I see this character is in a supporting role. I think a man like this must have a huge ego mostly centered right around his dragon. I think he would see himself as a gift to women everywhere and I can imagine the pre sex talk as he "awakens" the slumbering beast and expects a woman's eyes to light up.

Since I have recently spent quite a bit of time in elderly residences, I can't quite get away from wondering what he will be like when he's 90 and the dragon has ... er, withered. When he has prostrate problems. When some eighteen year old aide has to help him stand at a toilet. Will he be a dirty old man reduced to all talk? The man visiting relatives give a wide berth? Forgive me, it's been a rough couple of weeks.

Nope, our character wouldn't plan on seeing feeble old age (who of us really do?) He lives for now, he's a legend in his time, he lines the gullible wenches up and tackles them one or two at a time, the dragon is always ready for a new conquest!

I just can't see him as a hero unless the book was mainstream and he was in the process of self discovery or self destruct.

Interesting blog, Paty!

Danita Cahill said...

I've seen the dragon dude photos before. I especially like the gargole pointing to his hiney hole and chuckling. The guy definitely has a sense of humor...

As far as a character -- I could only see him as a bad guy. What worthy heroine would want to take a ride on his dragon, unless she was a tweaker trading her "maidenhood" for a fix? Ha.

Karen Duvall said...

Snort. Yep, seen this photo before, too, and it really is a gorgeous piece of art (pun intended... snicker-snicker).

LOL, Alice! I can just imagine the withering dragon. OMG, that's hysterical.

I thought villain, too, at first, then got to thinking: what if this poor guy was a victim of some kind of organization that required such disfigurement as initiation. The tattoo was a spell that triggered his mojo, making him a powerful sorcerer. But years later he's reformed with his past behind him, yet still carries the stigma of his old life and can't get rid of it, more due to the pain of lasers than anything else. Also, removing the tattoo would also remove his power, which he now uses for good.

Hey, I like this guy. He'd make an awesome hero.

Alice Sharpe said...

You go, Karen.

Barbara said...

This character, and especially Alice's description of him, reminds me of the movie "Casanova" where the villain becomes a HEA hero in the end. I'm guessing tattooing and piercing is too common these days to be left out of romances for long. Does anyone know of romance heroes with tattoos or piercings? By the way, congratulations on the great review of your modern cowboy, Paty!

Karen Duvall said...

Barbara, as a matter of fact my hero in Desert Guardian HAD a tattoo, but scrubbed it off with sandpaper when he was 16. Left a gnarly scar, too, after getting infected. But the scar is a necessary reminder of who he used to be.

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Call me crazy, but I thought hero, too. (And I haven't seen the picture LOL)

This was done to him without his consent. A marking of some kind? I'm thinking he's a warrior from another planet or race or something. Think paranormal. He hates it, is ashamed of it. Maybe it's a reason he dislikes intimacy???

Fun post, Paty. But now I'm intrigued to see the real picture.

Karen Duvall said...

Warning! Do not click this link if certain parts of the male anatomy make you, uh, squeamish. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Alice Sharpe said...

Okay, I am going to go out on a limb and say those of you in the comment page who have seen "hero" in this situation all have caveats. There's me: "unless the book was mainstream and he was in the process of self discovery or self-destruct," and Karen: "what if this poor guy was a victim of some kind of organization that required such disfigurement as initiation, " and Eli: "I thought hero, too. (And I haven't seen the picture LOL) This was done to him without his consent. A marking of some kind? I'm thinking he's a warrior from another planet or race or something. Think paranormal. He hates it, is ashamed of it. Maybe it's a reason he dislikes intimacy???"

If he is to be seen as a hero, I put him in mainstream where anything goes. Karen and Eli saw him as maimed. Hmmmm. NONE of us saw him as a sexy hero guy who loved his tattoo and was proud of it. Ahem...

Btw, Karen, your link didn't work!

Elisabeth Naughton said...


Highlight Karen's link, copy and paste it into your address bar. It should work that way.

And wow. I looked. I honestly can't believe anyone would voluntarily "do" that. Obviously the man was, er, erect. How the hell does a man stay erect when a needle is jabbing him there????

Paty Jager said...

Ahh, I like all the ideas! And it's interesting the different takes each one of us had on this fellow. I was thinking as I baled hay that he was violated as a child and in his teen years as he was battling the shame and hormones, a male tattoo artist he trusted did this and he uses it make him feel in power of an area he (since the violation) has not felt he could control. And I don't mean he goes around attacking every woman he sees, because it was a woman (family member) who violated him, so he is actually fearful of any kind of attachment to any woman. BUT he is attracted to them.

Thanks Barb! I like my review too! :)

I was going to send the pics to whoever wanted to see them, but I see Karen did me one better and anyone who wants can see.

Thanks for joining me on Labor Day. And it was truly that for me! Raked hay in the morning and baled for 6 hours this afternoon/evening. Fun! Fun!

Alice Sharpe said...

Eli-- I can't tell you, ask you dh

Anonymous said...


You guys are too funny! Love the different ways you've all pictured this guy.

I picture him as a wiry, bald headed guy with a sharp pointy nose and thick hoop earrings hanging from his thin, long ears. Black rotten teeth and a tiny goatee that hangs down about 3 inches from his chin. He also has dark, wrinkly skin all over his body.

Hmm... That screams bad guy to me.

I suppose he's tattooed other parts of his anatomy as well. The usual places. His body reeks of alcohol and he has cigarette breath. He's cruel to animals and children and has no respect for mankind.

Okay, that's my take. As far as why he'd put the tat there, cause he's addicted to pain and it makes him feel alive.

Now I'm completely grossed out. Thanks a lot Paty! LOL

It was really fun reading the post and comments!

Alice Sharpe said...

Okay, Paty, I give. I can't make the link work. However, you, too, saw him as a victim! See, none of us female types could see this guy as a fully functioning male animal with an attitude, proud of his tattoo, not a victim,standing proud. At least not in hero character mode!

However, I did try to find the tattoo on the internet and couldn't find it but I did read a comment by a woman tattooist who explained empowerment through tattoo for sexual attack victims of which she had been one. I think you are right on in your assessment.

So, baby send me the link all ready!

Alice Sharpe said...

Piper, I didn't see your response when I commented before. LOL I love your take!

Lisa Pulliam said...

You all crack me up! I love your characterizations lol.

Here's what I see:
Dexter Bennett. IRS repo man by day. Coworkers hate him because he's ready to file a complaint if someone takes 30 seconds too long on their coffee break - wasting the governments resources. He's a stickler for the rules and is the biggest hard-ass in the office. He has a pencil protector in his left shirt pocket. Wears short-sleeve button-up shirts. His slacks are a bit too high, revealing his white socks.

But by night, he's known as Dex. Heavy into the local BDSM scene. One of his favorite things is to be hung by the piercings in his upper body (ow! ow! ow!). That tattoo is the only thing that gets him through his awful day job. Only he knows its there, his own little secret.

As far as who I see him ass? The annoying sidekick who gets killed off midway through the book ;)

Lisa Pulliam said...

Yes, I just noticed I accidentally cussed at the end. I meant AS. That's an odd Fredian slip when I just got done seeing the opposite side of the body tattooed. hmmm...

Karen Duvall said...

My husband cracks me up. He was looking over my shoulder while I had this blog up last night, and he says, "Oh, no. Not the tattooed wiener again." Snort.

I told him we weren't perverts, but I don't think he's convinced. I said we were only talking about the type of "character" who would do this, and he said, "I know that character. He comes into my store all the time." My husband works in a health food store, but the characters who come in there are, well, questionable. I need to hang out there more often to check out the clientele. Grist for the story mill, yanno.

Genene said...

Geez, I'm still deep in my WIP, so haven't a thought of who this guy might be in a book. However, I had to read your comments because I KNEW you ladies would have great ideas. I wasn't disappointed! Love your creativity!