by Deirdre and Western Romance editor Megan Long
We all have an image of the classic Western romance hero. That law-abiding, straight-shooting, white-hat-wearing rancher or sheriff who sweeps the heroine off her feet, saves the family ranch and rides with her into the sunset. But what would happen if he weren’t quite so admirable? What if the hero were actually (gasp!) kind of a villain? What would happen if he were the one threatening the ranch or sabotaging the rodeo?
So here’s your writing challenge for the week. Create the character sketch of a Western anti-hero! In a few sentences (no more than one short paragraph) tell us who he is and what motivates this nefarious scheme – and how he’ll be redeemed.
Tip: Think about your anti-hero’s motivations, and give him a code. As Harlequin Superromance author Vicki Essex explains, “Codes push characters into moral gray areas, giving them depth while also making them sympathetic.”
Post your Western anti-hero character description in the comments below any time between now and this Sunday night, January 29, 2017, and we’ll check back with you on Monday with some of the Harlequin Western Romance editors!