I have to admit, I take no offense to the classification “Gary Stu.”
Are you aghast? Are you mortified on my behalf? Have you started reconsidering my literary abilities and calling up websites so you can enlighten me on my misconceptions?
It’s okay, take a deep breath and relax.
I get the negative connotations with the terminology. I realise that people use the phrase to categorize a character with too much perfect and not enough bite.
I just choose not to find that association a bad thing.
I make no pretension about my work. I have no aspirations for writing the Next Great Canadian Novel. I’m all kinds of honest about the fact that my writing is simple, erotic and romantic. I want my fiction to inspire and keep alive those beliefs that we’ve carried with us since childhood – that good guys win and true love is absolute, that a new-found connection with another soul can rebuild a crippled heart and synchronicity within the universe is a worthwhile and achievable gain.
Here’s the thing. Reality is cold. Reality is full of flaws. Reality is arguing over the fact you’ve run out of butter or that he refuses to remember to fill up the windshield washer fluid. It’s unavoidable and complicated; it’s tears on pillows and unanswered questions. Life isn’t happy endings and mind-blowing sex ninety-eight percent of the time.
But fiction can be.
Fiction can serve to bridge the needs of the heart with the veracity of everyday; the sword, so to speak, in a war against monotony and failure.
I don’t believe I’m alone in that conviction either. For every reader/reviewer/cynic that’s bemoaned the ever-patient, soul-gazing, besotted character that actually works diligently to ensure the success of his/her love, there’s another person out there that’s pulled some much-needed revitalization and regeneration from it. In other words, for some folks it’s the burn of whiskey that helps through the rough spots – for others it’s cocoa.
So lift me up, Gary; blind me with the sparkle in your eyes. Remind me in your deep, soothing voice that it’s all right to want to dream about perfection in love. Personify my belief that most of us, deep down in there, have a soul that is pure and beautiful and kind.