Thursday, June 12, 2014

Rhett Butler was the Start of it All

The bad boy in romance, the kiss that made us all sigh and the shocking language at the end. Rhett Butler started it all, or so it seems. I'm sure there were other heroes before him who were just as rapscallion or beguiling with a pair of lips or quick to toss out a cuss word. But none had the enduring style of handsome Rhett. 

He was just the bee's knees, wasn't he? He taught some writers there was appeal and value in the bad boy image, especially if he returned to town with a touch of gold in his heart and a chunk of it in his bank account.

Ole Brett got us away from the staid, proper heroes. Thank goodness. I love a devilish hero with a sexy-as-all-get-out smile. Makes my toes curl just thinking about it. My Calvin has a smile like that. He's no bad boy, by any means, but he's got that heart-melting smile that goes so well with his heart of gold.

Let's talk about the kiss, shall we? You know which one I mean. The one where Rhett puts his hand behind Scarlet's neck and leans her back and lays one powerful lip-lock on her. Sigh. As a writer of romance, every story has to have that first kiss...and it has to be fantastic, breath-taking and memorable. So, I ask you, how many ways are there to describe two pairs of lips connecting? I struggle with every one to make it different from the previous. I sure wish I had Rhett to whisper in my ear to give me a few tips--and a shiver or two.

Probably the most famous words of a movie are his. Sure there are others. "E.T., phone home." The orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally, where the older lady in the restaurant quips, "I'll have what she's having." But Rhett's, "Frankly, Scarlet, I don't give a damn," lives on. 

Yup, in many ways, he was the start of a lot of things. Long live Rhett Butler.

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Leah St. James said...

I like playing around with point of view--who's going to do the kissing and who's going to do the telling. I like getting inside a man's head, figuring out what he's thinking about the woman. (All fantasy, but what's wrong with that?!

I wonder what Rhett was thinking in that moment. I can pretty much imagine what Scarlett was thinking! (Salt 'N' Pepa's "Watta Man" comes to mind.)

Fun post, Vonnie!

Margo Hoornstra said...

You nailed it, Vonnie. (I do have to get this movie and watch it again!) The beginning of 'visual' romance and bad boys making good heroes. As far a describing a kiss. Nice to hear I have a colleague who also struggles with being creative in that. Thanks for sharing.

Jannine Gallant said...

But they misquoted the book! No "frankly" in the book. That always sort of bothered me. Yep, it's tough creatively describing kisses. Especially when you've written dozens and dozens of them. I guess there are worse challenges in life. LOL

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Thanks, Leah, I've just crawled out of the editing cave. I've been in there since 9 am, working on edits for 2 books. Love it when they arrive ar the same time. Thank goodness one needed only a little. Think of the edits to the script for GONE WITH THE WIND and all the hoopla that went into finding the right stars.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

First kisses...oh, Margo, I'd sooner just write he pressed his lips to hers...and keep on truckin' with the story line. LOL

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Jannine, we want magic in our kisses and there are times I'd like to pull a rabbit out of the guy's ball cap or his cowboy hat.

Donna Michaels said...

You are right, Vonnie, Rhett was definitely one of the first memorable 'bad guys', and that kiss and his parting words do live on! {Hugs} to you on edits coming in at the same time from two books! Go, Vonnie!

Alicia Dean said...

Ah, yes, Vonnie. You are so right. Rhett, the original bad boy that made women swoon. The kiss...such a long wait, but what a payoff! No one could have played that role the way Clark Gable did, nor could anyone have been more 'Scarlett' than Vivien Leigh. LOL, Jannine. It used to bother me about the change in dialogue, not sure why they did that, but I got over it. :)