One of my favorite stories I’ve written is about a heroine who is kind of unlikable in the beginning. It’s a favorite because the hero is an MLB baseball player and it allowed me to live a little vicariously through my characters. (When I was a kid, I wanted to be the first female MLB player, then when I got older I just wanted to have an MLB player, yum).
To kind of give an example of what I was talking about with unlikable heroines, I’m including an excerpt. I love Georgia, she’s one of my favorite heroines. When I had a group (over at writing.com) take a look, one of the responses that stayed with me was that there wasn’t anything to like about Georgia in the beginning. I’ve done some work on it since then, but she’s still not exactly your typical heroine.
Despite revisions, The Goal needs A LOT of work. (I wrote this back in 2005). I plan on someday going back and revising it, but for now it’s a 45,000 word mess.
Excerpt from The Goal
Georgia didn’t usually mind rain. Though most of her teammates grumbled and complained that the field was slick and they were cold and wet, most rainy days Georgia liked the messy slide of mud under her cleats as she dribbled the ball towards the goal.
Today, however, was not one of those days. Georgia tore off her practice gear the minute she entered the locker room. She ignored the muddy tracks her cleats made on the cement and made a beeline for her locker. Pushing her cleats off, ignoring the mess, Georgia swore under her breath as she pulled on her dry clothes.
“In a hurry, Kapshaw?” A towel was flung over her head and she only grunted in response. Georgia used the towel to wipe off her muddy hands, but had to ignore the unruly state of her dark blonde curls. The way the rain was coming down it would be no use to try and dry her hair.
“I’m outta here, guys,” Georgia called, jogging out of the locker room without so much as a look back at the puddles and mud she’d left in front of her locker.
“Later, G.” A couple of the girls rolled their eyes. If they’d learned anything about Georgia Kapshaw in the past three years of playing with her, it was that she was single-minded. And once she left the field today, her mind had gone elsewhere.
Georgia whizzed out of the building and back into the steady rain. Jogging to her car, she hopped in with a shiver. Without so much as a look behind her, she catapulted her Jeep into traffic.
She checked the time. One hour to get home and get ready. With her lips pressed firmly together, she threw traffic laws out the window and worked on getting home as quickly as possible.
Now that she was on the road, her mind could shift to what the hell she was going to wear. She’d meant to have Julie pick something out before practice, but she’d been too busy thinking about goals and endurance to worry about something like an outfit for a party that wasn’t happening for twelve hours.
Without a qualm, Georgia cut in front of an intimidating black SUV, her mind on nothing but the party. Though the going away get together had been Georgia’s idea, Julie had ended up doing most of the work for the party herself. Georgia just hadn’t had the time with soccer season winding down. She’d been swamped.
And now in two days, her best friend and roommate was moving to Europe for a year. It bothered her just a little that she’d missed spending that month soaking up Julie’s presence, but soccer was Georgia’s passion, her career, her life. She couldn’t regret all the time and energy she’d put into the season the past month.
Though a police officer might have pulled her over for running a red light, Georgia would have argued that the light was yellow when she entered the intersection. Georgia was just lucky there were no police officers around at the moment. Home in record time, she scooted the car into an empty parking space behind her apartment complex. Rushing through the heavy downpour, Georgia got in the building completely soaked and with only fifteen minutes before the party was scheduled to begin.
Georgia viewed the jog up five flights of stairs as her post-practice exercise for the day. Pushing her wet mass of hair off her face she took a breath and braced herself before she opened the door. Her only hope was Julie would be so caught up with last minute preparations that she could slip by and get ready without any scolding.
“Jesus, Georgie! You’re a mess.”
Georgia flinched, closing the door behind her. “Sorry, Jules. It’s pretty nasty out.”
Julie just clicked her tongue, rearranging some bowls on a card table she’d covered with a neon green tablecloth. As always, Julie looked perfect. Her mahogany hair was pulled back into some fancy twist Georgia would never have even begun to know how to execute. Julie Stevenson was slender and sophisticated looking, all fluid lines in an immaculately pressed black sheath dress. It was all a direct contrast to Georgia’s unruly curls, muscled and athletic body, and complete disregard for fashion and neatness.
“Well, you’ve got ten minutes. I suggest you hurry,” Julie ordered, giving her friend a disgusted once over.
“Will do, Captain.” Georgia tried to lighten the mood with a mock salute. It didn’t work.
“Ugh! Georgie, you’re tracking all over the place!”
“You’ll go shower and get dressed. I’ll mop this up. Jesus, why do I put up with you?”
Usually Georgia would have come back with some smart-ass remark, but today all she could think was pretty soon Julie wouldn’t have to put up with her any longer. She’d be in a whole other country.
Saddened, Georgia went back to her room, careful not to track any mud across the hallway carpet. She rifled through her closet, not sure what would be deemed acceptable party attire in Julie’s mind.
Though Julie was her best friend in the world, in most areas of personality they were as different as night and day. Julie the practical, anal (though Julie preferred organized) graphic designer and Georgia the disorganized, messy, single-minded soccer player. But, it was a mismatch that had seen them through college and their first few years of adulthood. It was a relationship that had gotten them both through the ups and downs of starting out on their own. And while their relationship wouldn’t be over simply because Julie was moving, Georgia had her concerns.
Georgia picked out a tight black skirt that she knew accented her long, toned legs and a sparkly purple top that Julie would loathe for the sheer loudness of it. Friendship often meant annoying the crap out of each other.