Book Village               Lately, I’ve been thinking about expectations. What do I expect from myself, and what do others expect from me? These two are not always the same, and can be a large cause of the stress in our lives.

The question I ask myself is, “Who’s expectations am I trying to fill?”  Am I doing something because I really want to, or am I trying not to let friends or family down? The answer isn’t easy because we take on the view other people have of us.

For instance, a pretty or handsome child is sure to be confident and popular. Won’t they? And the not-so-attractive, overweight girl will naturally be a book worm and smart. Oh, and she must have glasses.

Yes, we need these stereotypes in our lives. Humans’ brains are wired to categorize. But must we live up to those expectations? Shouldn’t we spend a little time deciding who we are, and what is right for us?

I’ve been wondering what expectations my characters are trying to live up to. In my current book, Highland Yearning, my hero is seen as responsible. But does he really want to be that way, or does he yearn to do something out of character – for once?

What do the people around your characters expect from them? Does your hero try to be what others want him to be, or is he a bad boy that refuses to let expectations rule. The irony here is that the people around him may be perpetuating his misbehavior, because that’s the way they see him.

I’d love to hear about the expectations in your life, or the lives of your characters.


About Dawn Ireland

When I'm not writing historical romance, I'm practicing my harp, gardening, singing, acting, wood carving... Okay, you get the idea, I love to create.
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2 Responses to Expectations

  1. Great post, Dawn. Intriguing question. I’ve been thinking about Joel Cushman, the lead in my first romance Stepping Up To Love. Joel was a wild teen until he was sent off to prep school. Fifteen years later, he’s back in Tompkins Falls and a responsible member of the community. He’s part of the leadership structure and he occasionally has to make hard decisions, unpopular decisions. When that happens, people in community who “knew him when” pull out the old dirt. I admire that he stands firm. “To Thine Own Self Be True” is his guiding principle. I’m so glad you asked that question!

  2. And the follow-up questions: do our characters seem to make the same decisions about living up to other people’s expectations as we do, or do they strike out on their own–in part because we don’t? And . . . can life imitate art here and we become more like our do-it-their-own-way characters?

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