Pink Heart Society columnist, Kristina Knight, on living with a code...
I'm a fan of the TV military-crime drama NCIS. I've tried not to be, but I just can't help it. Gibbs is so..stately and adorable. Tony is so...charming and adorable. McGee is so..geekily adorable. Abbs is so cheerfully Goth and Ziva was...well, Ziva (I still miss Ziva) and Ducky is just....well, Ducky.
I could go on.
One of my favorite parts of the show, though, are the Gibbs Rules. Somewhere around the fourth season we were introduced to Gibbs' dad (played wonderfully by the late Ralph Waite), and we caught a glimpse of Gibbs' first wife, Shannon who said, 'everyone needs a code they can live by'. We'd heard a few of Gibbs rules (never let suspects stay together, you don't waste good, always carry a knife...several others), but this is where we learned why Gibbs' rules began.
There are more than fifty Gibbs Rules in the cannon, but there are a few that I like to think also fit the world of romance writing. Here are three of my favorites.
1. Never screw (over) your partner
|Kristina's full list of Gibbs' Rules|
In the world of crime fighting this is simple - don't let your partner take the fall, don't get your partner killed, and (because he did have a relationship with his partner, Jenny, that ended badly) don't get romantically involved with your partner.
In the world of romance, we expect the characters to get involved with one another - be they boss/secretary or corporate enemies. Still, the characters shouldn't screw one another over to get ahead...and if they do, there should be a huge come-to-Jesus after the fact.
2. There is no such thing as coincidence
This one is fairly self-explanatory, but, the key is that there must be reasons for characters to do the things that they do, and that reason can't be 'well, I need my city girl to meet a farm boy, so she goes on a drive and side-swipes his truck'. The reader needs to be able to identify with the characters, so give them big, fat, hairy convictions and motivations.
3. It's better to seek forgiveness than ask permission
This is a totally alpha thing to do. Charge right ahead and solve the world's problems when the world is asking you to do nothing except be in the moment with it. Personally, I like to employ this rule with the non-alpha in the book because I love it when characters do something totally out of character.
What about you? Do you have a code that you live by? Do your characters? Share your rules in the comments!
Kristina Knight's latest release, What the Bachelor Gets, is the first in her brand new Billionaire Cowboys trilogy:
All Gage Reeves wants is to make a success of his new luxury shopping development on the Vegas Strip. Callie Holliday dreams of having the hottest day spa in Vegas. For these childhood friends, business is becoming decidedly personal...and it's risky business gambling on love.
You can find out more the book and Kristina on her website, and feel free to