9 Ways to Creating the Perfect Hero


Science experimentThe hero:  perfect.  Muscular, kind-hearted, rich, capable, funny, ad just the right height.

But that’s not all there is to it, is there?  When we are writing the hero, there are so many elements that need to be considered.  After all, he really does need to be perfect. And human-ish.  And normal.  And above normal.

How can we even do this?  Our expectations are pretty high.  In addition to creating a spectacular physical specimen of a man, he needs to be perfect in other ways.  I think the following nine elements are important in a hero I’m going to let my heroine fall in love with.  You can let me know if you have things to add to the list, in the comments!

1. Genuine Kindness

Is he the fireman who rescues the kittens (easy out), or is he the guy that realizes the heroine may need a helping hand or that being kind, even to someone that can’t help him?  I’ll take the second.  A truly kind man doesn’t need a uniform (although that is hella sexy) to be kind.  He just needs an open heart and a sense of empathy or ability to see when someone is struggling.

2. Stability

Hoo-boy is this an important thing in real life.  And it is important in a story too.  The reader and the heroine both need to know that he is going to make it through the story, that he has his head, finances, and ambitions focused on success.

3. Emotionally Supportive

Is he going to react with anger and distrust, and ruin a good thing, or is he going to be that pulled-together guy who really does have the emotional answers?  And is he able to feel what the heroine feels, and support her through her journey too?

4. Some Actual Manners

Yes, I’m old school.  Please don’t use your fork as a spear to pick up your dinner and gnaw at it until it is gone.  Please open that door for me, and please walk on the side closest to the street.  Seriously, it’s not that hard.  Oh yes, and keep your burps and farts to yourself!

5. Reliability

Do what you say you will do, say what you mean, and live up to your obligations.  No one likes a slacker.

6.  An Open Heart

How else is he going to fall in love with her?  But this extends to more than just her.  This extends to the other people he may be interacting with in the story.  No one can resist an open-hearted man.  We just want to hug them and squeeze them and call them…(not George).

7. Generosity

Gimme your money!  Or at least, let me see you spend your money.  Don’t be a cheapskate.  And this applies to actions, too.  Don’t be stingy.  Strength is truly shown in how you treat others.

8. A Passion For Life

Another no-brainer, at least for me.  What is life without passion?  It doesn’t matter if you are into old cars, coaching little league soccer, growing perfect roses, or playing music.  Have a love of something besides yourself.  Passion for something is a complete turn-on.

9. Pride In Making People Smile

The world can be a dark, dark place.  And we tend to ramp up the negatives in our writing, because it is dramatic and helps the reader buy in better to the story and characters.  But don’t forget that humor is what really makes the world go around. Know when to laugh, and know how to make other people laugh.  The skill that allows you diffuse a situation with humor is one you can’t discount.  Everyone needs to laugh once in a while.

So, what do you think?  What would you add to this list?  Leave me a comment!

***

Fairest of the Faire

Fairest of the Faire book coverBlurb:

Schoolteacher Connie Meyers is suddenly a young widow, her husband killed in a horrific car accident. Heartbroken to find out he had gambled away everything they had, she moves to her sister-in-law’s Midwest home to rebuild her life. A trip to the local Renaissance Faire with her nieces leads to a summer job as a costumed storyteller.

Avowed bad boy and fair performer Gage Youngblood is infatuated with Connie at first sight. Despite his deliberately commitment-free life, and Connie’s don’t-touch-me attitude, he soon has her in his arms, realizing quickly she is also in his heart.

When she is threatened by her late husband’s bookie, he steps into the role of protector, his fate forever sealed with hers.

Available NOW!

Buy at Wild Rose Press:  (eBook and paperback)

Buy at Amazon (Kindle and paperback)

Buy at Barnes and Noble (Nook)

 

Writing is Hard


Writer's blockI have been getting some good writing in of late, although I’ve been breaking some rules.  That actually makes it a bit more difficult, although the outcome may turn out fine in the end.

The current work in progress is the circus novel, which is being written as a romance.  It was originally intended to be a longer Litfic piece, which I had started writing in 2008, but then Sara Gruen wrote Water for Elephants, and I thought my time for the LitFic had probably passed.  So I put it away.

But with the imminent demise of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus, I thought I should drag it back out and see if it could be a romance instead.  The problem with all of the prep work, outlining, and writing of a LitFic being transformed into a romance is that there is too much story.  There are too many characters, and too many scenes that don’t necessarily feed into a romance arc.  I know that generally, an epic-length romance is not going to sell. So that means slimming down the story, and slimming down the cast of characters.  But I want to be true to the story, and true to circus, while I’m doing it.

So about that rule-breaking…

Instead of writing in a linear way, which is my usual method, I’ve been doing some jumping and swimming and climbing and riding down the slide and doing it all over again.  I have an opening written, and the meeting of the main characters, and started writing a party scene.  But I’m struggling with that, so I moved ahead and wrote the ending.  Then I backed up and wrote  a rough draft of the Big Crisis, when a tornado rips the show apart and forces people to step up or to flee.  (You can guess what my FMC did, right?) It needs work but the basic scene is down.  Then I write the after-the-crisis scene, where the FMC and MMC finally get intimate.  Then I had to go back and write the scene where the elephant guy gets what’s coming to him.

And then I sit back and realize that I’ve got a whole lot more work to do!  I can’t have that intimate scene so late in the book.  I like puzzles, and I’m sure I’ll figure it out.  But in the meantime…

I’ve broken all my rules, and there’s still a ton more story to write.  There are a lot of missing pieces, and while the scenes themselves are good and are moving me forward on the project, breaking those rules make me uncomfortable.

But I’m not giving up. This is a story that needs to be told.  And I’m the one who’s going to be writing it!

I’d love to hear about your WIP.  What are you working on?

***

Fairest of the Faire

Fairest of the Faire book coverBlurb:

Schoolteacher Connie Meyers is suddenly a young widow, her husband killed in a horrific car accident. Heartbroken to find out he had gambled away everything they had, she moves to her sister-in-law’s Midwest home to rebuild her life. A trip to the local Renaissance Faire with her nieces leads to a summer job as a costumed storyteller.

Avowed bad boy and fair performer Gage Youngblood is infatuated with Connie at first sight. Despite his deliberately commitment-free life, and Connie’s don’t-touch-me attitude, he soon has her in his arms, realizing quickly she is also in his heart.

When she is threatened by her late husband’s bookie, he steps into the role of protector, his fate forever sealed with hers.

Available NOW!

Buy at Wild Rose Press:  (eBook and paperback)

Buy at Amazon (Kindle and paperback)

Buy at Barnes and Noble (Nook)