July 12, 2009

How Do You Hero?

Before marriage, I was a serial dater. What does that have to with my hero? Simple. If it hadn’t been for guys like ‘Sand Box Boy’ or ‘Psycho Stalker’, I wouldn’t have compiled a mental list of what an ideal man should posses. I started the “wish-list” as something fun to do with my roommates, never knowing I’d some day draw upon those late night gab-fests as writing material.

Last summer, when I decided to start my book, I was at odds on how to shape my leading man. I wanted him to be real, yet also someone women would lust after and revere. Let’s face it, finding a good man and winning the lottery have similar odds! A hero needs to be something special. The Holy Grail of Men so-to-speak.

My husband jokes around saying women would be happy with men in general, if not for romance novels. When I asked him to elaborate, he shrugged and said no such men could exist except in fiction. Sure I laughed, but then I sat back and thought about what he was really saying. Women readers want the man who will pull their hair during sex, but then go get them a glass of water afterwards! We want the good guy and the naughty boy rolled into one shiny package. (If only such were available in a catalog!)

Amazing! Here I’d spent days laboring over the perfect equation for creating the next Rhett Butler and the facts were right in front of me all along. A hero needs to linger on your lips like a fine wine, but still pack a punch enough to make you crave more. So when I write my hero’s scenes, I remember what I wanted in a man when I was on the hunt, but also try to tie in the character arch most human men seem to have evolved away from.

I’d never admit it to him, but maybe my hubby is right, romance novels can warp women’s expectations of men. But what a delusion to endure! I love my big-guy more than life itself, but I sure love being engulfed in book with an alpha-male I don’t have to pick up after, too!

So, the next time you feel lost channeling a hero, think back to your own “dream man” and those heroes that left you panting. Make it fun! Get a ‘frosty beverage’ and call up your old ‘hunting buddies’. With a little imagination and a lot of laughs, you’ll be on the way to creating your own winning hero combination. Sometimes, the answers we seek are the ones we already have and didn’t know!


At July 13, 2009 at 1:33 AM , Blogger Sunny Frazier said...

I created Rodrigo Murietta out of a combo of my ex, a handsome narc I worked with and Zorro.

I want to make the Latin male a sex symbol once again! Move over, Ricky Ricardo!

At July 13, 2009 at 11:50 AM , Blogger Dorinda Ohnstad said...

I don't write romance, but the same advice might apply not only to a protagonist's love interest (like Sunny's Rodrigo Murietta), but to a male protagonist. I'm in the process of writing from a male perspective. While he needs to ring true to male readers, it's an added bonus if female readers find him appealing. Will keep your advice in mind as I write.

At July 16, 2009 at 5:29 PM , Blogger June Rodriguez said...

Great way to Hero-up your alpha males. My old list is from the
70's so I'm a little outdated. I'm working on a new list. Got any suggestions.


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