Sunday, December 10, 2006

What makes a hero unforgettable?

I was walking the dog this morning, which is something I do every day. It gives me time to think about the work in progress and what I'll write on any particular day. Today I got sidetracked (not unusual) and started thinking about heroes in romance--what makes them not only hot and yummy, but unforgetable? What makes you, as a reader, sigh and wish the hero had his shoes parked under your bed? Because I'm most familiar with the men I write, I went back through my "men of Wolf Tales." In order of appearance, I've got Stefan Aragat--brash and cocky but with a soft heart and a powerful desire to please his packmates. There's Anton Cheval, the most powerful of all my Chanku. A wizard as well as a shapeshifter, he's also one of the older characters, and, in Chanku Journey (fall 07) becomes a father for the first time, something that scares him spitless. There's Lucien Stone from WTII, Mik and AJ, and Tinker McLintock--all alpha males, but each with a character trait -- call it a weakness, if you will -- that gives them a softer side. Do you see where I'm going with this? Even Jacob Trent, my Chanku "bad boy" has secrets that make him vulnerable, and that, I think, is the necessary ingredient in creating a perfect hero. It's not how handsome he is, or even how good in the sack. It's that vulnerability that tempers all the tough-guy traits. If he's always hard-edged, always the tough guy without a bit of softness, he doesn't need love, right? But, if he's vulnerable in some way, a vulnerability he shares with the heroine, it gives him a sense of humanity the uber-alpha male lacks. At least that's my opinion. I'm curious about what you think? Do you want your hero to have at least one small chink in his manly armor? I'd love to know what makes a hero unforgettable for you, and if you disagree with me, do your best to change my mind!

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I completely agree with you on the hero aspect. It's sexy to be hard edged and drool-worthy in the looks department but if that was all the hero was, he'd be one dimensional.

What I like in a hero is the flaw(s) that make him real. No one is without them. As a woman, I love that little crack in the soul, the crack of the heart-door that either is only bared to me (the heroine) that influences choices that keep our hero human.

I think a lot of women want to soothe the soul, to be 'the one' that her mate feels understands him and who he can be vulnerable with. Maybe it is a nurturing nature in us.

And when you get down too it, who wants to be around a bad ass all the time?? If they don't need anyone, need anything, love is for the weak... well eventually I'd have to say see ya. I don't want to fall in love with someone (or read about someone falling in love) when there isn't that hope...that something that says, "I need you" from our hero. They can be bigger than life with their arrogance, cockiness, and brash attitudes, but it just makes the 'real man' inside all the more desirable to know he can reach out, despite how hard it is for him.

Thanks for taking the time to read this long comment! Wow, got away from me there...
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