By John Lovelady
Heroes are guys and since I’m a guy and understand guys best, it makes sense to start with me in creating a hero that my heroine will be attracted to and with whom she will end up happily ever after.
Whizzing past the usual suspects, my hero will be handsome, witty, intelligent, sexy and loaded, naturally, but he will also be burdened with the human elements that make for the conflicts required of a good romance.
Shortsightedness, ego, jealousy, ego, anger, ego, id, ego, etc., etc. As embodied in the male animal, I have a pretty good lock on how these work and can call upon them to effectively throw a monkey wrench into the smooth proceedings.
Then the work of creating a man my woman will love begins. How does a stubborn guy give in and try to work things out? How does a career-obsessed magnate realize he needs to re-tune his priorities? How does a happy-go-lucky doofus straighten up and fly right? What makes a hero into the kind of man I hope to be? The kind of man I want my woman to be proud of.
Going from point A -- stubborn, career-obsessed doofus -- to point B -- hero (with or without the big bucks) is the essence of what makes a great romance. The heroine is also going to have her problems, and those will be equally road-blocking, as far as plot is concerned, but the heroine’s I have to surmise by observation, research and, hopefully, good note-taking. The hero’s flaws come a little easier to recognize.
We may not achieve it as easily as our created hero does, but facing the written problems and seeing them from all aspects and then working them out so that our hero and heroine are made for each other is good for the writer as well as the reader.
And when it’s Hero/Hero and/or Heroine/Heroine and/or a whole tangle of M’s and F’s, the necessary understanding and caring that must emerge becomes even more of a challenge. I want my reader to understand and empathize with how all my characters get from dewy-eyed to screaming-and-yelling to cozying under the comforters.
And that begins with my understanding and empathizing.
With my thinking like a hero.
With my being a romance writer.
And that’s not a bad thing for a guy to be.♥
TOMORROW: Stop by and meet another Hero!