Friday, October 8, 2010

Romancing the Blog - The Heroic Hero

Every good romance needs a Hero.

But what makes a GOOD hero? What are those must-haves that we can't do without?

The Hunk

In the past, a hunky, muscle-decked man was a staple. However, we are seeing some trending away from this to more everyday, realistic heros. Even with this, I'm thinking a pot-belly dude that doesn't wear deodorant probably isn't a good idea. Because while our hero doesn't have to have perfect looks, we still want our readers to be attracted to him, not repulsed.

The Ham

Women love a guy with a sense of humor. I'm not saying all heros need to be jokers. And I am NOT saying that your hero needs to go around asking people to pull their finger. (ahem, guys, because it's not funny!) There will be varying levels of "ham" depending on your hero's personality. But a hero that can let loose and smile at least a little is a good thing. Although, I have been known to start a book off with a stuffy, handsome hero and part of his journey was learning how to loosen up.

The Hero

I think the BIGGEST thing a hero needs, is to be heroic. I know, I know, DUH, you say. But seriously. Our hero's need to save the damsel in distress. To concur the bad things and slay the dragons. We can still be realistic with this, and again, there are varying levels depending on your story plot, but let your hero be a hero indeed!

Does your hero have to be perfect? NO! He's a man... duh! (Sorry men, a little girl humor here!) But... the heroine AND your reader need to, over the course of the book, fall in love with the hero.

Discussion: Any one have any other must-have traits for a hero? Or, what good examples of great hero's have you read recently?

My example is from Jody Hedlund's The Preacher's Bride. John was most definitely NOT a perfect hero, but he is a great one! He made a ton of mistakes and I wanted to clobber him in the head on numerous occasions. But I still loved him. I was still oh-so drawn to his passion and his desire to spread God's word at all costs. He may not have been a "hero" most of the book, but it is the perfect example of how a hero can grow and learn his lesson.


Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Great post, Krista! I love all the things you mentioned and you are right, a hero needs to be a hero. When we read, we want to be swept away, we want to be caught up in the push and tug of romance, and we want the hero to save the day and sweep the heroine into his arms and kiss her senseless. Sigh...romance, it is just a must have in my life. :)

Sarah Forgrave said...

I agree on the Hunk thing. Even if a hero isn't worthy of being a supermodel, he has to have some attractive quality, even if it's just something like kind eyes. The author can gloss over the not-so-attractive qualities if necessary.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Nice post. I love when the hero has a vulnerable side. Just a little bit to show that he has a depth in his heart that we women can relate too.

Casey said...

I couldn't help laughing at the pot bellied...yeah.

Good post, great points and I agree. Not all heros are tending towards Lone Ranger anymore, but are more realistic, which makes them oh so more lovable and sigh...heroic....

Keli Gwyn said...

For me, how the hero treats the heroine is of the utmost importance. Some, like Jody's John Costin, don't start off treating their ladies well, but they learn their lessons. Another hero I discovered just this week who made my Top Heroes List is Marshal Wyatt Caradon in Tamara Alexander's book The Inheritance. Talk about a man of integrity and honor. He respects the heroine from the start, and he certainly captured my heart.

Carmen said...

My version of a hero: Gentle, Understanding, and yet Manly, Strong Christian or becomes one, Fights for what is right.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Kav said...

Y'all are going to think I'm crazy -- but I LOVE a hero who loves animals. Maybe that's because I love animals but I think it can show the compassionate side of guy too.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Ooooh, I love all these descriptions of heroes. It makes me want to read--or even better, write my own hero. Guess I should get busy on that WIP with my new inspiration :)

Pepper said...

Great post, Krista.
I'm definitely a fan of humor in a guy - but the thing I like MOST of all - is gentleness toward those he cares about. You know that vulnerability.
Of course, I want him to be a hero and hunky is definitely a plus, but that little bit of weakness for the heroine just does me in :-)

Amber Holcomb said...

Nice post! I love the idea of "The Ham," because a hero with a sense of humor really is attractive. :) I think one of the best examples of this is Henry Tilney on the movie Northanger Abbey (the PBS version). Oooooh, I loved his smile and his humor!!! :D


Jody Hedlund said...

Hi Krista,

Wow! I'm touched that my hero made your list! I had to revamp him in my rewrites to get him more "heroic." Seems I tend to make my heroes a little too morbid or angry in the first drafts! But I'm learning! Great post! :-)

Krista Phillips said...

Jody, I thought your hero was the PERFECT example. He was totally not the a-typical hero we see in romance novels yet he totally worked!!