Just before I headed off on our annual camping trip (where I am sitting writing this post to the sound of waves lapping the shore) I finished the first draft of my new book. As I closed down the computer a nagging thought came into my head- my hero's not heroic enough….
Not sure what I meant by that- but I felt that something's wrong. I decided to think on it for a few days- get my rest and relaxation (and hold down the tent when Cyclone June hit)… and address it when I got home.
So, I read some books. But my head kept turning back to the problem of my hero. What is one? What do they do? Who are they? What do I want from a hero? The popularity of 50 Shades and a domineering manipulator has got me second guessing the kind of man that appeals to a lot of women. Am I in the minority?
The first book I read on my hols had a very 'locked-in' sort of logic driven hero (hero A)- he was yummy and sexy and clever and funny but would never let his heart rule any decision making. I loved him all the way through the book as he tried to do the right thing for everyone concerned…finally, as the heroine left he realized he'd spent his life ticking pros and cons boxes- and that if he wanted to keep her he had to lead with his heart. *sigh* But my hero, whilst being logical, is not locked-in.
The second book (which nearly hit the wall more than a couple of times) had the most self centered, irritating, manipulating hero I've ever read. But, like hero A, he was very determined and highly motivated. He used everyone around him to try to win back the girl whose heart he broke years ago- I'm sure some would say that was very heroic. But as far as I could see every act was infused with his need, not hers. Even lovemaking was a battle to prove how much better he was than any of her exes…. at the end he did change, realized his mistakes…almost becoming worthy of her. My hero is definitely not manipulative or needy.
He's his own guy- determined and successful, funny and charming, a player and a winner. Damaged by parental rejection he doesn't give love easily. I like him. I just don't love him yet… I will. I think I've worked out what he needs to do- and that's to act like a hero, to be the guy instead of thinking about it. (I tend to over-internalise in my books)-and so I'll make him do just that. Once I'm back from the holiday!
So- given your choice of any qualities- and let's dream a little here… what qualities do you think are important for a hero? Growth? Change? Alpha, beta or a mix? Should they be immovable and strong or have the ability to flex and move? I know I would run a mile from Mr UberAlpha (I find them very sexy, but couldn't live with one!!)- and am more drawn towards a softer beta. If I could I'd like my man to be emotionally strong and yet keep me and my family at his heart. Funny. Sexy…definitely sexy- and…my list goes on. What do you like?
(NB I may be a little late answering comments- as internet is not so great here)...