Jan 24, 2014

Hero woes...

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!

Just for eye candy, here's my super sexy hero from The Last Doctor She Should Ever Date- HOT!

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)...


  1. I like a mix of Alpha and soft gooey inside. Too strong and he's domineering.
    Hope you're not having to hold down the tent anymore, Louisa :)

  2. I read a blog post somewhere this week that said the reason we love alpha heroes isn't because of their alpha qualities, but their sweet beta bits that come through as they fall for the heroine. I have to agree. I love that touch of vulnerability.

    I also love heroes who have a sense of humor, are strong, honorable and protective.

    Marcy Shuler

  3. Give me a Gamma hero please :-) And throw in a tool belt :-)
    Hope the weather has improved!

  4. Louisa

    I love a hero with a bit of everything strong but caring and must have a sense of humour and can smile at himslef as well be honest and not too over protective

    Good luck with the story :)

    Have Fun

  5. A sense of humour is the most important thing for me.

  6. Louisa, now that's got me thinking! I love all sorts of heroes. I think one of the things I like best is a hero who's incredibly competent at something - maybe fixing the plumbing (yes please!) or making the heroine feel great about herself, or resolving a difficult situation. But at the same time I want to see his weak side, the fact that he's not perfect and that he's just desperate to be with his heroine, even if he doesn't want to admit it straight up. Can't resist a sense of humour either.

  7. Well, like a couple of others here, Louisa, I think a sense of humour is non-negotiable. But I do have a serious soft spot for a hero who sacrifices the thing he mosts wants (whether its a dream job or revenge or pride) to win the heroine's love.