Today, let’s look at the hero of a romance novel. Or it could be just about any novel, but since I write romance, it will have to be the romance hero. First, our guy usually doesn’t have too many physical warts. (imperfections) After all, most heroes are tall, dark and handsome. Oh, he might have a scar or two, and suffered a broken nose growing up, but the romance hero doesn’t give any of those problems much concern. So our guys are going to have emotional or psychological imperfections.
He could have had a mother who deserted him at a young age, gave him away, sold him, beat him, and now he doesn’t trust women, any woman. He could have been responsible for a sibling’s death, a friend’s car accident. Or like the hero, his father could have been the town drunk and embarrassed him all of his life. Maybe his brother, father, uncle, (some relative) was responsible for killing someone, Oh, there are all kinds of things that could affect our hero, things that make him less than perfect.
These imperfections are reasons for his behavior, one way or another. I mentioned that if he had a bad mother, and now doesn’t trust women, it will effect how he treats the women in your novel. What if he’s carrying around of ton of guilt? His behavior could involve trying to be the world’s protector, another superman. Again this will contribute to his action in the book. Whatever his imperfection/s are they will determine how he behaves toward the other characters and together with the heroine we can build the all important conflict that drives a good book. But we’ll tackle conflict later on.
Along with these warts (okay, imperfections) the guy has to have some really outstanding qualities to make him a hero, just as the heroine has to have. Maybe he funds an old folks home, or builds house for disabled vets. If he’s carrying that ton of guilt around, he’s going to go out of his way to do really good, hero type things. So start to think about your guy as a nice guy who has to makeup for whatever really bothers him. (And part of the fun of writing the novel, is to keep why he does what he does unknown to the reader for a bit.)
Tomorrow we consider the villain. As I said I love to write villains, especially lady villains. We’ll look at them a bit differently, because we know, usually from the start of a book, (unless this is a mystery, or romance suspense) the villain is a nasty person, one with lots of warts. Tomorrow we talk about their warts and how to make a villain real. It’s a kinda Love/Hate thing.