Thursday, June 12, 2008

Our Hero has a 'Soft-Spot"

Don't we all love a great hero? Of course, that's why we read and (some of us) write romance. Recent conversations have brought up the issue of how strong (or alpha) writers should make the hero.
One statement kept coming up. 'He should never be weak.' The last thing writers want to portray is a weak hero but how to make him a sensitive new-age guy while still have the strength to take the 'hero' role of a story is the balancing act of every writer who wishes to steer away from the true alpha portrayal.
But even an alpha needs a soft-spot.
Cynthia VanRooy says most romance novels portray the hero as the macho, alpha male type character. So, how does the writer develop him further? She says to “create a hero the reader will fall in love with… by showing the little boy within the man.”
Well, little boy within the man, hmmm… my DH quoted for a good many years that he was just a “growing boy”. Please let the man emerge, and quickly! LOL
Cynthia continues ”I don’t mean you should have him [the hero] exhibiting childish, immature behavior, but rather show what hurts him, excites his enthusiasm, makes him proud. Show his soft spot. Is he a sucker for kids, does he love animals, worry about his mother? You can get away with a lot in terms of macho behavior… as long as he demonstrates what Suzanne Brockmann refers to as the save-the-kitty factor”.
How to portray the ‘save-the-kitty factor’ will vary with each hero, but let’s never forget to show his soft-spot – especially the one in his heart for the heroine.


Natalie Hatch said...

I think as you develop your character sketch the intricacies of his life emerge. He might start off as a dominant chauvinist who just wants to claim what's his and get back to the polo match or whatever, but the more I go into the background of my character before I write the easier it is for me to write a 'real' man, not the cardboard cutout I had originally envisioned in my 'hey I should write a story about...' daydream.

Anonymous said...

How/Where to find a great hero. What a great topic. He has been written about quite a lot and he still draws a crowd when the right one comes along. Nice write Annie.

Amanda Reynolds-Smith said...

Great pointers Annie - thanks, just what I needed! As the universe and ye shall receive it seems!


Annie Doyle said...

Hey thanks girls for the comments. Gotta love our heroes right?
Glad you like the post.
Regards Annie