“Aiden is thinning on top. I told him he should go to Bosley.”
Ranulf took one look at his opponent and screamed like a little girl.
“How was Alec in bed? Hmm, I couldn’t tell, since he only lasted about two minutes.”
“He’s sexy as all get-out, but his voice sure is shrill, isn’t it?”
“That harelip of Carl's is so sexy.”
We’re always told to give our characters flaws, but let’s face it, there are some flaws we must stay away from. I’ve read a few romances where the hero was missing certain appendages – no, not THAT one. NEVER that one – and the hero was no less of a man. But seriously, think about it: you could give your hero brown hair and brown eyes, and you’ve pretty much incapacitated him right there. Am I right?
First let’s begin with the definition of hero (per dictionary.com): 1) a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. 2) a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal: He was a local hero when he saved the drowning child.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when crafting a romance hero:
- He has to be a good kisser. Firm lips, soft lips - doesn’t matter. Just make sure he can kiss.
- Schlong (fun fact: according to the Urban Dictionary: 1. Schlong: A penis which is a fairly good length. As opposed to a schlort (LOL!) , or a schledium) must be large and in charge. I’m not going to specify the exact thickness or length, I’m just saying his penis better be the biggest the heroine has ever a) seen b) had c) imagined.
- Teeth must be straight and white. Anything less and I’m going to think bad breath and not wealthy enough to afford a dentist – both of which are decidedly un-heroic.
- Absolutely no love handles, double-chins, beer guts or cellulite. I refuse to elaborate on this bullet point.
- His voice damned well better be deep. If your hero is a soprano then you have just ended your career, you understand me? You might as well give him a small penis and a bald spot if you even think about his voice being high-pitched.
- No. Wimps. Allowed. If you think your hero can whimper in a corner during a battle, I give up on you.
Let’s face it, most women go for the bad boys. We want to tame them. We want to change them. Most of all, we want to get them into bed. What? Don’t look at me like that. It’s true. Here’s a quote for you: Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed. – Albert Einstein.
But guess what? Men DO change in romance novels. If they were loners and afraid to trust anyone, they learn to trust again. If they’re against marriage, they want to walk their sweetheart down the isle by chapter 18. Don’t like kids? Ha! Just kill off their brother or sister and send them a rugrat to take care of – that’ll fix ‘em!
If he’s a doctor, let’s see him with a patient. If he’s an assassin, have him kill someone. If he’s great in bed, a headboard had better bang against a wall. If he’s a knight, show him on a battlefield – you see where I’m going with this. Don’t tell us he’s the strongest knight, or the world’s best surgeon. Show his special ability (get your mind out of the gutter!!) in at least one scene. Otherwise you’re falling back on telling, not showing, and the reader may not believe he’s the next Casanova or Black Knight.
And yes, before someone raises their hand and shouts, “Wait! But, but, but…” No. Unless your last name is Kenyon or Cole, please don’t break any of the above rules.
We adore our strong, handsome heroes. We love that they’ll do anything for the heroine, and that they’d lay down their lives for the one they love. Face it…there’s no hero like a romance hero.
A multi-published author of paranormal romance, Dawn McClure can often be found at her desk plugging away at a WIP or performing her duties as Savvy Authors Administrative Assistant and Newsletter Editor. Either way, she can rock both jobs in her PJs. She also writes snarky, tongue-in-cheek articles for Savvy Authors under the catagory, Sh!t My Muse Says.
She lives in BFE South Dakota with her husband and two PRE-TEEN daughters (had to caps that for emphasis).