Do you have trouble making your hero anything but a Superman? Bestselling author, L.A. Sartor, will let you in on a few of her favorite ways to make your hero loveable, flaws and all. Just not Superman.
My Hero isn’t Superman…or Ironman
Both are eye candy. But Superman is well, just too super, and Ironman is just too much of a bad boy to make me want to be around him much. Although I admit, I’d love to fly in Superman’s arms and drive around in a billionaire’s cool Audi whilst in Monaco.
So how do you write someone in between these two super-heroes? A man that is real, has flaws and yet you care enough about him to hope that he and the heroine really do fall in love? Believable love.
So glad you asked.
In my latest WIP, my hero is bidding against the daughter of the man that almost destroyed the hero’s family. So I’d say there is a bit a tension from the get-go! Thus, Robert isn’t all smiles and fun. He’s not trying to get the heroine’s attention. He’s out to win the deal. Period.
Oh, and it gets worse, they were childhood friends. So yeah, there is not going to be a lot of tenderness at first. So how do I make you fall in love with him? How do I make the heroine see the real him behind the anger and the competition?
One technique I learned from screenwriting was originally called a pet-the-dog or more recently labeled, a save-the-cat moment. And it doesn’t have to involve critters. It’s a moment that shows a spot of tenderness. In my case, Robert is talking to a young boy about his dreams and encouraging him. (Villians can have the same moment, by the way—the outcome is different, natch.)
So if we were a bit on the fence about Robert, hopefully, this moment would allow you to see another side of him. Of course, I created a few prior soft moments that the reader sees. But the heroine sees this moment with the boy.
POV reveal is another way. For instance, we don’t learn about the antagonism between the families from him, we learn it from the heroine, which makes him all the more vulnerable in our eyes allowing us to root for him. Naturally, he hints at the cause in his inner thoughts, but he’s not going to whine about it, thus make him less than a hero.
A hero doesn’t whine.
Another way is a few good flaws. Yep, you heard me right. Sorry, but I’m not all about those 6-pack abs, nor do I want a pot bellied slouch. But a great crooked smile, a scar or two, even an impairment can make me root for him and for the couple to get together. Years ago, Harlequin author, Gayle Wilson, wrote Echoes in the Dark about a blind hero and it was the most riveting, sensual book I’ve ever read.
And my last suggestion, at least for this post, is the hero’s use of gestures. Nothing says ahhhh to me than the hero cupping the heroine’s cheek. Being a gentleman. I’m not saying that your hero can’t show anger or frustration. But just think for a second, if he always opens the door for her and this one time he doesn’t because of whatever the tense reason is…that says more than to me than a disagreement or heated argument going on for paragraphs.
I recently read a book where the hero broke up with the heroine four times. I had zero sympathy for her going back for more and I really detested him because he came across as a namby-pamby wishy-washy man who needed her when the going was tough for him or else wanted her for physical release.
In other words, he was unredeemable in my eyes.
Conflicts can be tough and can drive wedges between characters, that’s our job. It’s also our job to make the reader get past those to give them a reason to keep on reading, wondering just how this couple is going to get together.
Yes, your hero is going to have his moments where he doesn’t shine, otherwise, he would be Superman. He may even have an Ironman moment where he goes overboard on something. Then he as to redeem himself to us and to the heroine. And it has to be real. We’re not perfect, neither are our characters. It takes those moments, those reveals, those flaws to balance out the man. To make him our hero.
Please let us in on a few of your ways to make your hero super, just not too super
L.A. Sartor is proud to announce she’s part of a new boxed collection of International Digital Award Winning Novels—Simply The Best. Six award-winning novels, six bestselling authors, and six romance genres. Available now.
She’s the proud author of six books with two more in the works for release this winter. And she’s hard at work plotting a cozy mystery series that will be set in Colorado. L.A. has been writing for …. a long time. Visit her at her website; www.lasartor.com or her blog www.andieadventure.blogspot.com.
And two lucky people who leave comments will get an ebook copy of Simply The Best.