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:~: Monday, November 19, 2007 :~:


Lin's been talking a lot about characters. We all know strong characters make or break a book. Plot is essential in driving a story forward, but good characters are what keep the reader thinking about the book long after the story is over.

So what's in your perfect hero? How about your perfect heroine?

My perfect hero is a little bit cocky. He doesn't know exactly what he wants at the beginning of the book. He may think there's not much wrong with him personally even though his life might be way out of whack. He's been around the block a time or two. He's probably done things he's not proud of. He could be a hundred different things on the outside - cowboy, cop, business man, warrior, soldier, thief - but on the inside he's a man of principle. He knows what's important to him and he has a strong personal code of ethics he strives to keep in balance. He loves his mother (a given), family is important to him even if he doesn't admit it outright, and he knows there's more to a woman than simply a pretty face (and body). And, oh, yeah, he has to have a sense of humor, must like football and baseball, and always holds the door open for a woman.

When he meets the heroine, he's knocked on his ass. He may fight it. He may tell himself (and the world) she's the wrong woman for him, but the reader will know he's toast from day one. When he finally figures it out, there's not a single thing in the world that would keep him from the woman he loves.

My perfect heroine is feisty. She's a fighter, a rebel, an independent woman. She, too, has been around the block. Maybe not sexually (then, again, maybe sexually too), but she's experienced the highs and lows of life. She's not green. She doesn't have sappy visions of the man who will sweep her off her feet. She knows - at this point in her life - she's not willing to sacrifice who she has become just to have a man by her side. Wanting one is totally up to her.

She, too, has a good sense of humor. She likes sports, isn't afraid to get her hands dirty, and can just as easily hang with the guys on a Saturday afternoon as she can get gussied up and go out on the town.

When she meets her perfect hero, he'll probably irritate her. A strong woman doesn't like to meet her match. She'll most likely deny her feelings (just like my hero), but because she's a woman, she knows when she's fighting a losing battle. Even if she doesn't tell him, and even if she knows their relationship is doomed, she'll keep what she feels to herself until the last possible second. But when she discovers the man who truly loves her for who she is, there's nothing she wouldn't do for him.

What's in your perfect hero and heroine? Have you ever come across a book that had the "perfect" main characters?



Blogger Joan Swan said...

Holy cow, E -- those are some kick-ass characters. I don't know them and I love them already...of course I can see all of your various h/h's in that description.

Strong, sympathetic, flawed and funny. What's not to like?

My h/h's don't all have the same base...they evolve for me as I write, layer by layer, a lot like the subplots and themes in my work. I'd say they probably have similar characteristics to those you've mentioned, all to varying degrees.

1:48 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Very true, J. Characters evolve as you write them. That's the fun in writing them. ;)

3:57 PM  

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