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Monday, August 14, 2017

Make Your Heroes Unforgettable by Marianne Stephens

What makes a hero come alive as you read or write pages? His looks, actions, emotions? There are so many adjectives to describe a hero, and writers need the right combination to make him unforgettable to readers.

Each story setting can determine a hero’s demeanor, body language, and actions. If he’s in danger, or the woman he loves is in danger, a hero should be strong and willing to do anything to keep himself and loved one safe. This calls for serious actions and behavior. Bravery in difficult circumstances, even if he at first doesn’t succeed, makes a hero lovable.

Facial Looks: Heroes don’t have to have the perfect face. Heroes with physical flaws…a scar on a cheek for example) become more real to readers. Rugged, tanned features make a hero interesting. Perfect teeth, perfect, face, perfect smile, can hide a sinister soul…and we know that no man is perfect.

Physique: Most heroes seem to have wonderful abs, biceps, rippling chest muscles. Readers want to visualize those characteristics in heroes since some female readers will put themselves in the heroine’s place and crave being close to the hero’s body. And, more and more, a hero’s “bulge” is described. Having a heroine notice what’s straining his zippered area focuses her attention on lusty thoughts and sexual desire.

Emotions: Can a hero cry? Be funny? Be rude and still catch the heroine’s interest? Sure. Crying shows a deep, softer side. Being funny, keeping conversations and settings lighthearted, shows a happy man, content with his demeanor. A rude, harsh hero can come across as brooding, but still garner some sympathy. Perhaps he’s brushing off the heroine for her own good, or having a bad day and doesn’t realize how he’s offending the heroine. Being contrite and apologizing makes him more lovable.

Does your hero have a quirk, something only he does? Does it endear him to the heroine or annoy her? Having him do something like tip his cowboy hat up for intimate face-to-face conversations makes him more likeable. Cracking his knuckles can not only annoy a heroine, but readers as well.

Body Language: Leaning casually makes a hero more approachable, but a ramrod straight stance might make a heroine think twice about getting too close.  Heroes have to “invite” the heroine to share their space, and make her feel comfortable.

Voice: Tone and adding “color” to comments can give a hero that “stay with me” implication. Does he whisper, is there a huskiness quality in his voice? Can a heroine…and reader…hear his tenderness and crave to be closer?

And finally, how does your hero smell? Is there a “woodsy” aroma? Hint of lime aftershave? All-male scent that drives the heroine crazy? When a heroine inhales, are her senses bombarded by the aromas surrounding the hero?

Make your heroes unforgettable and embedded in readers’ minds. Give him a great smile, genuine passions for the heroine, and journey to win her heart.

What qualities do you look for in a hero?

In my story, I'LL DACE FOR YOU, in the boxed set SUMMER NIGHTS OF DELIGHT, my hero, Nate, has so many characteristics that intrigue the heroine, Carla. She surprises him with her secret, but he's got one of his own. Information about Summer Nights of Delight can be found at:

Marianne Stephens


Cara Marsi said...

Interesting and informative. Thanks. I definitely will buy this new set. Good luck with it.

Paris said...

Great post, Marianne! So happy to be in this boxed set with you. Strength of character is at the top of my hero list:)

Melissa Keir said...

Wonderful post! Heroes can be as unique as each person's desires. :)

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