H is for Hero.
My dad is a volunteer firefighter. I’m very proud of what he does. I’m very proud of the fact that he takes such pride in doing a good job and he actually enjoys it too. But unfortunately for him, that’s not the kind of hero I’m talking about today.
Every romance novel needs a good hero. I want to write romance. I need good heroes. This begs the question, what makes a good hero?
Alpha males are popular. I love a good alpha male, especially when he meets a woman who is willing to go toe to toe with him. I personally believe it is a throw back to the caveman days when, as women, we wanted the strongest male to be the provider and protector and to give us strong children. That scene in Conan the Barbarian where Jason Momoa says “Woman! Come here!” I melt. I would’ve snapped back something sassy, but the fact is I still melt a little. It’s that take charge attitude that appeals to something in me, even though I’m perfectly fine on my own.
But growling orders isn’t enough to make your male character a hero. Does he have to rescue someone from a burning building? Not necessarily. In novels, heroes mess up, just like they do in real life. What makes the difference is that they come back. They don’t give up. My dad always says to me “give out before you give up.”
One hero in particular comes to mind. In J. R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood novels, there is one brother, one book that a lot of fans did not like. The main character, Phury, fell into a drug habit that almost turned into a cocaine addiction that would have killed him. And he was the hero of the story. People don’t really like it when the hero has flaws, has cracks in his armor that put him down, no matter how temporarily.
The bottom line is that Phury came back. In later books, he’s still dealing with his issues, but he’s getting better and he’s helping others while he’s at it. It’s not a fairy tale but few things in life are. It’s still a love story that is “forever and ever, amen” as the song goes.
Heroes love without condition in the end, which is something we all deserve a bit of in our lives.
|Inspiration for one of my characters. I do not own any part of this image.|