This question has been pinging around my brain. Really, what makes a man make us sit up and take notice. A man that doesn't even exist outside of a writer's imagination? What is it that makes us long for this certain man to be real, to exist side by side with us in our world?
I like to think it's more than a handsome face and buff body. Those things are nice, but kind of like eating icing without the cake. There's always something missing. I know when I write my heroes I create them with flaws. Short temper, stubborn sense of always being right or the naive belief they don't need anyone in their life. Flaws, I think, create the character, ads layers and depth to an otherwise one dimensional piece of fiction.
A few traits I've noticed over and over again have made me think these are what draws us in as readers and women. The first is dependability. A man you can count on when the world's exploding around you, a vampire is about to rip out your throat or a Regency baron is about to slice your head off with a sword. No matter the time period, the setting or the general genre men with the ability to come through are a turn on. The foster sense of trust and safety that aren't easily found in reality.
The second thing I've noticed is a sense on honor. You know what I mean. The highway man that refuses to allow a child to be beaten. Or a cop that rescues an abandoned dog on the side of the highway. The werewolf that refuses to release his beast on the innocent.
Third is loyalty which I guess could be the same as being dependable, but not quite the same. The perfect or the memorable hero has loyalty in spades. A code of conduct that cannot be broken. He's there for his friends, family and anyone he persevere as being weaker than him. Not to mention fidelity to his chosen lady. Is anything sexier than that?
So that's my opinion on the top three qualities on what makes a remarkable hero. As well as what goes into being a male character in one of my books. And yeah a hot body and sexy face don't hurt either.
What male characters have stuck in my mind after the fact?
Well I'm still waiting for Stephanie to pick Ranger over Joe.
Yeah, I know people will be throwing popcorn and more at me for saying that, but I can't help it. I'm Plum fan now and chewing my nails waiting for Stephanie to get together with Ranger. Why not?
He's hot, he's always protecting her. Hell, he's never said a word about all the cars she's blown up or destroyed. It takes a strong man to keep his mouth closed when hundred thousand dollar cars are flattened. Not to mention watching her walk away every night.
Joe never asks. He's never really there for her other than sex and clean laundry. I won't even go into scary Grandma Bella. Freaky deaky!!
All right...fire away.
Done yet? Look it's not like I don't get the Joe attraction. Joe is tall, dark and sexy. He's great in bed, he doesn't expect her to cook and he loves his dog. What's not to love? But he leaves me feeling a bit on the lonely side. He's never there for her. He pretty much just shakes his head and goes on his way.
Only two imaginary male characters have ever grab me by the throat. The first is Roarke by J.D. Robb. The second just happens to be Ranger. Strong, confident powerful men are who love completely are the sexiest thing I've ever seen. That's what makes them so popular with readers the world over. Fictional characters with real world attributes.
I only hope my heroes have part of the soul of those two men. Because they are what makes writing so much fun.
I look forward to hearing the comments. Just play nice with the language. I damage easily.