How To Build A Hero

20 Dec

It’s amazing that heroes across the board are so different. Even within one writer’s set of books, they vary — a lot.

This makes sense to me because my characters are like real people… well, to me they are. Sometimes someone suggests they do something and I’m seriously confused because that character wouldn’t even CONSIDER doing that.

At the same time, we (writers that is) all have a standard of attractiveness. I mean, it’s called a type for a reason. Sure, our heroes can be “off type” — but when building a great guy, I’m betting we all have some go to building blocks.

I’ll own up.

Tall. They’re all tall. Not because tall is hot, but because I’m pretty tall. I’m 5’8. If I want to wear heels I’m almost 6 feet. I do not want to have to look down at my man. I want to feel little. I want to be the girl. Even if I’m kicking his butt at something.

Strong. Seriously, again. Not because strong is hot. But, for me, there’s just nothing attractive about knowing I could kick his butt. If we’re hiking, I’d better carry a cellphone because I will not be able to carry him out. Of course, he could totally carry me down a mountain without breaking much of a sweat.

Build. Soccer has always been my go-to sport. I played it starting at 6 (I may not rock at it, but i was decent…then) – Now, soccer’s all hot and stuff. Darn you sport stealers. But, soccer players have amazing builds. Someone asked me about the broad shoulders I mentioned in book 2 and it made me grin. All the guys I’ve dated have played soccer (don’t judge) and they all worked out to balance – the upper body strength is also key. Some of those leagues get a little rough 😉 (still, don’t judge) – Also, on the build, I’m a total V girl. Never got the stocky thing. I have girlfriends who think V-shaped guys look “weak” – WHAT? HOW??? But, next to their barrel chested friends, that’s how my girls see them. Oh, and long legs. I like longer legs… could it be because I have longer legs? (this is also an advantage so I can steal his jeans *grin*) – I guess those friends would build a different hero.

Personality. Funny. Funny is important. And smart. To me, so often you need to be smart to truly be funny. Also, all of my heroes, no matter how messed up, no matter how many wrong decisions they make or ways they mess over someone always comes back and down to doing the right thing. This is VITAL to me and one of the basis of all my friendships and all my writing. I seem to be big into Redemption and forgiveness. Read into that whatever you wish.

Honorable. It may take him a while to get there, but all my heroes are honorable men waiting to happen. That’s one thing about writing YA – the boys have to find themselves too.

So, there’s my foundation. It’s amazing how varied my guys are compared to what you’d think with that list. For example, even the tall group of guys has a “short” friend… everything becomes relative. It’s fun to play the path they all take to being honorable. There’s a lot of twists and turns along anyone’s path.

Now it’s your turn! Tell me what your hero foundation is… and own up! You know why it’s like that, don’t you?

3 Responses to “How To Build A Hero”

  1. Dara Young December 20, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    I too am tall, so yeah my guys tend to be tall or at least proportionately so to the heroine. I like wide shoulders, though I don’t get hung up on the V…I can go either way if they are in shape. 😀 And yeah, I like ’em strong too. Who wants to feel like they are gonna sling their man over their shoulder and hump his butt out of trouble? Not me and not my heroines. Mostly though, I think of “my men” (that’s how I think of them) as athletic types. So they really come in all shapes and sizes.

    But! They must all be intelligent. I HATE stupid men. Some are street smart, some are book smart, but whatever it is…they have to have intelligence. That is the one non-negotiable point in my men. So my type is smart, athletic, and strong.

  2. sharla December 20, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    Girl, I am cracking up, because I think we’re on to the SAME MAN!

    I’m 5’7, and tall has always been a stickler point with me. I like looking up, I like feeling small and being wrapped up in someone. For tall girls, feeling small is important…we don’t get it alot. So what did I end up doing? Splitting with my 6’2 guy, and seven years ago met and married someone…wait for it…5’7. Eye to eye. Maybe. With work boots on. Yeah, well, go figure love, huh? LOL.

    But I do the same as you do with the heroes. Tall, nice build but not crazy with it, gorgeous eyes, dark hair, rough around the edges kinda blue collar or some kind of honorable, honest, hard-working job. I don’t want an office sissy guy (been there done that), so why would I give my heroine one? I like that he is strong and smart (think, McGyver) on his feet, can fight like a ninja if need be, but would rather keep his back to the wall in a crowded room and is quiet with words but when he talks, it’s powerful.

    *Sigh…deep breath…release…* Need some chocolate now.

  3. briaq December 20, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    Ohhh McGyver!

    Also, I’ll admit this. I’m sorry short girlfriends, but when I see you with a 6’1+ guy, I get a little glare’y 🙂

    Look at all those differences in the same/similar foundations.

    Keep’em coming ladies – How do YOU build a hero?

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