Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Heroes: The Heart of Romance Novels

Romance novels can vary from story to story and from genre to genre, but there are three things every romance MUST have:

1) A strong heroine
2) A sexy but redeemable hero
3) A happily ever after.

Although as a reader we live vicariously through our heroine, the hero is the one who holds our attention and our heart. So that means he must be gorgeous, rich and absolutely perfect, right? Not at all. Heroes come from all walks of life, various economic backgrounds and should be flawed enough to seem real (to the the reader that is).

So what traits should a romantic hero possess? 

Honor. The hero in a romance novel should be honorable and trustworthy (after all he's going to win the heroine's heart, so he must be worthy of such a treasure). Some of his actions in the story may be questionable, but he should a very good reason for them.

Exciting. You want the hero to stand out from the crowd. His very essence must be something the heroine can't live without.

Redeemable. Even though at first he may seem a bit rough around the edges and he may have several flaws, he must be redeemable. He should also have an Achilles heel that only the heroine can save him from.

Only has eyes for the heroine. Though he may fight the attraction thoughout the novel, his only romantic interest must be the heroine. No other woman will do. She is his soulmate and no matter how much he tries to resist, in the end the heroine is the only woman who can make him complete. Even if it takes him a while to realize it.

So what does this honorable, exciting, redeemable hero look like?

Romance novels have lovely cover art portraying the characters, but as an author we draw inspiration from several images we deem "hero material" to help us create the perfect hero for our story. However, in the end it's the reader's imagination that actually creates the hero. Each of us has our own version of the hero firmly planted in our imagination. That is what makes every story so exciting!

So who is your "hero material"?

Ah ... (swoon) ... I can think of a few. George Clooney, Anotonio Banderos, Pierce Brosnan, and an oldie but goodie ... Clark Gable.

Tamelia Tumlin has worked with several online publishers, but is now writing exclusively for Steel Magnolia Press. Juggling motherhood, teaching and writing is a challenge, but one she welcomes to pursue her passion. Her romance novels range from sweet and sassy to dark and dangerous.

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