H is for Hero
The hero in this instance is the protagonist, often male (but easily converted to female).
- The I’m-going-to-win-because-it-makes-me-look-good hero. A.k.a The egocentric hero who’s in it for the fame or money. He’s also a charmer and kinda loves himself. Think Tony Stark/Ironman.
- The Alpha male hero who has to do it because he needs to prove his masculinity. He’s the leader of the pack. The bossman. Sometimes has to do with money, sometimes power. Has to be a hero because it’s his status.
- The I’m-not-afraid-to-die-so-i’ll-save-the-world Hero. Think Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon or Keanu Reeves in John Wick. They all have a wound in the past that drives them now.
- Take it down a few notches and you’ve got the Reluctant Hero. They just want to be doing something else. Sailor Moon wants to sleep and eat ice-cream. Spiderman believes his negligence killed his uncle, so he reluctantly puts on the mask.
- The Yippy-kai-yay Hero – a.k.a Cowboy or Gung ho – Think Bruce Willis in Die Hard. He’s the warrior type. Loves the thrill. Enough said.
- The Quiet Achiever Hero. He sometimes lets others take the glory. Sometimes called the Beta Hero. Dependable. Reliable.
- The Anti-Hero. Whoops, I also do bad things. Eg, Dexter. Lucas Hood from Banshi. Jack Sparrow. The Bride (Kill Bill)
- The Loner. He prefers to do things on his own. Eg. Wolverine.
- The Everyman hero. Think Watson from Sherlock Holmes. Or someone just minding his own business and he’s thrust into an extraordinary situation.
- My favourite – the Superhero. Epic in scale. I don’t think we need much more explanation with this one. If you do, go watch Thor. Try not to stare at his pecs.
Here’s 3 bonus ones:
- The Mentor/Catalyst Hero. He creates heroes. Think professor Xavier.
- The Martyr. He dies to save everyone else. Paranormal romances have this hero in the bag.
- The I-have-something-to-prove Hero. He has to right a wrong. Eg, Batman.
What really makes for a great hero is his flaw. Tie this flaw to a past pain, scar or disbelief, and let it explain why he behaves the way he does in the present day. To increase your romantic force, make his love interest provide the thing he is missing. If you can do this, then you’ve made your match.
I’m also very interested to hear about what you think makes a good hero in a romance story. Please take the time to vote in the poll below and provide some feedback. The more who vote, the better understanding we will have about what readers want. Voting is anonymous.
Thank you, and until next time.