I like bad boys, rockers, artists, business men, bikers and the boy next door just as much as the next women, but their formulaic stereotypes alone don’t give them a real personality. They might conjure up a memory of another guy from a book I read a few months ago, but his hobbies or profession aren’t personality traits. Personality comes from dialog and mannerisms or actions that show what’s ticking inside these character’s heads. That said, just being a blunt asshole is not really that sexy is it? I get the fantasy fling with Mr. Alpha, but would you really want to make a life with one of those guys? Let’s take the guy who approaches a woman in a bar he’s never met, and proposed putting his hand down her pants. If that guy came up to you in a bar would you really cave into him immediately and give all you’ve got? Now if the heroine responds with dignity or humor, and then our hero spends the rest of the book trying to redeem his idiotic approach, maybe he’s won me over, but more importantly, she has too.
The things I loved about old traditional romance books by Austen or Bronte were that they wrote a heroine’s journey as romantic as the hero’s role. You fell in love with the heroine through the book, most times even deeper than the men in their stories. If you write a new novel, give me more than a hero with tattoos or a heroine who’s got issues with being a slut. I want a woman who is proud, smart, determined, and incredibly, endearingly flawed. Those women show strength and vulnerability. Real characters like you. Like me. If I can’t imagine myself as your heroine, why would I want to be in her head for 400 pages?
I wrote my book because I wanted to explore characters that were relatable. I think normal people are sexy too, and I’ve found many authors who get that and write amazing beautiful characters that make me feel everything I never knew I needed to feel. But if you want your hero to be a millionaire or an elite Special Forces member, research the real men in those lives and make your character real. Unfold them as you would a piece of candy in a sleeping baby’s room, slow and gentle. There will be a reward once his sweetness is revealed… a fangirl for life.
Check out A.L. Goulden's profile on GoodReads and pick up her latest book August Fog available at most eBooksellers. Be sure to look for December Rain, book #2 in the Fog Series November 24, 2014.
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