Heroes – How bad do you want them?
First off, thank you so much to everyone who stopped by Romance by the Blog yesterday! It was so great to “see” so many Fanlitters together in one place. Big thanks to Michelle and her bellas for hosting the reunion.
So this morning, I’m thinking about heroes. Craveable, lovable, to-die-for heroes. It occurs to me that, when I read, I have two levels of hero-worship.
1) Heroes I want for myself. I want to go through the book and cross out the heroine’s name and pencil in “Tessa” instead. I’m in love with him.
2) Heroes I wouldn’t steal for the world. I couldn’t bear to take the heroine’s place, because it just wouldn’t be right. I’m in love with them.
Personally, the books that really stick with me are the ones with heroes that fall into category 2. And – very predictably – a perfect example of this would be Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. He’s the man. He’s principled, honorable, handsome, wealthy, and appreciates an intelligent woman who challenges him. And he’s hot. But even if I could jump into the pages of the book in Jasper Fforde fashion — never, ever in a million years would I usurp the place of Elizabeth Bennet. Because I don’t just love him. I love him in love with her.
I prefer heroes in category 2. That’s the kind of hero I want to write.
Does that make sense? What do you think? Can you give other examples of heroes in either category?
testing – blogger’s acting weird today…
I totally know what you mean, and also prefer option 2. But then, there are very, very few book heros I want for myself. I like what I’ve got.
Heros in the #1 categories only apply if I’m watching a movie or tv. They have to be real, live men, even though many of these guys will also fall in the #2 category.
Heros in the #2 categories are ALWAYS the book heros.
I’m with you on #2. There are so many heroes who are dreamy, but wouldn’t be particularly good matches for me (tortured hereos: fun in fiction, not so fun in my day-to-day life)! And isn’t that what romance is about – the enjoyment of everyone ending up with someone who’s right for them?
Plus #1 is sometimes a sign of a weak heroine – and you know how I like my heroines! 😉
Hm, Lindsey –
I see what you’re saying about weak heroines leading to category 1. But not always.
I’m thinking Outlander, for example. Claire is a strong, wonderful heroine, and I love her. But I would steal Jamie from her in a heartbeat. Why? I think because it’s so clearly established that both of them were good, honorable, brave individuals before they met and they are each fully capable of surviving without the other. Which is very realistic, and more true to life than the majority of HEAs.
But I dunno, I suppose I respond to the hyperbole – the idea that there’s no one else in the world for that guy, and he just wouldn’t be the same man without her. It’s not real life, perhaps – but it makes great fiction.
You’ve given me something to think about. In the two things I’ve finished, the heroines are principled and virtuous, the heroes casual, flawed, but ultimately they come to their senses. I like my heroines more. A well-balanced couple probably makes for a stronger, more satisfying story, though. Time to revise. Thanks a LOT, Tessa!
Love the template! It’s gorgeous!
I prefer books with heroes in category two, as well. For me to really enjoy a book, I have to want the two of them to be together. There are a few books I’ve read where I wanted to kill off the heroine so the guy could have someone worthy of him. 🙂