A “rule” I’ve heard bantered around Christian romance fiction is that the hero of a story must be “likable.”
I SO understand this. When I read a book, I want to fall in love with the hero. I want to ohhh and ahhh over him and root for him to get the girl.
Heroes who are jerks just make me want to punch them very hard.
Our heroes must have flaws too. I think sometimes in our quest to make a “fall in lovable” hero, we make one who is too darn perfect. They never make a mistake, never do anything wrong.
So, I’m offering up TWO “five” lists today (to equal ten, ha!)
Five inexcusable flaws for heroes.
- Potty mouths. Don’t make me wash your mouth out with my bar of Irish Spring…
- Women beaters. Hero hits a girl… book gets burned in fireplace.
- No job/Lazy. I so understand there are reasons a man doesn’t have a job. But I really don’t want to read about a dude that is so lazy that he doesn’t want to work. Really, I don’t. Man up, buddy!
- Sex addicts. I can imagine the google hits I’ll get from this one. But no, I don’t want to hear about a hero that has trouble keeping his pants zipped. I completely understand that you can take a “player” and redeem him by the end of the book. I’m just saying that I won’t be around at the end of the book to be reading about his redemption.
- Other “habits” such as an alcoholic, a chain-smoker (for CBA fiction ANY smoker…), a user, a porn addict… need I say more? Seriously… I’m REALLY getting nervous about the potential search engine hits. All you men that fall into these categories… we still love ya. Just don’t want to read about you in a romance novel… (I’ll shut up now before I dig myself a MAJOR hole!)
Five excusable flaws for heroes
- Overly devoted to taking care of your sick aunt/mother/sister/neighbor’s best-friend’s cousin’s uncles sick cat…
- Heroes that are completely ignorant of the swooning effect the flexing of their muscles has on innocent women who happen to be peaking through the curtain staring at him…
- A workaholic. Okay, not a funny one, but seriously, this is totally redeemable for a hero in a romance. Especially when heroine lures him away and convinces him that spending time with her is so much funner than his stuffy old office.
- He spends way too much money on flowers and gifts for heroine… (although… he can’t go into debt up to his eyeballs, so uncool!)
- A sports addict. (on surface, we don’t like this… BUT… I think it’s excusable and normal.. gives hero a flaw that we can handle!)
Discussion: Anyone else have some suggestions for “excusable” or “inexcusable” flaws?