It’s raining men…ok, not exactly. It’s not like you have to dodge falling bodies or anything.However, when it comes to writing my stories, crafting heroes is one of the best parts of the process to me. Not that I don’t enjoy creating heroines, I do, but c’mon, writing is one of the few vehicles where you can have as many heroes as you want and not be considered a loose woman.
I will admit to coming up with a plethora of ways to design those beings that make our hearts beat just a little faster. I mean that’s the ultimate point. I want readers to say, “I want him, too.” Lust is healthy, and when it comes to writing romances, I have to say, if I don’t want my hero, I don’t think a reader will either. So what are some of the ways that I’ve come up with writing heroes?
1. People Watching – First, I have to tell you; I’m not a stalker. I firmly believe in leaving people to their own devices. However, when it comes to carving out a character, sometimes going to the cafe and watching body language, along with dialect and facial expressions, helps color in the nuances of a character. Disclaimer, you want to handle this with finesse. Somewhere between a casual glance upward or a yawn in the subject’s direction should ensure that no one is screaming, “Stranger Danger!”
2. Using Photos – This is probably one of my favorites, I love going to Istockphoto or the hundreds of stock photo options available on the web and searching, or even doing actor/model searches. I usually do this when the character is being stubborn and doesn’t come to me in flashes, like he normally does. Typically, through dialogue, or an imagined smile, or even being harassed out of my sleep until I write down a brief note of dialogue or image presented to me, my heroes bumrush into my life. When they don’t, enter PHOTOS!
3. Picking Ice Cream Flavors – Ok, using ice cream flavors has got to be one of the best ways to craft a hero. I mean butter pecan is my favorite, but so is strawberry. If you think of words that describe flavors, which flavor would fit the hero you have in mind? I’ve used a variety of flavors such as mint chocolate chip, rocky road, salted caramel, fudge marble. LOL. It’s all about letting your imagination take control.
Some excellent books to aid you on drafting characters of your own are:
1. The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi
One of the most important things to remember when drafting any character is this: characters are a work in progress, just like us humans. Often they will morph or deepen from the first outline you may have visualized. And that is ok. Let your characters LIVE!