Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Readers, we want you!

Something writers are always trying to do is create not only believable, three-dimensional, and relatable characters but also romantic ones. We want our hereos to be the kind every woman wants to sweep her off her feet, and we want our heroines to be a strong, self-sufficient woman that every reader wants to be.
Whew! That's a lot of pressure!
But think about it. What was the last book you read? Was the heroine strong and independent, someone you as a female reader could relate to, admire, even wish to imitate a little? Was the hero a tough yet sensitive kind of guy, romantic and protective even if he had his own issues? More than likely, yes, because if he was a total jerk, he wouldn't be much of a hero. If he was a bum with no motivations, he wouldn't be very interesting to read about. And if she was weak and helpless, the stereotypical damstel in distress, you wouldn't want to relate to her.
I'd like to hear from our readers on this! What is your idea of the perfect man to read about? The perfect heroine? What qualities or character traits would personally turn you off from the story? Which ones do you enjoy reading about? Are any character quirks or goals overly done and you're tired of seeing them?
Chime in here. It's your chance to give us authors feedback! =)


  1. Great questions, Betsy.

    I love a wounded hero who is strong but underneath hurting.


  2. I know this is horribly vague, but annoying heroines are a big turn off. Even if she's a little wishy-washy, give her something redeemable.

    As far as heroes go, I like all kinds of heroes. The biggest problem that I have is when the dialogue isn't realistically masculine and I find myself thinking "What guy actually says that?"

  3. Good feedback!

    I like heroes like that too Margaret. There is something so attractive about a man who is hurting and sensitive, but still strong and able to do the right thing.

    Justina, not vague at all. I totally see your point and agree. All heroines need something redeemable, something to make the woman reader want to relate to them and feel sympathy for their situation. The "Dumb blonde" mentality - or any hair color for that matter lol - isn't attractive to a reader most of the time!

    You are also very right on the dialogue issue. This happens a lot, because female authors don't take time to really think about their hero's dialogue. It's kinda funny - in a lot of my WIP's, my critique partners have thought my male dialogue was actually more realistic and interesting than my heroine's! uh oh!! lol

    Who else wants to chime in? =)

  4. Interesting post. I have to agree with Margaret. I also like a guy who is a take charge type who is tough as nails but soft with the ones he loves.

    I agree with Justina too. There are a few heroines I've run across that just keep repeating over and over why she can't get involved with the hero. That makes me crazy. I like a girl who is strong and independent but not to the point of unreasonable where she doesn't need the hero.

    Thanks for the great post.
    Sherry K

  5. My favorite hero was Jamie in the Outlander Series, more Jamie at the beginning before he became so horribly wounded. He won me over when Claire wouldn't get back on the horse and he simply lifted her on to the horse. End of story. Sigh....
    That being said, Betsy, have you been looking for me. You posted something over on the LI site.

  6. Yes Pamela! lol What's your email addy?

  7. I love all types of heros! Just when I think there's one type I love most, I'll read a book with a different type and fall in love with him, too. :)

    So, I can't pick! As long as they're well-written, I'll be crazy for him.

  8. I love the bad boy hero who is turned from the dark side by the love of a strong, independent woman.

    I don't care for weak heroines, but I have seen it done well. As long as they gradually grow stronger thoughout the story and then save the day when it really counts.

    Good post.

  9. will probably like my January book then. Vince the bad-boy of the PJ team gets redeemed. LOL!

    I love noble Alpha males in romance and women who don't whine.


  10. Good questions I will start with what I am tired of and just cant read right now. Self centered females who only want to get married and thats all they are worried about. They tend to be nuerotic and annoying to me.

    I enjoy the heroine who has issues but toughs it out. I dont mind books where a heroine starts spoilt and as a brat as long as they change and we see a change. In some stories they have something happen where they end up having to fend for themselves or find there strength and change completely. Someone like Emmy Dane in the books by Marcia Gruver is cool she started out annoying but when she found God she changed but not so she was a goody goody but you saw her make an effort to change and be a Christian.
    In Hero's I like the ones who are strong but have a sensitive side also like Margaret said with underneath hurting or issues. I also love the writers like
    Kelly Eileen Hake who show us what the hero or heroine is thinking and why.
    love heroines who are ok being single! As I am a single so many people think that there is something wrong with you if you are single or something wrong if you dont want to get married etc.
    I think thats why those books annoy me. not all singles only think of being married. Its ok to be single. I dont mind books where they get married or find someone they give people like me hope and they make a good read.

  11. Great feedback guys! I'm so glad to hear this.

  12. Sorry this is SO late, but apparently I overlooked this post : S

    Anyway, one of my all-time favorite heroes is Landon from A Walk to Remember : ) As Ruthy says, "Be still my heart!" Lol! He is just so great....I don't even have the words...

    Heroines, I like them to be realistic. Someone who we can look up to, but still relate to also. I want to like her, then hate her because of something she did that was so stupid, then love her again by the end of the book : ) This is what happened in Glynna's novel. Near the end, I wanted to like scream at the heroine!!

    Sorry this is so late, again. I hope this helps...maybe?
    Nice post!

  13. I want three-dimensional heroes and heroines.

    I don't want to read about heroes who are wimps.

    And while I wouldn't want a whiny woman, I also don't want to read about one who is not feminine. That's a turn-off.

    Basically, I want characters that I can become emotionally attached to.


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