Tuesday, January 9, 2018



What kind of hero do you like?

It’s a new year and time for a new project. I’m starting to create a new series which means coming up with three heroes and three heroines. It’s one of the parts of writing I enjoy, but I have to take it one character at a time or else I’ll feel overwhelmed. I thought I’d share part of my process with y’all. Keep in mind, this is my method. Each of the lovely and talented ladies here at Craftie have their own and each one is different. There’s no right or wrong way to create a character to tell a Love Inspired story.
            A friend who’d just read one of my books asked if I drew the characters from people I know. I’m never quite sure how to answer because it’s yes and no. I don’t use real people in the sense that I incorporate all their personality. I do sometimes use small aspects of a friend’s personality. Things like, a fear of failure, a need to be right or in control. Sometimes it’s even a smaller point like a regret they might have had or a blind spot.

It all depends on the character and what the story is about. After a number of books I’ve realized I tend to write certain types of heroines and heroes. I’m sure that has to do with my own preferences and personality.

I have a book I rely on to help me create the right hero for the right story. It’s takes all the personality types and breaks them down into their various aspects. My heroes tend to fall into three types. The Best Friend— the guy who is dependable, protective and will stand by the heroine no matter what. The Wounded hero— emotionally scarred, closed off and brooding until the heroine comes along and shows him how to love. Then there’s the Charmer, though I don’t write him often  – the guy who thinks he has the world at his feet until he meets the heroine and realizes he has nothing without her love.

I must admit I’m not fond of the Alpha male hero. He’s usually too domineering and self-centered. And truth be told, men like that don’t change.

            So, first off, I know who my hero will be for the next book. He’s a chopper pilot who flies men out to the oil rigs in the Gulf each day. It’s a dangerous, risky job, but he’s a skilled pilot. Contrary to popular belief pilots by nature aren’t hot shot risk takers. They are level head, focused, calm in a crisis, and detail oriented. My guy got his training in the service, so he’s also disciplined. He’s a college grad but at heart he’s a blue collar kind of guy. I think his name will be Ben and he’s going to lean toward the wounded hero type. Something in his background has left a deep scar. Any ideas?

Now, what kind of heroine should he have? Not one that will smile sweetly and meekly stand at his side. She has to be the exact opposite. First rule of creating character, they have to be the worst possible choice for each other. Conflict is essential. Which mean the heroine I create should be impulsive, feisty, and a bit reckless. The kind that would drive him nuts.

            The next step is figuring out his past, things like his goal, motivation and conflict. He’s a single guy who suddenly finds himself the guardian of his three orphaned nieces and nephew. How does he feel about that? How does it force him to adjust to his future? How does his childhood and past wounds effect his attitude toward his new responsibilities? Does he willingly embrace the challenge or does he resent it and why?

            On another front he has a past love life I need to decide upon. Engaged? Divorced? Jilted at the altar. Fiancé killed or died?  Then there’s the things going on in his daily life. Is his job at risk? Is he working toward a new career or a change of some kind?. What in his world is being threatened? What in his life is at risk? Something in the community being threatened? Is there a threat to his guardianship?

            I don’t have all the answers to Ben’s story yet. I do have some things I use to help find them. A long character interview, a list of things I need to know before I can start the book, such as the turning point of the plot and the black moment – the point at which all seems lost and the reader says: How will they work this out?

             As you can see I have a lot of work to do on poor Ben. At the same time I need to be thinking about the heroine – no name as yet – and make sure they are clashing on every point. It’s really one of the fun parts of putting a book together.

So what kind of hero are you partial to? The Brooding wounded guy. The Charmer or the stalwart Best Friend? Leave a comment and let me know.
Lorraine
Watch for Her Handyman Hero available now.
The Wounded Hero




The Best Friend
The Charmer

11 comments:

  1. I guess I'm drawn to the brooding hero. I like it when both the hero and heroine have issues in their past that keep them from moving forward. Great post, Lorraine.

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    1. Thanks. I like the giving my characters issues too. the bigger the better so I guess even though I have those three types I probably tend to do the brooding lost soul the most. :)

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  2. You gave us lots to think about, though I do like to think that while alphas can't change, they do soften.

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    1. You're probably right. I think I like Alpha's as long as they aren't over the top - you know Rambo-esk. LOL

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  3. I tend to like wounded hero, so the heroine can help him heal his wounds.

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  4. Lorraine, I like a strong man (edging on Alpha) who knows how to handle himself, is confident in his work and how to get things done, but has a tender heart inside that loves God, family, his nation and doing what is right. Hmm. That's the kind of man I married, too. When he walks into a room, everyone looks. Being 6'4" helps, of course. He's not what I'd call a "pretty boy," with to die for good looks, but he's a man and knows it. But when it comes to me, he's all mush. After 36 years of marriage, I've put him to the test and he loves nothing more than he loves God and me. No wonder I write those kinds of heroes. I love a strong hero who is mushy inside. :)

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  5. I love a tormented hero but I like that he could also be the best friend/boy next door who used to be a charmer and now is a brooder. It's always a challenge to heal a tormented brooding man but that's the fun of our job, right?

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  6. Great post, Lorraine. I love a strong hero who has a heart of gold. And definitely both hero and heroine need to be flawed but lovable.

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  7. I like alpha heroes. Charmers and the wounded hero. I enjoy the feisty heroine but also the librarian and the nurturer. Building characters is the fun part.

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  8. I like Alpha heroes, but they're not domineering. They're protective and fall head-over-heels in love with their heroines! Usually they put others first and themselves last. Not in a weak way, but in a "Let's get out of here alive" way.

    Give the Alphas another look, Lorraine. You may find how special they truly are!

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    1. I think my lingering impression of book alpha heroes are like those 1980s pirate types who took what they wanted and forced the heroine to their will. I know things have changed and perhaps the definition of Alpha has too because I do love a protective hero. :)

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