Stevie Carroll (stevie_carroll) wrote,
Stevie Carroll

On Heroes

I've been meaning to write this post for somewhere between a week and a month. The inspiration started with a Nine Naughty Novelists post: Ugly Guys Need Not Apply, which discussed the concept of how a romance novel hero had to fit certain physical (and aspirational) parameters. This was contrasted with the idea that a romance heroine can be quite ordinary looking, even in a mainstream romance, and a later post went on to discuss how bad behaviour by the hero may be easier for a reader to overlook than similar behaviour by the heroine. Life got in the way of my composing my own thoughts on the subject until I started seeing similar comments and discussions everywhere.

Various author interviews included questions about what the hero should look like, and they all seemed to fit a very similar pattern. So I found myself wondering why. Do all these writers really want the same man? Are there really so few people out there who, like me, can see attractive qualities in a wide range of features and body types? Admittedly I tend to identify with the hero at least as much as with the heroine in most m/f romances no matter how picky I am about what I read, but even then I still want my central characters to be easily differentiated in my head from other characters in the same and separate stories.

I know romance is about escapism, but are there enough readers out there who can put the male model stereotypes aside and come to appreciate the more ordinary-looking heroes that I want to write about? Or am I fighting a lost cause and should therefore make more effort to play up the best features of my heroes, while playing down the aspects I find interesting?

How about you? What unconventional heroes have stood out in your reading or writing exploits?

Next time I really ought to write about unconventional m/f romances and whether there's a place for certain aspects of the hero/heroine dynamic in other romantic pairings and moresomes.
Tags: on writing
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