Girls Write Out
Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Here's my hero looking out to sea. When Mel and I first started dating, and especially after he started reading all my manuscripts, I realized he had the qualities I thought were most important in the romances I wrote, so I changed all the characteristics of my male leads to fit Mel's qualities of intelligence, tenderness, kindness and sense of fun.

Recently I've been looking for hero-type qualities in male leads of movies and television in order to give the reader a comparison with a name. I've discovered that there really aren't that many actors today who fill the role. Perhaps it's my age, or perhaps it's just the fact that I don't see enough of Mel in those men. People change, and my idea of a truly heroic hero has definitely changed. I'm drawn to more calm, ethically courageous, fair-minded men who don't mistreat women, and who give all for that one special woman. If I pick up a romance and the hero and heroine immediately hate each other and get nasty with one another, I put the book down. Of course, if they agree on everything all the time, the necessary conflict flies out the window, so something has to set them against each other.

How does one go about doing that without having the hero and heroine at each other's throats throughout the book? That's where creativity come in.

How about you? Who are some of your favorite male leads, both in novels and in movies? What is it about them that you like? What conflicts work for you?

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Hannah Alexander  
posted at 2:17 AM  
  Comments (14)
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At 4:08 AM, Blogger Pam S. said...

I like Jean Valjean in LES MISERABLES for his mercy, humanity, humility, and ability to forgive.

At 4:11 AM, Blogger Pam S. said...

P.S. I also liked Lucas Wright in Denise's THE CONVENIENT GROOM for his ability to love unconditionally. (I know the other male leads in her Nantucket series also have that ability, but I especially liked Lucas.)

At 9:36 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

I agree with you both. So good to know others feel the same about compassionate, humble and strong men. Long live real heroes!!

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Okay, so it's early for me, and I didn't see that you "both" were you, Pam S. LOL. Gotta wake up and mow, but first I've got to find my glasses....another thing Mel's good with. He helps me find my glasses...

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Barb said...

I do like some books where at first the characters can't stand each other. I like how the characters discover that the other person wasn't who they thought they were, perhaps judged them too quickly.

At 3:09 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Yes, Barb, I don't mind those so much. I think my problem dates back to when the hero was so very awful and insulting to the heroine--and vice versa--that it shows how ugly they are inside. And that's not something easily changed. I like someone with enough character to give others the benefit of the doubt.

At 7:01 PM, Blogger Sun said...

Going off what Barb said, the perfect example of this is in the book, Halos, by Kristen Heitzmann. This actually is one of my most favorite books. He does misunderstand Alessi due to the situation he is thrown into. But in that situation, I don't know if many of us would act much differently. A book I would definitely recommend! :)

Flee the Night, by Susan May Warren is another example although these characters have history you don't realize the depth and extent until you continue to read the book. Another book I would recommend to lovers of mystery. :D

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I love An officer and a Gentleman though Richard Gere in that role is horrible at first. But you see WHY right away with the way he's raised. And you see him change. I just love that ending! LOL I have to stop and watch it if we stumble in it with channel flipping.

At 11:50 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Well, okay, then. In that case, guys, you've talked me into it. I'm going to have the heroine in my proposal accuse the hero of cyber-stalking her little sister. It'll be quite the doozy. Here comes conflict...though I still do agree that Jean Valjean's character in Les Miserables is wonderful.

At 6:03 AM, Blogger SketchGirl said...

I like witty dialogue. How to lose a girl in 10 days, while you were sleeping, hidden secrets and sweet home alabama are some of my favourite movies due to the dialogue. Some of my favourite novels from Steeple Hill keep me reading due to the character interaction.

At 9:11 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

I also love witty dialogue. Wish I could write it more wittily. I realize that humor is subjective, but witty dialogue is up there near the top of the list for me, as well.

At 2:58 PM, Blogger Life Adapted said...

Conflict born out of ignorance to a situation is a conflict that can be resolved without having such negative feelings for the hero. For example, once the hero is made aware of a situation, he can have a change of heart and become tender and gentle. Since his behavior was out of ignorance and not because he's just a bad guy, you can forgive his poor behavior and still love him. The heroine may hate his ignorance, but still love the person who he is. Very few things I've seen do this well . . . Everafter with Drew Barrymore is a great example of this.
Be blessed.

At 9:59 PM, Blogger Peg Brantley said...

I'm just sayin' . . . Will Smith. Intelligence, tenderness, kindess and a sense of fun. In almost any of his roles.

At 10:02 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Oh, most definitely Will Smith.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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