Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for Hero...and Hero

On Being a Published Writer
2012 A to Z Blogging Challenge
Day 8
April 9, 2012

I need a hero, I'm holding out for at hero
'till the end of the night
He's gotta be strong and he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight
-Bonnie Tyler, I Need a Hero

We all need a Hero. Does he need to be tall, dark and handsome? It helps, but it’s not a prerequisite these days. Geeks are good. The metro-sexual man is smart, sexy and all heart. Cowboys? Do I really have to explain cowboys?

We love vamps and shifters for the danger. Same goes for all the bad boys on bikes. Let’s face it. Heroes come in all sizes, shapes, occupations and sexual orientations. A hero today is admired for his achievements as much as for his strength and courage in the face of adversity.

So how do we create a legendary hero?

If you’ve never heard the song, “I Need a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler, go to iTunes and get yourself a copy. Go Google for the entire lyrics. This song is an anthem for romance writers. Yes, I was there in the 1980’s when it played on all the radio stations and I loved it.

If you love the hero (protagonist) you’ve envisioned, give him a worthy antagonist (love interest). Throw in a villain if you like external conflict, or keep his battle internal with himself. If you love him, that will come through in the prose and the readers will love him, too.

Strength of character can outweigh his biceps. The fight doesn’t have to be down and dirty fisticuffs. In my own life, my partner, my very own hero, has beaten cancer twice. It takes a lot of strength and determination to win that fight, and it’s his inner will that I find admirable and even sexy. And he’s only a cowboy when he hops on the lawn tractor.

But this blog is called “Hero and Hero.” It could be because KC Kendricks writes contemporary gay romance - two heroes per story. Two is more fun than one, that’s for sure but that’s not all of it. I also want to give you a head’s up about those sneaky secondary characters who are heroes in their own right - the brother or the best friend. They will get down and dirty to hijack the story. I’ve had it happen a few times. Before you know it, you’ve got four heroes and two stories - but that’s all good! Go with it!

Write your hero. Don’t worry about some comment you read on one of those infernal lists that *this type man* or *that type man* sells best. You know some other author who writes that type of hero is the one pushing for everyone to love her kind of man! It’s a herd mentality. Don’t go there!

Don’t even worry about the number of sales you might make on the book. It’s counterproductive to worry about sales before the book is even written. You must first and foremost write to, for, and about your hero - for yourself.

Make him yours. Talk to him. Listen if he talks to you. Follow his lead because you’re the one who pointed him in that direction. Take care of your hero (and his best friend and his brother, too) and everything else will fall into place.

KC Kendricks
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Kyra Lennon said...

Great, great tips on hero writing!

Unknown said...

Terrific advice, my friend! You have created some of my all time favorite heroes. I fell in love with each of them.

KC Kendricks said...

Hi Kyra! Thanks for stopping by Between the Keys during the A-Z Blogging Challenge. I'm so pleased to have you here.

Good morning, Melissa! I'm really enjoying your theme on pioneering women in the A-Z this year at Melissa's Imaginarium. You're rocking it!