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What makes your lead male character stand out from the crowd?

Home / Forums / List of Forums / Romance / What makes your lead male character stand out from the crowd?

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    Character development… it’s important. What makes your Mister so special?


    I’m not working on a straight up romance right now, but my WIP has a romantic subplot that is improving based on input from the dudes in my life. I read them a passage or summarize something re: subplot activities, ask them what their response would be, and edit edit edit. I think I’m getting better at it, and my book’s Mister is more realistic in his dude-ishness now. Except he blows stuff up with magic sometimes. It happens, right?

    p.s. YAAAAY romance board!


    Kenra Daniels

    I spend quite a lot of time on character development during the outline stage of each book, and work really hard at making all my major characters realistic individuals. My Misters are as male as I can possibly make them, with input from several guys. I used to often get comments of “A real guy wouldn’t think that!”. These days, I seem to be getting better at it, because my guy readers seldom say that anymore.

    The big thing, though, for me, is to make them people and individuals first, and male second. As long as I keep that in mind, I’m good. My Misters stand out because they’re all individuals, and none of them fit a cookie cutter of what a Hero or Villain should be.


    Madison J Edwards

    I always love a Mister who’s one of those guys women will actually stop what they’re doing to look at him, because they can’t believe someone could be THAT good looking (and yes, I’ve seen a few). But what melts my socks, is when that drop dead gorgeous man only has eyes for his woman. And she doesn’t have to be a beauty queen, but to him, she’s everything. This ratchets that man into the stratospher of supreme sexy.
    I try to capture this with my male leads. *heartfelt sigh*



    lol Madison (love it).

    My guy is kind of not the typical guy. Yeah he assumes things and jumps to conclusions (often the wrong ones) and walks around his house in his boxers when he isn’t expecting company. But he’s an English teacher. He doesn’t always say things we would expect a guy to say. It doesn’t help that my male readers aren’t going to tell me a thing other than “It’s good.”



    Sorry, I can’t resist quoting Jack Nicholson in As Good as It Gets when he’s asked how he can “write women” so well:
    “I think of a man and I take away reason and accountability.”

    So what I do is think of a woman and remove: over thinking things, femininity, the ability to find household items at a moment’s notice, and being excessively verbose. Among other things.

    I’m wondering now how many men read romance novels. I’ve never known one, but that doesn’t mean anything. However, statistics do show that women are the primary readers of romance. I think it’s in our DNA.

    Madison, I think the hero you are speaking of is my hero, too. It doesn’t even matter if he’s “classically” good looking (lately there are descriptions of heros with full lips, I’m thinking Brad Pitt) but the fact that he only has eyes for his woman is what makes him drop dead gorgeous.



    romancewriter, love the Jack Nicholson reference. I totally agree. I think with my guys, I try to keep it real by limiting their excessive verboseness as well. Men say it plain. And a sense of humor is a must. I love dry wit and sarcasm, especially directed at themselves. If he can dish it out and take it, then he’s awesome.

    Plus I gotta say, now that I’m getting older, I’m loving a man with the graying hair and some rugged lived-in wrinkles. But then again, I’ve always had thing for older men. Maybe it’s that maturity that comes from living life and screwing up enough to know what’s right.



    I tend to go for the Boy Nextdoor thing. Attractive, but it’s the personality and charisma that draws the female in.

    Of course, the ones with stellar good looks wind up hurting, the sweet guy with dimples is the one who swoops in and saves the day.

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