The past few months I have immersed myself into the romance writing world. I have joined communities, I have subscribed to blogs. And I have learned that, as writer & reader, I have a little odd ball trait.
I prefer my heroes not to be dark, brooding, tortured. Strong, silent type? Yes, please. Quirky, laid back type? Even better. I have to say, you don’t find a lot of these type in the category romance world. I think they’re getting more popular, but the reformed bad boy or tortured hero always seems to be a much more popular hero choice.
Thing is, I have never been attracted to the bad boy, I’ve always liked the good guy. Now, doesn’t mean your good guy isn’t a little flawed or your bad boy doesn’t have some good in him. In fact, especially in romance, the bad boy is going to need good at his core.
The best example I can come up with is Gilmore Girls (though we’re going to ignore the last season, because I stopped watching when Lorelei married Chris, boo hiss). And if you never watched Gilmore Girls you can probably skip this paragraph. I was always rooting for Luke & Lorelei. Luke is a good guy, oh he’s gruff and kind of angry and can be very dark, but there’s no question Luke is absolutely one-hundred percent a good guy. (We’ll ignore the whole daughter he never knew, because that was just stupid). Chris was the bad boy, he was mostly a crappy father, kind of selfish, and never seemed to be able to do things right. Some people rooted for Chris & Lorelei because of chemistry or their past together. I never could get behind it.
If I look back at the seven novels I’ve completed, plus my current WIP, only two of my heroes aren’t the easy going, laid back type.
My laid back heroes are typically funny (in my opinion, one of the most attractive character traits a man can have), they’re caring, and they don’t go around getting all pissed off about stuff. Level headed, and unfazed by a tough heroine.
The two that don’t fit that are still funny. One is laid back, just kind of a play boy. Likes women and isn’t ashamed of it. The other is kind of dark, he’s got some major baggage, but he’s still got a wry sense of humor and a very firm sense of right and wrong, which often brings out the caring side of him.
I like a hero who can laugh at himself, who can take things in stride, who does the right thing because it’s the right thing. Now, of course that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a decent tortured hero or reformed bad boy, but I never could write those types. They don’t often pop into my head.
But, it’s hard to find conflict for a good guy and sometimes he can come across as a bit of a doormat if the plot and heroine aren’t spot on, so I can understand why they aren’t prevalent. But, they’re still my favorite.