I’ve talked about heroes before, my tendency not to give them enough conflict, or to make them seem “too perfect” in the synopsis (like I did for SYTYCW). And I’ve talked before about how I am the minority of readers/writers that doesn’t enjoy a super angsty tortured alpha hero.
It’s not that they can’t have angst. It’s not that they can’t be alpha. It’s just the combo of the two often leaves me feeling flat.
My current WIP has a hero who has a lot of pain in his past. The kind of pain that I’ve rarely given a character before. Not that I never give my characters pain or heartache, this is just some really, really serious pain and heartache from his childhood and teen years, pain and heartache that shaped his whole world view and leaves him incapable (or at least he thinks) of going beyond it. He isn’t angsty and dark, though. He can be arrogant, but he can also be nice when he wants to be. Not totally an alpha per se, but probably the closest I’ve ever come. And in the process of writing about this guy, I’ve come to a realization about what I want in a hero as both a writer and as a reader…
For me as a reader, the hero can be just about anything… alpha, beta, flawed, perfect, conflicted, driven… WHATEVER, as long as he has a good sense of humor… I’ll probably like him. Seriously, if he can make a joke, banter with the heroine, I’m pretty much sold.
In all of my novels, I don’t think I’ve ever written a hero that didn’t have a sense of humor. Not only is it fun to read and write, but a sense of humor (for me) is a really attractive feature in a person.