Okay, I think I finally get it. The tortured hero thing. I’ve previously written about how I like a hero with a sense of humor. He doesn’t have to be all dark and angsty, and I still believe that. But, I guess I finally get the appeal of a hero that’s got some big old baggage (as long as he’s not always dark and brooding).
My most recent hero in the WIP I just “finished” has a lot of emotional baggage. In the beginning he plays it off with my usual sense of humor, but as he falls deeper and deeper for the heroine, this hero has some serious issues to overcome.
Some bad, bad things happened to this guy. Worse than I’ve ever inflicted on any of my characters pretty much… ever. On top of that, hero is convinced he’s broken, and he has a long road of healing ahead. One that I let him take with the heroine… not just because of her. And for the first time I got to the end of writing the novel and didn’t desperately want to finish. I wanted to stay with him.
I realize now that as much as I love my other heroes, the ones who overcome some big, bad issues to find love are the ones that stick a little longer with you. There’s something about their transformation that makes the heart so much more a part of the reading process. Usually I give my heroines the baggage, but their transformations don’t seem to pack the same kind of punch.
That’s not to say that I will now always write heroes with super baggage and heroines with teeny little overnight bag size baggage, but I guess what I’m saying is I’ve finally admitted that a tortured hero isn’t as unappealing as I thought.