Do you have some characteristic from real life that you apply to all or most of your heroes? I don’t mean that they’re all tall, dark, and handsome. Or that they’re all left- handed. Or that they’re all muscle-bound Adonises with washboard abs you can eat off of. But is there some feature you give to your heroes that you maybe don’t get in real life from your own relationship?
All of my heroes are neat and tidy. I even periodically have a scene of them doing the dishes without being asked (if I can fit it in without it being totally distracting and random). See, my husband, though I love and adore him, is not neat and tidy. And the not doing the dishes thing is probably my number one pet peeve (it’s the thing I was griping about at my bachelorette party and hasn’t changed in the last 7 years). He has other features that mitigate his lacks in the housekeeping department (e.g. fantastic sense of humor, talented musician).
Zoe and I were talking about it this morning. All of her heroes can cook.
I am inclined to think that all romance writers do this with heroes–because where else can we control such things?
But does it make them less like real men? That seems to be one of the complaints that men who have read romance novels lodge against the heroes therein. They’re too sensitive, talkative, thought monologuish, neat, tidy, [insert female desire for whatever]. If this is the case and our heroes are less like “real men” I can’t say that I have a problem with it. I don’t read romance for “real men”. I’m happily married to one, after all. I read romance for the story, for the relationship. Lack of many of these characteristics would be why I rarely read books written by men, actually. And, in fact, I think “real men” could learn something from the men of romance. 50% of books sold in this country actually give a good window into the age old question of What Women Want.
This one just wants a maid.