This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Hello, writer peeps! Once again we have our brilliant regular column by our secret writer, Emily Tootsweet. Enjoy!
Confessions of a Wannabe Chick Lit Author by Emily Tootsweet
I Need a Hero
No, don’t worry – I’m not going to start singing the Bonnie Tyler classic. This column is based on probably the best part of Chick Lit in my eyes – the Hero.
When I’m writing the hero in my novels I always like to make the reader fall for him almost as much as the main character does. I’ve read plenty of books where I’ve fallen for the guy in the story just as the character falls too. I know that might sound a bit sad, but to me, that makes a good book. It’s all about the ‘happily ever after’ and I think every reader wants a bit of what the character gets. The hero is often the baddie at the beginning – the person she’s least likely to fall for but the most likely all at the same time and you nearly always guess who the hero will be right from the very start. Some say that makes Chick Lit predictable and boring but it’s not like that – it’s the journey the two characters take to get their ‘happily ever after’. You know the two of them will end up together, you just don’t know HOW!
In my first novel, I threw the two characters together near the beginning but ripped them apart again through various consequences. I was able to build a rapport between the two before cruelly separating them. And the story then develops into how the two meet again, thanks to fate and little nudges in the right directions. I based my hero on many different men I’d come into contact with – I took personality traits from guys I worked with and some male friends; I got the hero’s appearance from guys I’d see walking around during my many ‘people watching’ exercises.
When it came to turning him into the man of my readers dreams, I thought about what I wanted in a man, I asked my mates what they wanted too and I got a snap shot into how to make the perfect man. But as all us ladies know, the perfect man doesn’t exist so I added flaws. The hero can’t be Mr Perfect. He needs to be fanciable but realistic. He needs to be believable. So he might look like Brad Pitt but have the personality of a wet fish or he might have the best personality in the world but look like he’s been 10 rounds with Mike Tyson – okay, so that’s slightly exaggerated but you get the gist. It all depends on what the story calls for.
When I think about my hero in novel 1 I think I might have made him too perfect. I might have to edit him slightly. Or add a few more flaws. I can't have him being too perfect!
Emily Tootsweet :o)