Hot as Hades?
I have to admit, when reviews started coming in for Persephone talking about how hot Hades is, I was shocked. I don’t know why I was shocked, I described Hades as drool-worthy, and my mental image of him certainly counts as hot, but the idea that I’d written a guy that readers claimed to be in love with/obsessed with was just insane to me! In a good way. I love those reviews 🙂
So what makes a hero in a fiction book hot? Here’s what my readers seem to like:
Minimal (good looking) description. Let’s face it, what readers can conjure up in their heads is much more enticing than words on a page. All I said about Hades was that he looked good, had black hair, electric blue-eyes, an angular face, skin that could have been carved from marble (What? He’s a Greek god, I had to pay homage to all those statues somehow), is tall, and that he had a strong build.
That’s it. And that description didn’t pop up all in one place. It was peppered over chapters, one or two details would repeat, hair and eye color mostly, but that’s all I wrote. There are a billion different ways Hades could actually look based on those descriptions. Tall for instance is largely a matter of perspective. Persephone mentioned barely clearing 5 feet (my height), to me there’s not a huge difference between someone who is 5’6 and 6’5. When you’re already craning your neck to look up at someone a foot doesn’t make that much of a difference. But I’m willing to wager my readers that are 5’6 picture someone taller than they are.
I’ve seen writers over-do it. I’ve read characters who were 6’2 1/2 inches, with hair the color of burnt umber paint by Blic Art, oil #3541. They get slammed for it to in reviews. I had a writer friend (who to be clear did NOT over-do the description of his character to that degree, or any degree actually) get a two-star review because the reader didn’t like facial hair.
On the other hand, don’t under-do it. I remember being shocked in book 4 of the Left Behind series when the writer casually mentioned Buck was blond. For some reason I’d pictured him to be like Kirk Cameron. His description might have included that earlier, but not often enough for me to not be jerked out of the book when that detail was dropped. I remember a bunch of other people mentioning that to, so it wasn’t just me. Have you ever series a book pronouncing the characters name one way, then heard the author say it another? It’s jarring, and for me, it ruins that character forever because I actually get stressed when I see there name on the page because I know I’m reading it “wrong” but habit is hard to break.
A reader’s imagination is a powerful thing. Leave them the room to picture their dream guy, but give them something to picture.
Over protective tendencies:
I don’t know what this says about me as a woman, and I don’t particularly care. Guys that try to protect their significant others are hot.
Unless of course they go so far as to disable the protagonists car so she can’t leave her house to visit the neighborhood warehouse, mentally stalk her, or watch her while she sleeps without her knowing. That’s just creepy.
For some reason anger plays really well into overprotectiveness. When someone tries to hurt the main character and the hero gets really, really mad, that’s very attractive. Not sure why, and again, there is a delicate balance, but if the goodreads status updates are any indication, angry Hades scenes make my readers happy, and tend to be my favorite moments in the book.
Barriers This is one I love in books and movies but hate in real life. When the guy is rude, and condescending, and hard to read to everyone except the main character who breaks through his cool tough guy exterior. She’s the only one who can really understand him, and boy do the two of them share some biting one-liner arguments as they argue/build up sexual tension. Often there’s a scary darkness to these characters that they want to leave behind to be worthy of the main character, who appreciates their darkness because it reflects a side of themselves they’re afraid to express.
There’s an element of that to Hades, though he at least is also portrayed as a nice guy to everyone with sarcastic tendencies. See, in real life, these guys would be so irritating that to me it wouldn’t be worth dating them. But for some reason that borderline-condescending sarcasm with all the dark layers of wounded whateverness is really attractive in fiction.
Describe your favorite fictional hot hero and what you like about them.How do they fit into the big three trends of hot heroes I’ve mentioned above? Did I leave out any trends you’ve noticed? Comment below for a chance to win your choice of one of my books and of course keep hopping for more chances to win a Barnes and Noble Gift Card!
Powered by Linky Tools
Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list...