I've started Book Three in "The Fae Dragon Chronicles," (meaning I'm profiling my characters, creating scene sketches, improving on my story bible...ya know...brainstorming). I've decided book three, "Love Desired," needs to be Queen Morgana's story (which everyone will understand once books 1 & 2 come out, lol).
I know Morgana, inside and out.
However, I do not know her hero, yet. I've met him once, briefly, but he's still a stranger.
In "Love Dared" (Book 2), I learned: this character is strong enough to lead the enemy's army, yet a gentle father-figure to a young boy. Until yesterday, I didn't even know his name.
But poor Morgana has a story and she desperately needs some love.
So, this has me thinking about heroes and what makes a great hero, a hero the reader doesn't forget, a hero we all want to take home and... let's go with cuddle up to...
I have a hero I took home, and I find bits and pieces of him in each of my stories.
My husband is my hero, and yesterday he reminded me of this several times:
He rushes to help damsels in distress: My brother (well he might be happily married with kids, but we always called him Josephina, which makes him a damsel to me) had broken down out of town. My DH didn't hesitate. He dropped his chores, because I asked, and saved my brother (and the car).
He romances the heroine in little ways: Out of the blue, my hero said and did the sweetest things, like he brought me a watermelon (because it is my absolute favorite fruit!), and he came up behind me and whispered, "have I told you how sexy I think you are?" as he walked by.
He romances the heroine in big ways and solves complex problems (which showcases his superior skills and big heart): (I know, I'm rolling two in one...) My hero installed my dishwasher. I know, you're probably wondering exactly how that's sexy; but, trust me, watching him install the beast and knowing he was making my life easier? Totally sexy!
The hero slays the dragon (or other totally monstrous beastie): At ten-thirty last night, we were all so tired. We'd worked on the yard, pulled potatoes from the garden, pulled weeds, saved my brother, installed the dishwasher, played with one of our grandsons, and did five thousand other things. So, at ten-thirty, I look out my window and what I call the 'Danger Will Robinson light' is flashing in red neon, lighting up the dark yard.
Oh poop.... "Um, Honey?" I say, a bit cautiously. But I'm wondering, if I close my eyes and tap my heels three times, will it shut off?
"Yeah?" He says.
"The light's on."
"What?" He's getting a bit exasperated.
"The light. The light, dear. It's flashing." I sound a bit disjointed, I know, but it's because I'm quite stressed out by now. How could this happen? Why now? I really just wanted to shower and go to bed, and now I can't.
He glances out the window and sighs, presses his lips together in a stiff line, and kind of stomps outside.
The door shuts quietly behind him.
Later, I'm holding a flashlight and he's up to his elbows in...well, we live in the country and when that light goes on it means something is wrong with the pump connecting us to the city sewer system. It's a pre-warning system, so our house doesn't flood with, well, everyone else's waste water (can you say, "ick?").
Some people hire a plumber (who would probably hire an electrician, since it's electrical), but my husband's an electrician so...
And as I'm holding his flashlight, and my honey is slaying my latest nasty, stinky dragon, I'm thinking I have an amazing hero, right here in real life. I think I tend to model my romance heroes after mine, in one form or another, when I write.
What about your heroes? Do you have preferences? Stories? Please share...
P.S.- It should be noted, however, I don't always feel quite so sweet and admiring toward my hero...we are married, after all, lol!