1. godsandgenerals4ever
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    godsandgenerals4ever Member

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    Tips on how to create a strong romantic male lead?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by godsandgenerals4ever, Jan 4, 2012.

    Anyone here have any tips on how to create a strong romantic male lead who isn't wishy-washy but, well, James Bond with more respect and admiration for women beyond their looks (and one, needless to say, who does not have to worry about dudes like Goldfinger, Largo, Dr. No, et al because he isn't a super-spy!)
     
  2. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Look up a Byronic hero.
     
  3. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    Dammit; right when I read the topic title I was all prepped and ready to say, "SEAN MUTHA F***IN' CONNERY!"

    You ruined Christmas.

    But seriously, take one part Sean Connery from James Bond and another part Sean Connery from The Rock and mix it with an equal part of Tom Hanks from Sleepless in Seattle.

    PRESTO
     
  4. TheeJoeyGirl
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    TheeJoeyGirl New Member

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    Whatever you do, don't give him mushy, sappy things to say like how Edward Cullen talks. Ugh!
     
  5. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Give him a lot of patience! Women need and appreciate that! :D I find it's one of the most attractive traits in a guy and if he's got that he will be an attractive Person regardless of looks, status and attitude.
     
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  6. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    I never knew that you are girl. :eek:
     
  7. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hahaha, really? Surprise, then, I guess! :rolleyes:
     
  8. Ayo
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    Ayo Member

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    someone call me? :cool:
     
  9. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    As soon as I read this I thought, that's what I want.

    But I also think guys that are the strong, silent type but without anything really to hide have a bit of mystery to them and it makes them appealing.
     
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  10. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    There's a big difference between the kind of guy who would make an ideal boyfriend, and the perfect fictional romantic hero.

    Fictional heroes tend to be larger than life, and this is no different for romantic heroes. Their qualities have to be supersized, so if their defining trait is that they're patient and understanding, they have to be UBER patient - we're talking Colonel Brandon here, the sidelined hero who just supports and helps and finally gets the girl.

    But lets face it, we don't read Sense and Sensibility for Colonel Brandon - we read it for Willoughby. Everyone roots for the Willoughbies of this world - intelligent, cheeky, witty, charming, devilishly handsome... destined to break your heart and run off with a better offer...

    Ok, maybe these days people go in for other things, like integrity, strength of character and moral support...

    Nope, sounds dull as hell to me. Give me someone a bit tempestrous or domineering - Mr Rochester, for example ;-)
     
  11. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're probably right, but I still think a guy like that would be pretty heroic :D I find it a little boring if the romantic hero has all the things you mention, it makes him too perfect. No one is like that, and perfect people are not very interesting IMHO.
     
  12. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're probably right, but I still think a guy like that would be pretty heroic :D I find it a little boring if the romantic hero has all the things you mention, it makes him too perfect. No one is like that, and perfect people are not very interesting IMHO.
     
  13. yagr
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    yagr Contributing Member

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    Hey! Wait a minute... ;)
     
  14. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    I didn't say he had to be a perfect man, I said a perfect fictional romantic hero - see, that's what I meant when I said there's a difference.

    My perfect romantic hero is deeply flawed - he is jealous, has a temper, can react impulsively and regret it later, but he can also be very reasonable, kind and generous. He is honest and very serious about his sense of duty, but for all his good intentions he is still human and therefore a slave to his passions.

    I don't think he is a perfect man, but he is my perfect hero :D
     
  15. Baba Yaga
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    Baba Yaga Member

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    Triangle torso.

    But seriously, I agree. A RL nice guy wont make women lower the book, look skywards and sigh in between chapters.
     
  16. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's just that with all the characteristics you lined up
    he comes off as somewhat clichéed to me ;) a romantic hero doesn't need, IMO, to have all of that. Maybe in harlekin novels they do, but that's pretty much it. :) And how many women IRL would like to settle down with Mr Casanova? ;)
     
  17. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    Tesoro, those characteristics weren't supposed to be the epitome of the perfect man - I was describing the epitome of the seductive cad who you THINK is the perfect man until he breaks your heart! This in itself is a romantic trope - the heroine is destined to fall for him along the way to finding Mr Right, not end up with him ;)
     
  18. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    this ^
     
  19. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I see. Well I still think he sounds a little too obvious. the kind of guy that, when you read about him you already know nothing good can come out of it, and you only get annoyed at the Mc for not understanding that. And weren't the post about finding the romantic Hero, not the bad guy? maybe I got the whole post wrong, then...
     
  20. Miss Jo
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    I like a romantic male lead to be a bit of a brooder but with super biting wit. Having the weight of the world on his shoulders isn't bad either because women always want to help a man out like that. Jealous but with a strong moral code. having a sweetness about him could be helpful ie: he can't abide cruelty to animals and stops someone from abusing their horse and maybe belts the guy for it. Doesn't even need to be done in front of the female lead but for the reader it will be a swoon point. :) Good luck!
     
  21. Devlin Blake
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    Devlin Blake Member

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    In romance genres, they say a male has to have all the S's
    Smart
    Sexy
    Sweet
    Solvent (yes, in fiction, that matters)
     
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  22. Timothy Mims
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    Timothy Mims Member

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    Unfortunately, I can't constructively tell you what makes a man attractive. Sometimes I wish I was attracted to men, maybe life wouldn't be as complicated. Hahah.

    All joking aside though, I will point you in the direction of an author who seems to specialize in this field. His name is Ted Dekker, I've read three of his books and they all feature a strong, mysterious male protagonist that has a woman head over heels in love with him. Comments and reviews I've read all rave about his ability to help the reader visualize these characters, and I agree. All of his male protagonists are similar but I encourage you to observe his book "The Sanctuary" That book was simply amazing, and I believe the male character is exactly what you're looking for
     
  23. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    Why James Bond? Is it just the idea that he can pull the chicks? Or is it because he is skilled, articulate, witty and successful? I've always wondered why James Bond is a source of hero worship, it never seemed to me like any of his female leads had a choice about banging him or not. They were written to be sex interests.

    There's only been one male lead that I fell in love with, literally, too many hours spent daydreaming about that one. Fifty shades has nothing on my imagination. So lets see if I can articulate what I loved about him.
    - He had a hunger for love that was never satiated. No, not love as in I need to bang everything in sight, but real love. And because of that he carried a bittersweet energy about him. The kind of void that made you want to fill it up.
    - He was skilled. Not the best, just moderately good.
    - Outcast, I can't help it. Love the edgy.
    - He was attractive in his own way but not the hottest thing in pants. An acquired taste.
    - He carried an enduring sadness with him that tainted his relationships with everyone. He could be with them but they always fell short of what it was he was looking for and he never fully engaged with any females who attempted to bond with him. Something was always held back.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
  24. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yep.

    If there is any single trait that can make a great strong romantic male lead, then it is probably one of the traits that I actually appreciate most in any character: guile. A combination of wit, self-confidence, general know-how, and social/situational awareness that enables him to accomplish just about anything, including wooing over a woman. The kind of character who is bound to succeed if he is ever an underdog.

    I remember hearing about cultural differences between different parts of the world: in some developed nations, men are obsessed with socioeconomic status because they are told, from early childhood, how important it is either to be a celebrity or just to have a successful career, and this ruins their self-confidence -- they get the idea in their minds that a woman wants a successful man, so they put so much effort into making themselves look successful (especially through material symbols of wealth, like flashy cars and fancy clothes) as a means to the end of impressing women. In other cultures where people generally do not have the opportunity to become as economically successful, men do not feel those pressures, so their social/romantic life is simpler for them in the sense that "wooing over" a woman is just a matter of taking initiative, rather than playing a complex social game where privileged people have an advantage.

    If there is validity to that observation, then a strong romantic male lead is the kind of person who would never feel shackled by those first-world pressures. He has no reason to doubt himself, so he takes initiative and he utilizes the full extent of his personality and his guile. So James Bond is an appealing character not because he is a super-spy with cool gadgets and expensive suits who keeps encountering hot women, but because he is a clever, self-confident man who sees something he wants and just takes it.

    That is the fundamental idea -- you see something you want and you take it without a second thought. Especially a woman's heart. (Respectfully, of course.) That is how to be a strong male romantic lead.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
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  25. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have to put in a vote against jealousy. To me, jealousy is childish, selfish, and...I struggle to come up with a better word, and all I've got is "creepy". Either she wants to be exclusively with you, or she doesn't. Either you win her love, or you don't. Distrusting her, or trying to tie her to you when she doesn't want to be there, is not an attribute of someone "strong" or "ideal". It's a flaw, an understandable human flaw, but we're talking about ideals here, and in my view jealousy is just too shabby to belong in an ideal.
     
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