“Heroes may not be braver than anyone else. They’re just braver 5 minutes longer.”
― Ronald Reagan
You see, that’s the thing about heroes. They really are only ordinary people. There is just one difference, they have grown in some remarkable way.
For a romance hero he learns what he needs to know to get the girl. Because without growth there is no way for him to proceed to the Happily Ever After.
In fact every character must change and grow with each chapter in order for your story to reach a fulfilling conclusion. That’s what we all want, isn’t it? To capture a reader and to keep them with us until the very end of the story. The worst thing that can happen to us as storytellers is to lose a reader anywhere along the way.
We often claim that a Romance has no formula, but strictly speaking the statement is wholly untrue.
Every story follows a design known to the best of story tellers, because we recognize a characters journey, and accept this fact as an ancient wisdom recognized by the keepers of our oral traditions. Those traditions are translated into the form of story known today as best-selling page turners.
We want to care about our heroes, and if we don’t care about them we often don’t continue to read. Our heroes are identifiable to us as real when we recognize ourselves or others in their story. When we see the ordinary person who is presented with a challenge and who may not be willing to take on the task at first, but eventually becomes motivated to learn and grow, then we have a hero we can identify with for the full length of a good story.
Our heroes are always appealing due to their shortcomings, their difficult choices and their willingness to accept the challenges that … well, make them heroes.
Just don’t forget to keep your heroes real.