When I say writing a romance hero that’s “sexier” I don’t mean describing the bumps on his six pack or including some shirtless car washing scenes.
Sexy is attractive. What will make you romance hero super sexy? Keep reading to find out how to write a romance hero that is swoon-worthy.
Writing A Romance Hero: Show His Soft Center
Now you may not want your hero walking around being like Santa Claus but you should definitely seduce your readers with a man who is thoughtful. Your job as the author is to make sure your hero woos his heroine*. (*For ease of reading I’m going to refer to the love interest as the heroine but it could be another hero, an alien, a monster or something else altogether. You do you, boo!)
When I talk about doing I am not talking about love bombing, we don’t need more narcissists in the world, but subtle meaningful acts of “Hey, girl, I care about you enough to inconvenience myself.”
When plotting or as you are writing or revising try to think about how your hero can will your heroine.
From Korean dramas these are some fan favorites:
Retrieving the drunk woman from her company dinner and carrying her on his back to take her home. (He may or may not have put on shoes or changed out of his pajamas before leaving to go rescue her. He wouldn’t want her being taken advantage of.)
seeing a heroin struggle with something and then getting that thing to her. (Like in True Beauty when Su-ho (our hero) sees Joo.-kyung, our heroine, pinning her bangs with a cheap plastic hair salon clip. He purchases her a nice barrette to replace the cheap salon one. She is touched by his thoughtfulness.)
What’s sexier than a man giving you a really great gift without you needing to prompt him???
Writing a Romance Hero: Quirky Can Be Sexy Too
Perfect doesn’t exist in real life and it shouldn’t in your romance either. Prince charming is a fallacy and grown women know the difference. Make your hero more human and give him some quirks.
In What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim Young-joon, the hero, is a bit uptight. He has his reasons but one of his biggest quirks is that he’s never dated or kissed a woman. It’s a really fun time trying to watch a romance unfold with this guy who has healing to do before he can fully give himself to his heroine, Secretary Kim. He wants so desperately to be “normal” but he has to work with what he’s got and when he finally overcomes his issues it makes the audience love him even more.
In Coffee Prince Han Gyeol, the hero, loves legos. Like a lot. This is his unexpected quirk especially for our free-spirited playboy hero. On the outside he’s cool and hot and kind of stuck up, but these legos show that he has a soft center. He has an innocence about him. These legos, which are seemingly toys, are something he is very serious about. (One of my favorite scenes from this 2007 K-drama is when he is in his lego room. He’s adorable!)
When writing a romance hero ask yourself: what is this guy’s thing? What is something he does or loves that is special to him and when or how will he share it with the heroine.
Your readers will swoon over these moments where your hero lets down his walls and shows his vulnerability.
Writing A Romance Hero: Put Your Hero On His Knees
I don’t mean in a BDSM kind of way (unless that’s your thing – no judgements) in real life men tend to have a tough time apologizing when they mess up.
In the fantasy world it’s really hot when the hair apologizes. This can look different depending on the hero. For example, an alpha kind of hero is going to have a hard time admitting he’s wrong. He might not get down and grovel until the very end, but it’s that’s the case then you’d better make the grovel really, really good.
The most alpha-est alpha in K-drama that I can think of is Jyun-pyo from Boys Over Flowers, the poor thing has to grovel a lot in order to be initially accepted and then forgiven time and time again by his love interest, Jan-di. He’s not a jerk intentionally –it’s just how he is– until he learns and matures. By the end of this classic drama (which is based on a Japanese shojo manga series and has been adapted into a Chinese version (Meteor Garden) and an upcoming Thai version (The F4)) Jyun-pyo is a worthy hero for our heroine, Jan-di.
Another type of American hero, like a cowboy, might not need to grovel but might instead glance down, shuffle his feet and mumble his apology after having some think time. Perhaps he puts his foot in his mouth a little bit and makes the heroine angry, but doesn’t thoroughly offend her.
But either way don’t underestimate the power of a good apology.
In Shopaholic Louis, Louis, the hero, delivers something to the heroine, Bok-shil, which she thought she’d lost forever. He doesn’t ship it to her but instead gathers all his friends to help recreate their meet cute to remind her how much they mean to each other and when she thinks she’s so close to finding the thing she’s lost forever she discovers it’s there where she is. She then sees an apology video from Louis before being reconnected with him.
When writing a romance hero, make your hero vulnerable. Show him as a human, not a God.
Again, as a human, when writing a romance hero give him something uniquely him. He’s not perfect. Give him some kind of “flaw” or “quirk” that makes him relatable.
Lastly, when writing a romance hero bring him to his knees and apologize when he’s done something wrong. Who doesn’t love a person who can communicate and accept their part?
What do you think makes a good hero? If you’re a K-drama/C-drama/J-drama/T-drama fan, can you name any other good examples of these characteristics? I’d love to hear from you! Drop your comments below!