Thursday, August 15, 2013

Do Readers Love Your Hero?

Incredibly Deep Hole

My dog dug this Incredibly. Deep. Hole. 

Grandma and Grandpa had just left after visiting for a few days. Do you think he was upset?

Hey everyone. Dora here, and when I posted this picture on Facebook, a friend who works at the fire station with my hubby asked if I planned to cover the hole before "the chief" got home.

What? Why would I do that?

Bruiser the puppy
Hubby, aka "the chief", enjoys the antics of his baby, and if you lived through this cutie's puppy stage, you might understand. As a pup, Bruiser loved to swim in our pool. Once, when our older son fell asleep with the sliding door open, Bruiser went swimming, dragging along my hubby's, er...undergarments. He's a bit mischievous, (OK, a lot) so digging a hole that deep clearly wasn't an issue. 

But my friend's comment made me think about...

Perceptions of a hero.

"How could I possibly make that connection," you ask. 
"What correlation does a hole have with a hero?"

Not the hole necessarily, but how different people perceive the same person

At the fire station, hubby may be the chief, but at home, he's my husband, my sweetheart, my best friend and life partner. My hero.

While he may be gruff and authoritative at work, at home, he's cuddly and kind, helpful and considerate, devoted and loving. While the community sees him as a public figure, someone who often must reject their building plan, or as a manager, the final decision maker on discipline or firing, I see a man devoted to God and family.

As a writer, I must create heroes that readers admire or like. 
Although my hero may be gruff on the job or around others, he must have redeeming value to the heroine, and ultimately, to my readers. 

How do I do that? Let me show you by giving you an inkling of why I perceive my hubby differently than others might:
  • He immerses himself in the Word every morning.
  • When one of our sons call with a problem, he drops everything to listen and works together for a solution.
  • He rides along with me on all my library presentations (and believe me when I say that's a bunch!) to offer moral support and a helping hand.
  • When our grandson spends the night and wakes crying, hubby's the first one out of bed to comfort the Little Man. When I finally stumble into his bedroom, Little Man's already cradled in hubby's loving arms.
  • When our cat stranded herself in a tree, hubby dragged out the ladder to rescue her. At midnight.
  • Hubby could go to lunch with the guys, but he chooses to share lunch with me. And  sometimes he jots "I love you" on the receipt so I'll see it later.
  • On a recent day trip for business, hubby invited me to ride along. He could have just driven himself, but he wanted to share the day with me.
Do you get the idea? 

Your hero may be unlikable to some people, but show him being nice and sweet to your heroine, and your readers are sure to fall for him, too.

How do you perceive your hero?
If your hero is gruff, how do you make him lovable?

Journey's Embrace
by Dora Hiers
After an injury forces Deputy U.S. Marshal Sage Michaelson off duty, he heads to his hometown with two things on his mind: recuperating and reevaluating, but Sage can’t refuse his best friend’s plea to keep a protective eye on his little sister after someone ransacks her house. But Delaney’s not so little anymore—and definitely not the young “Dane” Sage remembers.

Flight Medic Delaney Hunt has loved Sage forever. But, he’s all about control and order while she embraces life and takes risks. As much as the idea appeals to her, she doesn’t need Sage looking over her shoulder. But when things go wrong and she finds herself hanging by her fingertips, who does she call to rescue her?

Will Delaney ever be the woman Sage wants by his side? Can Sage learn to live by grace, recognizing that God is in control? Can they overcome their fears to embrace life together?