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EM Lynley

Poll: How do you like your heroes in romance?

2009.05.12 21:11:39

I recently read a great blog post about heroes, done by fellow writer Sage Whistler. She found nine types of heroes. I'm excerpting it here for an informal poll.

Which ones are your favorites or least favorites? Which do you most/least like to read about? [I have a more formal poll over at my LiveJournal blog.]

Divine Nine Types of Heroes

1. Mr. Wonderful
2. Mr. Badass
3. Mr. Confused
4. Mr. Shy
5. Mr. Caveman
6. Mr. Pincushion
7. Mr. Evol
8. Mr. TSTL
9. Mr. E

Mr. Wonderful
I will start with Mr. Wonderful. You may see him most often in the romance genre. He is perfect. He is handsome, available, muscled, educated, well-spoken. *insert sigh here* Oddly enough I find this guy the least bit interesting. Where are his flaws? Someone find a pimple on his ass or something. You know how his story will go. He’ll meet the girl, put on his charm, snag her, bag her, and nine months later she’s preggo. The End. Good riddance.

Occupational hazard: Lawyer, doctor, dentist, veterinarian, CEO

Mr. Badass
*insert evil grin here* I like him. *pats head* Mr. Badass is probably still handsome, intelligent, available, OR he might be banging his next door neighbor, the girl at Rite Mart, AND the ticket ripper at the local theater. He’s going to get into trouble. He’s going to curse. He’s going to growl and complain and roll his eyes and maybe hurt your feelings.. AnyHOO at the end of the day Mr.Badass does the right thing.

Occupational Hazard: Tattoo Artist, Construction Worker, Bartender, Repair Shop Owner, Professional Jewelry Thief

Mr. Confused

He doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going. He doesn’t know if he wants to be married or remain a bachelor. He can’t even remember where he left his briefcase this morning.  You will most likely have your heart wrenched for Mr. Confused. He goes through a lot of trials and tribulations before he ends up with Mr. (or Ms.)  Right.

Occupational Hazard: Office assistant, Clerk, College Kid, Photographer

Mr. Shy
“He blushed. His cheeks flushed. He ducked his head. His hand trembled. He dropped his keys and then kicked them under the car. He was nervous. His stomach flip-flopped.” What are these, you ask? Well, these are all reading cues that let you know you are dealing with Mr. Shy. He’s a very popular hero to use in gay fiction.  He’ll get the guy (or girl) by accident because the guy will be pursuing him.

Occupational Hazard: Artist, Computer Techie, College Student, Engineer

Mr. Caveman
Meet Crug. He’s one step away from bopping you on the head and dragging you off to his cave. You love to hate this guy, and though you’re sure the hero(ine) should shoot him in the leg, you still *swoon* over him. Mr. Caveman is a combination of Mr. Wonderful (smart, handsome, successful, muscular) but he has all the characteristics of Mr. Badass. (Dominant, smug, bossy) He just gets away with it because he’s handsome.

Occupational Hazard: Caveman, Soldier, Firefighter, CEO, Inherited Wealth (Secretive business)

Mr. Pincushion
Hey, can I have twenty bucks? Yeah, this guy will give you his last two cents. He’s the caretaker who inadvertently became everyone’s walking mat. He thinks everyone is his friend. He’s a handsome, likeable guy, OR he might just be average looking but intelligent or wealthy.  Mr. Pin will eventually find his happily ever after. It could be with Mr. Right or Mr. Loving, OR a Dom named Jackal who beats the snot out of all the people taking advantage of him.

Occupational Hazard: Accountant, Doctor, Teacher, Musician, Inherited Wealth, Manager, Store Owner, Scientist

Mr. Evol
He’s not a hero! Course not. He’s not like Mr. Badass at all. He’ll steal lollipops from babies and push little old ladies to the back of the line. He’s handsome  He’s also VERY rare as a protagonist. Who’ll ever love this black-hearted scoundrel? Well, apparently, there is such a thing as redemption. There is always a loophole that wins Mr. Evol into the hearts of others.  On the rare occasion Mr. Evol goes from good to bad. Either way this character is evolutionary and bound for a happy ending—or, some time in prison. *shrugs*

Occupational Hazard: Thief, Drug-Lord, Kingpin, Assassin, Pirate, Mercenary

Mr. TSTL (too stupid to live)
Burn this after reading. That’s what Mr. TSTL makes you want to do to your book. If he were a hero he’d be the one who showed up to rescue the woman in the burning building after she’d thrown a mattress out the window and rescued herself. Mr.TSTL pisses the heroine or hero off with his sheer stupidity and thoughtlessness. To be fair he isn’t a bad guy, just not the brightest light bulb in the bunch. By some freak of nature he gets a HFN or a HEA. You’ll probably care less though.

Occupational Hazard: In the interest of being diplomatic I won’t fill in an occupation here.

Mr. E
Mr. E is a ‘mystery’ you get it?  He’s not the typical hero. He might be overweight, handicapped, or a freaking shapeshifter. Mr. E is here to shake things up. He’ll never do what you expect of him. He’s a wicked combination of almost all the Misters I’ve mentioned so far. If Mr. E was a superhero he’d probably be the antihero turned hero, turned antihero again.  He’s the one the town calls a murderer when in reality his best friend died in a car accident.  Mr. E might be a killer on the gossip mills but later you find out he’s a retired veterinarian that still takes in animals. If Mr. E finds Mr. or Mrs. Right it isn’t because he went out looking. His other half will have to come to him.

Occupational Hazard: It’s a Mr. E. (You SO knew I was gonna say that.)

Now, for the poll! Which are your favorites or least favorites? I'd love to see some comments with your favorite books with these hero types.

[See Sage's post for the full analysis]

--EM Lynley



Tags: EM Lynley | heroes | poll | romance | reader poll | romance heroes

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