This last week I was a guest on Carrie Lofty's Unusual Historicals Blog. The question I asked was : What qualities do you consider essential for a Hero?
The answers have been most instructive. It seems we still appreciate the traditional qualities that have always been part of the hero's characteristics.
Integrity, honesty, courage, loyalty, compassion, kindness, - these were mentioned by nearly everyone who commented. In addition, the hero should be smart, thoughtful, have lots of humour and be willing to do anything for the heroine. He should also be fierce and passionate.
The suggestion I liked most was protectiveness. It's a delicate balance to portray protection not possesiveness. The hero in 'The Rake's Challenge' becomes very protective of the heroine, against his will at first.
And there was a plea for a good guy hero. I wrote one of those in 'In All Honour'. Greg started out as a secondary character in 'The Wild Card', where he was a decent fellow, the hero's best friend. So I couldn't change his character. I love Greg but it was a hard story to write. I'm very glad he has an admirer. And it encourages me to try another decent guy as hero. He's there already, just waiting his turn.
This list of qualities inspires many ideas to create sympathetic and admirable heroes. Now then, what about their appearance?