Paranormal Author Tamela Miles shares her formula for creating a to-die-for paranormal hero.
Easy Ways to Birth and Shape Your Paranormal Romance Hero
Crafting a quality, captivating story takes a lot of time. The entire writing process, from beginning to end, is usually exhaustingly time consuming. Every writer I know well has a different issue with plotting a story – mine is character creation and shaping (or “fleshing her/him out”).
It’s taken me years to progress from dreading this part of writing to embracing it as a direct challenge and making it an opportunity to grow and blossom as an author.
So, let’s talk birthing and shaping your paranormally hot hero. This may not be the time to pants it and just dive into writing, thinking he’ll materialize easily from your imagination to the blank page. This is unsuccessful draft #3 – time to try something new…
- Think of the hottest guy you remember seeing. See how that face just came to mind? You’re remembering a real guy, not one with fuzzy features that you tried to make real. Keep that guy’s face in your mind for a few of your writing projects. Hair color, height – these can all be changed, but keep the face. If you found your hot guy so memorably fine, chances are that most of your readers will, too.2. Congratulations! You just birthed a strapping hero hottie. He needs a name – but not from an outdated baby book from 1972 and, unless you have a specific purpose in doing so, not from you inner circle of guy friends. (What about your sex scenes if your hero bears your male bff’s name? Awkward.)
Try using one of the many character name generators or using the Social Security Name Index. Avoid predictability, with overly common hot guy names, but keep in mind that some male names are simply un-sexy.
3. Give him a liberal studies degree. Huh?! lol I’ll explain: liberal arts degree programs are generally considered to shape students into well- rounded people, focusing on a little bit of every subject. Consider shaping your hero into a more educated guy, coupled with life experience. If he hunts demons or vampires, have him show off his knowledge of their pack history and his expertise with weapons. Have him cook a gourmet meal in the evening after tango class.
4. Where is the love? Lastly, explore his deepest feelings for your heroine. See her inner and outer beauty through his eyes and have him reflect on all the reasons he loves her.
I hope you all enjoy Natalie and Billy’s love story in Cushion. There’s more paranormal romance to come from me in 2018. Stay tuned!
Excerpt from Cushion:
Billy watched her cheeks bloom, and she looked down at the sand. “Um, pestering you is more what I meant.” He watched as her painted toes drew little circles in the sand. “Billy, how long have you been drinking heavily?”
He shrugged, his mind going immediately to some of his darkest memories. “All of my adult life. When I shot to superstardom with my band in the nineties, I think we all had a lot more fun than we should’ve. They moved on to build new lives when the fame was over, but me…well, I kept drinking.” His brows drew together in a frown. “But this doesn’t mean that I’m anywhere close to any of those things the judge labeled me. I know I drink too much sometimes, but I can handle this on my own.”
Natalie shook her head slowly. “I don’t think so. You recognize you have a problem, and that’s a great start for our work together, but your mistake lies in thinking you can, and should, conquer this on your own. If you think I’m wrong, prove it to me.”
He gave her an assessing look. “Prove it? How?”
She placed her hands on her hips, tilting her head slightly. “Empty your pockets.”
Billy had a sinking feeling and closed his eyes for a moment. “What? Why?” Her expression never changed, and he knew she had him beat. For the moment, anyway. He slowly reached into his shorts pocket, pulling out his wallet and cell phone.
She showed him no mercy, as he had fully expected. “Now, the other pocket, please.”
He reached into his other pocket and slowly pulled out a silver flask full of vodka that he kept on him most of the day. Before he could say a word in his defense, she snatched the small, silver container and emptied the liquor onto the sand.
“Hey! What the hell—”
Natalie turned and handed the flask back to him. “You won’t be needing that while we’re working together, and if I do my job, you won’t need it after. This has to be a collaboration between the two of us, and keeping you from drinking is the first step to making sure you’re totally on board.”
Billy rubbed his face, trying to ignore his panic at the thought of no alcohol. “This is, in no way, a ‘collaboration.’ I never would’ve chosen to toss out good liquor. That was solely your decision. We’re not really a team. It’s just you telling me what you want me to do and me hating it.”
She patted his chest lightly, and his body reacted to the touch of her warm hand. The dread he had earlier returned. The last thing he needed was an attraction to his court-appointed she-dragon of a babysitter. His idea that he could play her like a violin was swiftly vanishing. She headed farther down the beach, looking over her shoulder.
“Come on, let’s keep walking for a while longer. The fresh air and exercise will help you.” She grinned. “Tomorrow, we’re throwing away your whole liquor stash.”