Now to apply what I’ve learned from other people’s work to my own. While other people may disagree with me about what makes a hero likable, I at least want to write a hero that I would like if I were reading him in someone else’s work.
In Knight of Valor, the hero has recently destroyed a powerful lich and returned home a hero. He’s having trouble settling in and agrees to escort the heroine out of danger and to the safety of his homeland.
1. Does he brood? – perhaps a little. He has been through hell and back and is trying to find his place. People view him as a hero, but that’s not how he views himself. The one scene he does start to brood, the heroine calls him on it. Still, worth another look to keep him from being whiny.
2. No arrogant jerks- I actually went back through the story and had to inject a bit more alpha into the hero. He is more of the “white knight” trope, so I don’t feel like this is an area for work.
3. Indecisive – it takes the hero awhile to come to terms with what he’s feeling, but once he does, he moves quickly and decisively. The hero is far more prone to action than anything else, and he makes sure the heroine is well protected.
Okay, I need to make sure the hero isn’t too broody. Now, does he possess what he needs to make him likable?
1. Competence – the hero is an extremely competent fighter and protector. He is strategic, and even under pressure, proves himself. He’s so competent, in fact, I had to make sure he was appropriately challenged so he didn’t just walk over his enemies.
2. Protector – he has dedicated his life to protecting his homeland and its people. He protects the heroine from the beginning even if he didn’t like her. This is an integral part of his personality and never waivers.
3. Honorable Leader – the hero is honorable and behaves in that way, up to and including worrying that people see him as more than he is. He doesn’t lie, and he refuses to take advantage of his position as the heroine’s protector even when they both have feelings for the other.
Overall, I think the hero is pretty likable. I need to make sure he isn’t too broody, but he never lets that interfere with doing his job to protect the heroine. No running away from feelings, no abandoning her, and no being a jerk because he has feelings.