My New Webster's Dictionary defines quintessential as 'the perfect embodiment of a thing.'
I think most romance authors would say they strive to create the quintessential hero for our stories. We want our hero to be perfect in every way, for the heroine, and for ourselves. I think I fall just a little bit in love with every one of my heroes each and every time. How can my heroine keep from doing the same?
What's interesting is that, although by definition, our hero should be 'perfect', it's actually the flaws within our hero that tend to make him heroic. Or, more accurately, it's how he overcomes those flaws with the help of the heroine that make her (and us as well) fall in love with him.
A 'perfect' hero is often far from perfect. He may be scarred: physically, emotionally, or both. His past often stands in the way of his future. He may not know what the hell he's doing in life. He may not want to fall in love at all.
If our hero truly was 'perfect', we really wouldn't have much of a story, would we? No inner conflict to overcome. No goals to clash with the heroine's because he'd already have everything he wanted. We need our hero to be flawed to make our story work. To show how love and trust can overcome seemingly impossible obstacles.
Although our hero is far from perfect, he's still perfect for the heroine and she for him. So I guess Webster did have it right after all.
What's your quintessential hero like? What flaws make him the 'perfect' hero?
Until next time,