Wednesday, March 5, 2008

How do you create your hero and heroine?

How do you create your hero/heroine?

In my Russian story TO LOVE A HERO, my heroine is in her mid-thirties and physically looks like one of my former colleagues, a lovely person I knew well. When I told my friend that my heroine, Cecile Lornier, was going to look like her, she laughed and said she couldn’t wait to meet her clone in my book. As my story unfolded, Cecile, a strong career scientist who went after her goal, became her own person, not someone’s clone. The situations I threw her in, the obstacles and conflicts she met, gave her specific mannerisms. I forgot my model after the first two chapters and followed my heroine as she claimed her own character, her own emotions, her personal voice.

My hero Sergei was physically a mix of three officers I met in Belarus. I borrowed the athletic height and frame of one, the handsome face of another, the gorgeous eyes of a third. To be honest the three of them had the grand manners and exuded the same sensual appeal I gave my General Sergei. I can’t thank my models enough. Sergei was easy to describe because I constantly picture my models in my head.

In my second book, FRENCH PERIL, I used my niece, a bright and lovely architect, as model and gave my heroine the same figure, auburn hair, huge blue eyes. Again the comparison stops here as the impetuous twenty-eight years old Cheryl meets with dangerous situations and reacts accordingly.

Count Fran├žois, the hero of French Peril, was more difficult to create. I knew no one who could fill the role. A friend sent me a gorgeous picture of Hugh Jackman I keep on my desk. He became my Count Fran├žois.

So how do you create your hero and heroine?
Do they look like someone you know? Do you model them after TV or movie celebrities? Do you create them from a mix of people you know or you just sculpt their features as you write? How old or how young are they?


Kelly Kirch said...

They are never people I know. They just walk into my head one day and announce their presence.

Molly Daniels said...

Several of my guys are loosely based on people I've encountered, and at leat 2 of them are almost replicas of my soul mate:)

Amarinda Jones said...

I agree with Kelly - they are just peoplr I make up. I don't believe in mixing reality with fantasy. As for Hugh - all men in Australia look like him - were you aware he is my next door neighbour?

Sandra Cox said...

Well, Amarinda, if you have Hugh next door we're all booking our flights to come visit:)

My characters are definitely fictional.

Helen Scott Taylor said...

I don't model my characters on anyone real. They are products of my imagination to start with, but, of course, end up as real to me as anyone of flesh and blood. More real sometimes!