Scarred Heroes by Bianca Sommerland
How do you make a man look tough from the very moment he steps into a scene? Have him dismount his motorcycle and use his best don’t-mess-with-me tone with the first person he sees? Dress him up in all black? Oh, I’ve got it! A leather jacket.
No, no, and no. While any of those details might work, so far, in all my years as a reader and writer of romance, only one thing can make a hero seem tough on first glance.
Scars indicate some kind of suffering, make one think ‘this person has experienced something bad enough that they’ll bear the mark of it for the rest of their lives’. And for a hero, it doesn’t matter whether he got the scar falling out of a tree when he was ten, because until we know the man, our imagination runs wild. He is strong. A survivor.
And that is sexy as hell.
So, while writing romance, if you want a hero who’s tough, just give him a scar and the rest is easy, right?
See these two hot guys I’ve decided to use to prove my point? Sean Avery and Bradley Cooper. They’ve got scars and both could probably pull off tough. But writing them into a story wouldn’t be any easier just because they’ve got scars.
The scars aren’t bad enough to affect their personalities. If anything, they both know the scars add to their appeal.
In real life, they might still be decent people–in a story, you might end up with a man that has a big mouth and might get more scars while the better men try to shut him up.
The other extreme gives you a whole new set of problems. The possibilities are endless and you’ll have a sympathetic character, but you have all kinds of limits and hang ups to work around. Think Phantom of the Opera or Beastly (that movie looks awesome, a plot to die for!). An eye patch can be interesting, but a mask could mean your hero is a basement and sewers kinda guy and coming up with romantic settings for love scenes could be difficult. Scars that are too serious become the focus of the story.
Personally, I like to find a nice middle ground when it comes to physical flaws. Just enough to give some interesting quirks, not enough to become a subplot. This hero will probably be the one that helps the heroine get past her own body issues (if she has any, but that’s a subject for another day). No matter how he got the scar, he’s put up some walls around himself to deal with the way people look at him. The scar might not be serious enough to make him want to hide away, but it draws more attention than he wants. Usually the wrong kind of attention. If there’s a well know history behind the scar he might have trouble walking down the street without being reminded of the tramatic experience that made him bleed.
When I work with a scarred hero, I make sure I know every detail involving the origine of the scar. I may never use this information, but it becomes a very real part of who my hero is. Makes me fall in love with him a little more, which makes it easier to show my heroine loving him, flaws and all.
Big thanks to Lucy for having me here today!
Bianca Sommerland was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. When not reading neurotically or writing as though the fate of the world rests on her keyboard, she is either watching hockey or teaching her daughters the beauty of a classic, steel pony while reminiscing about her days in Auto Body Mechanics.
Her time is balanced with utmost care between normal family life, and the internal paranormal realm where her characters reside. For the most part, she succeeds. She is currently working on a risqué new ménage novel called, EMBRACING EVIL. You can find her at http://imnoangelauthorsblog.wordpress.com/
Rosemary Entwined blurb
One kiss might save her, but if Rosemary has to lose even one of her men, she doesn’t want a prince.
The only role of Rosemary’s nest of men is to feed her insatiable hunger for lust, but that’s not what she wants for them. Or what they want from her. While Rosemary presses for them to live their own lives, they each find ways to steal into her heart. With the threat of her mother’s nest hanging over them, Rosemary decides to surrender to the love they offer and focus on building their combined strength to stand against the inevitable attacks.
When her control over her powers slips, another problem arises. The nest is incomplete. A prince must be chosen, and if he is not among her men, she’ll be forced to let one of them go.
She once feared her heart wasn’t big enough to hold them all. Now she fears she’s not strong enough to release even one. Even if it costs her her life.
Short Excerpt from Rosemary Entwined (No scars, but a nice emotional exchange):
Rosemary twisted away and retreated to the edge of the bath. She stared at the ceiling, taking slow, deep breaths. Then she looked at him. “This face. This body. They are why you’re here. I need you, all of you, so I give you what you want. You’re the only one that isn’t satisfied.”
“Do you think any of them are satisfied with loving a girl who won’t love them back?”
“I do love them! All of them! Even you!” A sob caught in her throat and she swallowed it back. “Why do you have to make this so complicated?”
“Because it is complicated! Did you expect a relationship with seven guys to be simple?” Kurt took her by the shoulders, anger flashing in his eyes. He looked ready to shake her. “You said you missed me, well, I missed you. I miss you! I want to know what happened to the girl who was ready to take on the world because she finally had a shot. I want the girl who wasn’t afraid to get dirty, who didn’t care if she looked sexy. I’ve watched you bury that girl over the last year and it took being away to see it.” He closed his eyes and let his hands fall. “I hoped I was wrong. When I walked in and you were ready to leave them to do your own thing, I was almost convinced.”
Rosemary crossed her arms over her chest, wishing she had some clothes on for this talk. Maybe with a few layers on her, he wouldn’t be able to burrow so easily into her heart. “Then tell me how to convince you.”
“Give me a peek at something more than all that prettiness.” He touched her cheek. “And let me do the same.”
Despite the rawness of everything, a tremulous smile crept to Rosemary’s lips. He tempted her, and now that she thought of it, they had all tried. She remembered Shiloh taking her out to dinner and looking sad when she took his hand and led him to the bathroom for a quickie. Chetan hadn’t spoken to her for two days when she’d left his bed in the middle of the night after he’d asked her to stay. Her smile faded.
“I get it.” She moved closer to him, letting him hold her again. “I’ll try.” She tilted her head back. “But you have to do something for me.”
“Show me how much you missed me.”
Click here for a longer excerpt: http://imnoangelauthorsblog.wordpress.com/excerpts/
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