What Does She Want From Her Hero?

Scott and I on Tsuken Island (Okinawa, Japan)

After recently turning in my manuscript, synopsis, and blurb to my agent to pitch, I’ve been brainstorming my next novel and could use your help. The hero of this story is the brother of the last story’s hero, so his personality, goals, and motivation are pretty well defined already.


This is a romance novel and my hero needs a heroine. I’ve been racking my gray matter trying to come up with the kind of woman this hero needs. I figured since he has a strong personality, and thinks a little too highly of himself, he needs a strong woman who isn’t impressed by his macho attitude (he’s not really macho, he just thinks he is…think Howard Wolowitz on the Big Bang Theory, only not as nerdy or creepy).

Back to the heroine.

I want her to be physically strong, confident and teach karate (hey, everyone says write what you know, so I figured why not a karate instructor?) and she comes from a big family. My hero only has one family member so this will be a big adjustment for him especially when confronted with a few protective older brothers. 🙂  Not that the heroine needs their protection. She’s pretty good at handling things herself. Oh, did I mention she’s the hero’s sensei? Yup, the hero figures he can’t become a vigilante if he doesn’t know how to fight, and so joins her karate dojo. But he soon learns there’s more to being a “superhero” than punching and kicking.

Now for the part I need your help with…

If the heroine is already a strong, confident woman who owns her own business, what can she learn or gain by being with the hero? What is her vulnerability? What is her character arc? How does she grow to be a better person? Why does she find love with this hero and not anyone else?

Perhaps the answer lies in her reasons for her becoming a dedicated martial artist. I just wish I knew what that reason was. Any suggestions?

~K.M. Fawcett

10 responses to “What Does She Want From Her Hero?

  1. You would be perfect, if only you were Scotts Sensei, and came from big family.

  2. She fights because of something that happened in the past. Maybe she was picked on for being too smart. Maybe she was an ugly duckling and still sees herself that way. Maybe she’s insecure about something still and doesn’t believe the hero when he’s attracted to her and keeps turning him down. But in the end, he makes her see that she really is beautiful, inside and out, and HEA! Good luck!

  3. All good thoughts, Jenn. Thanks! Hmm…So maybe heroine is always on guard around guys because she had been picked on? Perhaps people picked on her because they were intimidated by her… or maybe they picked on her because she is Asian-American? More to think about.

  4. HOWARD GET THE DOOR!!! do I love that guy or what!

    Maybe the heroine uses her strength and confidence to hide the fact that she is really extremely vulnerable and often her vulnerability tends to make her too trusting. Perhpas her trust in someone got her into big trouble – with the law, with her family, in her job – you decide depnding on what you want the conflict to be. Perhaps then in him, she can learn how to find the balance.she needs.

  5. Maybe her confidence is a facade. Has she always felt the need to prove herself? Maybe to be as good as those older brothers or convince them she could take care of herself? Was her heart broken and she exudes independence so men don’t try to get too close? She could be afraid of being dependent (again?) and go out of her way to show she doesn’t need anyone’s help (man or woman), but her unwillingness to ask for help could be her undoing.

    Vague, but I hope that helps. Good luck!

  6. How about if she is exactly what she seems? Strong! No hidden agendas of self worth. Her family is great and supportive, her brothers are her hidden strength, this is where she came from. This would make it harder for him to define her, since he can’t find the supposed (everpresent) weakness all females supposedly have. Make her what she seems to be, and let him be the puzzle solver. I guess this would make the story line more difficult to develope, but I’d sure love to read about a female character that finally didn’t have all or some of the weaknesses that are always attributed to females! Just a thought on a different wavelength. Hope you can solve it.

  7. I have the perfect book for you then. Try STORY ENGINEERING by Larry Brooks. It’s for Novelists and Screenwriters so it has the best content from both perspectives. I’ve reviewed his book on Goodreads and Amazon.

    Have a look at my recent blog post: http://rebeccaberto.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/the-best-advice-ive-learned-on-mastering-three-dimensional-characters-people/. I detail one of the chapters called “Characters”.

    For planning a successful story, no writer can go past this book. A++. Good luck with your sequel.

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