Writing Swoon-worthy Male Characters by YA author Cheyanne Young
Make him bad. A swoon-worthy guy doesn’t follow every single rule. He won’t refuse to cut class for a romantic adventure because he might get detention. If his love interest is in trouble, he’ll do what it takes to save her. He may not start fights, but he’ll finish them. He’s dark. He’s mysterious. He’s got a reputation. Make him bad in the best possible way.
Make him good. (At something.) He’s a star baseball player. The motocross champion. He can solve complex equations in his head. He’s got a silver tongue that can talk his way out of everything. The swoon-worthy guy is extremely good at something, preferably a thing the main character finds totally sexy. He’s confident and an expert. He totally kicks ass at something. But not everything. When a character is naturally perfect at everything they come across, it’s a turn off. It’s cocky and annoying and so very Mary Sue. So give him a talent—but not all the talents.
Give him secrets. The best love interests don’t spill their guts on the first date. They probably don’t talk much at all. They’re fighting their own demons, just like the main character is fighting hers. He’s not an open book whose only goal in life is to tell the MC how pretty she is while having no problems of his own. Nope. He’s got something he’s not telling her. Make the secret something worth discovering.
Break the guy mold. The swoony-est of all guys isn’t a male model. He’s not tall and perfectly chiseled with a jaw line that can cut glass. He’s not naturally flawless with swoopy sculpted hair that’s never out of place. No one is calling him up to star in the latest sexy vampire TV show. He might even have a normal guy stomach that’s not packed tightly with rock hard abs. Because guess what, MC’s? Guys with muscles like that spend more time in the gym than they’ll ever spend with you. The perfect guy is totally handsome, of course, but he has flaws. I’m thinking a badass scar slashing across his eyebrow.
Tie the origin of that scar in with the bad, the good, and the secret.
Now that’s a swoon-worthy guy I want to read about.
Cheyanne Young is a native Texan with a fear of cold weather and a coffee addiction that probably needs an intervention. She’s the author of the City of Legends series, as well as contemporary YA novels. Her next book, The Last Wish of Sasha Cade, releases from KCP Loft in the fall of 2018.
Find her online at: www.CheyanneYoung.com
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