Thursday, February 14, 2013

Literary Boyfriends: How to Write Them

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm going to let you guys in on a little secret. I usually spend Valentine's Day curled up with a book. I've usually already read it, but there's only qualification: it has to have a book boyfriend. A character I wish I was real and if he was real I'd be chasing him for a date. Joe Hardy, Mr. Darcy, and a Harry Potter character that I shall not name all have kept me company on many a Valentine's Day.

How to Write a Book Boyfriend

*I'm sure these philosophies could apply to Book Girlfriends too. 

1. Make them realistic. 
How many times have you read a novel, wanted to swoon over a boy, and just thought "There's no way real boys would behave like this?" If I have to pull back out a novel and think that this seems more like the author's fantasy than reality, the book has broken its spell over me.

2. Give them a great sense of humor.
Comedians always say they get their gorgeous girlfriends because they can make them laugh. To an extent, you know this is true. Would you rather date the drop-dead-gorgeous man who's drab, or the cute guy who always makes you smile? I know which I'd choose.

3. Have them respect women.
I'm a girl from the South. (You can choose to read the rest of this section in a mock KJ Southern accent. It's allowed!) For a man - real or literary- to impress me, he's gotta respect his momma, hold doors open for women, and for the love of every heroine in the world - allow them to view women as strong creatures that don't always need rescuing or protection.

4. Think about what you find swoon-worthy in dates. Apply to your characters.
Every woman is going to find different things attractive. Show us what you like, and why you like it. I'm a sucker for any character who can admit his feelings, honestly with vulnerability. That vulnerability just sets them apart for me. What does it for you? Incorporate whatever that X-factor is into your writing.

Book Boyfriends I'll Share (just give them back!)

1. Ethan from the Brightest Kind of Darkness series. I'll be reading the novella named after him for the first time today. So, if I don't answer texts or tweets, just know I'm swooning over Ethan. Ethan looks like the type of boy my mother would never have approved of...but with a sweet, sensitive side.

2. Peree from The Scourge.  What if you had to have a man watching at you at all times you're outside to protect you? What if he was breaking all the rules to keep you safe even when your family couldn't? Peree is the reason why you should never judge a boy by his reputation.

3. The Hex Boys from Demons at Deadnight. Six boys. Six sets of great abs. Throw in their supernatural powers, and their ability to fight off demons and you've got enough swoon material for days.

4. Beau Vincent from The Vincent Boys. I'm going to admit this one is an ultimate guilty pleasure. I probably shouldn't love him, but I do. We can squabble over whether this is YA or NA later. For now, we'll just all swoon over a good Southern boy.

Who are your favorite book boyfriends? What makes them special?


  1. Was it Gilderoy Lockhart? Hagrid?

    Nice post. Thanks!

    1. Thankfully my secret Harry Potter Valentine's date is neither of those. :)

  2. Love this post. Thanks, Kristen! <3

  3. So, after you wrote it, I read the res of the article in a fake accent. :p I couldn't stop!

  4. I did the same thing as Jolene. :D

  5. Joe Hardy never did much for me, his brother on the other hand, that's a completely different story. Great post, and you gave me something to think about with regards to the new project I just started. Thanks.

  6. Great post!

    Cassel Sharpe from the Curse Workers and Cas Lowood from Anna Dressed in Blood are personal favourites. (I like the bad boys with hearts of gold.)