I was reading a book review that mentioned how hot the guy was, and I started to wonder what makes book guys hot.
If I was Dora the explorer, I would ask backpack to find me all my books with hot guys in it (which is most), but since I’m just me, I had to do it the old fashioned way and look through my bookshelf.
Trends I’ve Noticed in the Truly Hot Guys
THEY AREN’T DESCRIBED AS BEAUTIFUL! I think using "beautiful" to descibe someone is mostly in YA paranormal romance, but this can apply to any genre. Notice how above I said “hot” a lot? That’s because, as a teenager, I don’t stop and go “omg he is beautiful” even with the omg. I would probably think “he is so freaking hot. How am I supposed to concentrate on school when he is here? I got it! I’ll make him the living embodiment of my MC’s love interest, so staring is part of my research ;)”. I actually have once met a guy who seriously looked like my (then current) MC’s love interest. It was weird. SUMMARY: DON’T USE THE WORD BEAUTIFUL (even paranormal book where the guy is *insert beautiful being* don’t do it because it comes off cliché which we all know isn't true since anyone reading this is amazing)
They have confidence: Confidence is attractive. To rephrase Jane Austin for the purposes of this post,
“[he] must possess a certain something in [his] air and manner of walking… or the word will be but half deserved.”(I found this awesome quote at Austinprose which has a lot of awesome Pride and Prejudice quotes, but I did change the shes to hes and cut a few words to better suit this post). Even though Caroline Bingley was referring to a woman worthy of Mr. Darcy, I think the same can be applied to guys. I’m not saying he should be able to talk to anyone and be super confident. Mr. Darcy himself is shy, and I don’t know anyone (girls at least since guys tend to roll their eyes at him even though they really should take notes on his amazingness well maybe only for the last half of the book) who is like “Mr. Darcy is so unattractive” because he just has that certain something about him. I mean have you seen Matthew Macfadyen in the 2005 movie adaptation? Yeah Mr. Darcy would definitely be one of the book guys I wish were real. Even though he is shy, he has something in his air that makes you smile when you think of him. SUMMARY: Give him something in his air of confidence that FORCES your readers to be like I wanna know more about him
He should have a character arc: Our MC is the readers’ eyes and ears. If your writing is good, we should care about her character arc. Our MC’s love interest should add something to who our character is. They should learn from each other. Together, they should grow as people. Now they don’t have to be interdependent, but they should complete each other. You want your reader to close your book and have no doubt that they complete each other. I think any character is attractive if they not only grow themselves, but they also helps others grow. SUMMARY: Character arc is so important. Even if the love interest or MC don’t start off the best character, together they should grow and learn from each other.
But the most important think to make any character attractive is…
Their personality should shine brighter than any descriptions. Personality is attractive. Use it. Readers should love your characters no matter how you describe their appearance.
What do you find attractive in character (especially love interests)? Do you agree with the traits I listed above? Don’t you think Mr. Darcy is scrumptious?