We’ve established that the female reader of romance wants to know what the male lead is thinking. It’s important to get inside the hero’s head to know his thoughts on especially the heroine. What is it about the heroine that is attractive to the hero? Is it her looks, her personality, or a combination? And, what will the hero hide from the female lead? Click to Tweet #InsideHerosHead #donnalhsmith #writingromance101
We’re crafting a contemporary story called “Romancing the Rabbi.” Our two main characters are Tovah and Judah. This post series focuses in on Judah.
Let’s ask the question: what one thing in Judah’s life does he want to hide from Tovah? We know he was in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), because he’s a citizen. What might he have been called upon to do that would account for his wanting to keep it secret?
Once we figure that out, then we’d have to see what in Tovah would aggravate that — to ramp up that necessary conflict.
Hmmm. Maybe Tovah had a young cousin from Israel who was accused of a crime she or he didn’t commit while in the IDF. What if (this is the question you always ask yourself when crafting a story) Judah was involved in that same incident? And what if it was a matter of national security and the truth can “never” come out?
That would definitely create conflict couldn’t it? Let’s look at a short snippet about when it could first be brought up. Let’s call that incident, “The Desert Raid of Paran.” I looked on an Israeli map. The desert is actually west of a town by the same name…so something happened there. Maybe a training accident? Negligence? The details can be worked out later. But there’s a secret involved that Judah has been sworn to keep.
How would he react then, to a trigger to that event? That will depend on his personality type. We know he’s a beta hero, so he’s more sensitive to a woman’s feelings, and probably a steady type personality who is also friendly. But when confronted with a trigger? Will he shout or shut down? Most men of this personality type will shut down. Let’s look in on some interior monologue inside Judah’s head.
That can’t be a coincidence, can it? Did Rabbi Tovah really say “The Desert Raid of Paran” when she talked about her cousin? Just by what she said, she really has no clue what went on there. But it seems to be something she wants to find out more about. Did Judah give away any physical responses when she made that statement? He’d have to really think about that.
Should he contact his commanding officer? The Major said he could contact him anytime he needed to. What would be the point? To make him feel better, or to reassure him that the secret is still safe? Judah would think on that for a while. He wasn’t one for impulsive action. That’s what got him in trouble in the desert. His hesitation to act.
Internal triggers and responses are one way of getting inside the head of the romantic hero. What does he want to hide? Click to Tweet #InsideHerosHead #donnalhsmith #writingromance101