In the past few months, I have read some books where I noticed that the author has fallen in love with their own hero. It makes for a bad read. Usually this is apparent in series. The first book is normal, but the next few books…are not. This effect can happen in a stand-alone as well, depending on the length of the novel. Here are a few signs that the author has fallen for her own hero:
1) He’s becoming perfect. In the first book, the hero was great. Flawed, but loveable. But by the end of the series the hero is perfect. He stands in front of every bullet, he only acts to cherish his lady, he is completely self-sacrificing, he is the morally strong one, and there are constant references to his physique throughout the novel. I think flaws are what make people unique, but when the hero starts to become perfect, then he is generic. His essence has been killed because the author fell in love with him herself.
2) He’s becoming annoying. I really like the interaction between the hero and the heroine. Usually, I am of the mind that there can never be enough. But I have read the novels where I’m like could the heroine please interact with someone else? Dude is annoying. And it’s not because he is a jerk, it’s because he is starting to act obsessive with the heroine and you wonder if he has any other coherent thought other than romance.
3) Important issues take a back seat. When the heroine is being chased by a murderer or you know that bad consequences are right around the corner, that is not the time to be focusing on your relationship. An author cannot create suspense, have you scared of the dark, and then focus on romance. I love romance. But it has to have its place. Just because the hero is there, doesn’t mean all the scariness in the world has simply faded away leaving only the hero and the heroine. There can be romance, but use it like salt…and remember that too much will overpower it.
4) Superfluous scenes. I think every scene in the novel should lead to some kind of reveal. There should be a point to it, even if it is small. But if at any time I’m wondering to myself why is this scene in the novel and its about the hero, then the author has fallen in love with her own hero. The author has actually taken me out of the novel and questioning its point. If you’ve already established that the hero is one way, you don’t have to do it again, and again, and again. Unnecessary scenes can ruin a book.
So, if you read this blog, you know I believe fiction is fiction. Characters should be allowed to do things that ordinary people can’t and that includes falling in love with near perfect people. I also think that if the author does not like her own hero, the reader won’t. But if the author is too in love with her hero, than it’s like she’s force-feeding him down the readers throat and he simply becomes an irritation. With all that said, does anyone agree? Disagree? Have any points to add?