So your hero has a commanding presence. Perhaps he's even a borderline dominant jerk depending on the situation. How do you make sure he's likeable?

You give him a soft spot. Or a way the author can relate to what drives him. This doesn't necessarily have to be obvious. It can be layered in too.

For instance, in Seduction's Stakes, one of the immediate things Riley does, is give his horse a kiss on the neck. This sets him up as having a tender spot of some sort. You see right away that although there are aspects of his character that might be a detractor given you see him FIRST through someone else's eyes.

You know when you meet him, the impression the other person has of him isn't right. This man has a heart. In his first scene of his own, there's a whole lot more to like about him. He's not just a over-confident jerk. No, in fact, he stumbles over his tongue, he reacts impulsively, and he admits to being somewhat foolish over Maddie. He becomes real. The man that likes the girl, knows pursuing her is stupid, and just can't stop himself. How many of you can echo that same scenario?

Another example I'm taking from one of my unpublished works in my fantasy series. In this particular book, our hero is a thief/rogue. The first several appearances he makes, he jumps out of the pages. He's cold, indifferent, and harboring some secret about what he does. But despite the fact the first scene he's in, he's killing a man... you immediately learn why. And the why justifies his actions completely. However, he's very crude and rough. When his book rolls around, from the start of it, you know he's battling something deep that relates to his heart on the very first page. By chapter three you know exactly what, exactly why, and the real man is so vastly different than the impressions others carry. He cannot forgive himself for what he did to the woman of his dreams -- destroy their love. He cannot forget her. When he runs right into her... his heart bleeds. Which justifies all the crude, rude, borderline inappropriate behavior a bit like my Hero of the week, House.

Going back to House -- while it may be argued that House does what he does for success or his own personal gain, as the stories go on, you see that he does it for deeper reasons. He hides all his soft spots under rude words and crude actions. But when it boils down to the root of the matter, House is a softie. That's what makes us like him.


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