The goal is to create an enticing and believable hero which can sometimes seems like an impossible combination. If you make them too believable, you push aside the fantasy component. If you make them too enticing, you nix the believable. Balance is the art.

And baggage contributes to this immensely.

Every hero has some sort of baggage, and this baggage contributes to his inner conflict. The *really* good heroes are almost controlled by this baggage. (Classic vampire, classic war vet, classic divorcee) A hero without baggage, and full of niavety can give us warm fuzzies for the simple fact that it'd be real darn nice to find a guy without baggage in real life -- but it isn't realistic. Even hot single guy next door who's never gotten a traffic ticket, never been married, never had kids... had his heart broken once.

Your hero has to acknowledge this baggage more often than not. If the hero does not acknowledge it, it is the author's job to make the reader aware of it. (Which usually comes from seeing his POV, and therefore he's acknowledging it). He knows why he's in an internal conflict. The question becomes: Is he willing to let the baggage win, or overcome it? In romance, he has to overcome it.

If you ignore the baggage, you create a major pitfall in your story.

This does not mean you have to reveal the baggage immediately. In Seduction's Stakes, Riley's baggage doesn't come out until the couple sails smooth waters for a while. An event triggers it, and he must decide which is more important: Maddie, or his flaws.

However, in All I Want for Christmas... Is Big Blue Eyes, Josh knows right off the bat (as does the reader) what his baggage is. He knows from the moment he makes the decision to return to Lexington, Missouri he must face his weaknesses.

How you choose to weave the baggage in, is author perogative and usually plot-driven. But don't forget, a good hero has baggage. Without it, he's little more than a boy. With it... as with real life... he becomes a man.



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"Victorians used the term 'limbs' as a euphenism for legs, which were thought to be so sexually exciting to a man, even a glimpse of a table leg could incite him to sexual frenzy. Table skirts were invented to prevent any unnatural unions between men and furniture."
(History Channel International)



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