Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What Makes a Love Interest Swoon Worthy?

What makes a love interest swoon worthy? Is it the way he looks? Maybe his swagger? Or maybe it’s the relationship with the main character. Every person interprets what is sexy in different ways, which is why some people go gah-gah over a fictional love interest while others are like, meh, what’s the point?

For me, a love interest becomes smexy when he does something that makes you sigh. Take Peeta, for example from, THE HUNGER GAMES. He had me from the bread story. Or how about Balthazar from the EVERNIGHT series? He totally self sacrifices for Bianca, a girl he knows loves another but loves her anyway. *Sigh* Both of those guys were my favorite with their unrequited love.

So my question is, what makes YOU, as a writer, decide to make a love interest a certain way. Do you make him have characteristics you find appealing, or do you do research, find out what the majority of people find attractive? For me, I do a little of both. I seem to find the cocky, jerks most appealing. Most people tend to be a fifty-fifty split on those types of guys, so it’s a fine line when you try to create one for your own novel. A good love interest totally pushes your novel to the next level.

Love to hear your thoughts on this topic!! Shout out!!



Anonymous said...

You're right, I think self-sacrifice (to a limit!) is an ultimate swoon!

Quinn said...

With the novel I just wrote, I was attempting to do a bit of a commentary on the whole jerk love interest thing.

I started writing around them time HUSH HUSH was getting a lot of press for it's "bad" relationship. I decided that I wanted to tackle that by throwing my main character into a love triangle. On one side of the triangle would be (well my main character is a guy) a hot sexy girl who's a b**ch. On the other side (my main character is bi) would be a nice guy who the MC genuinely builds a real relationship with.

I think, when reading, readers want to be in a fantasy world were the bad boy can change because in real life ... he probably won't. That's why there are so many jerk love interests.

But, I kinda like the other kind.

Tere Kirkland said...

I like the misunderstood bad-boy. Maybe that's the YA equivalent of the hooker with the heart of gold (as in, they exist more in stories than real life), but I think it works by giving you the best of both worlds. There has to be balance between tough and sensitive, but it's always good to hide the sensitive beneath the tough.

Doing the opposite, though—a sensitive guy who serves up food for the homeless during the day and vigilante justice at night—could make for a fun and unique story!

Thought-provoking post!

Jennifer Walkup said...

Great post. It's hard to say for sure. I swoon over a variety of love interests in YA novels, but with no set pattern. When writing my own, I just aim to create good characters and hope they reach the reader. I think the misunderstood guy is a favorite of mine, though he doesn't have to be secretive or a typical bad boy. I may swoon easily though, compared to some readers.;)

Leah said...

I want to be best friends with whoever made that Peeta banner with William Moseley in it.
When the filming starts, I hope it's him!
But I'm so torn up about MCs. Peeta is my favorite male MC: loyal, caring, playful.
On the other end, I really like d-bag characters who pretty much stay d-bags through the entire story until the self-sacrificing or redeeming event happens. Can't help loving a bad boy at times.

NiaRaie said...

I think I mostly put what I find attractive, but also try and add in some (what I consider universal) attractive qualities. Honestly though, I don't know many girls who aren't drawn to the cocky jerks. I don't know what's wrong with us!

Shayda Bakhshi said...

I think, honestly, my two favorite love interests are Peeta and Gale. The Peeta-type is probably my favorite--strong, sweet, good-beyond-reproach--but I like the Gale-type, too--fiery, passionate, and loyal.

Although they're both loyal. Loyalty is the key, I think, in any swoon-worthy boy that I read about.

I also like the fact that neither of them could be construed as "bad" for Katniss (partially because she was in a world of hurt already, but if she brought them home for dinner, parents would totally give the seal of approval on both of them). Both Gale and Peeta were perfectly wonderful choices--they were just so different; it's not about what's good and what's bad about them--it was about what she needed from them.

Hm. That was a horribly written explanation. But oh well. ;)

Krista Ashe said...

Mainly, I like to make my LI swoonworthy with being the underdog, underappreciated, the romantic, etc. I'm totally Team Peeta/Team Edward. The "I sacrifice myself, would die for you" yada yah, lol. I also like and seem to write redeemed bad boys who see the error of their ways, lol. Like the "hooker with the heart of gold", they're the "manwhores/players who meet and love a girl with a heart of gold who changes them". I'm still working to find that in real life, lol.

Morgan said...

Honestly, I'm most attracted to my boyfriend when we're doing something silly. I love when we get too excited about McDonald's Monopoly or when I catch him talking about something he knows nothing about. I know it may be less exciting, but I'd rather see a fun, flawed, goofy love interest than a morose, overprotective one. And I feel like there's a lot of the latter in today's YA! I think small doses of realism (they can't be ALL realistic =P) make a character more believable and much more swoon worthy.

Amie Kaufman said...

Every so often you just have to write a blog post you can tag "smexy boys", right? I agree, self-sacrifice can be swoonworthy, and especially if it's from kind of a jerk. That hint of vulnerability, you know?