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Are you creating male NPC's or do you want your male PC to have some romance in his life? Then you must have asked yourself this question a million times: What attracts women to the male hero? It is an interesting subject that has mystified writers for centuries while others just have to click their fingers to create a very desirable male character. What is their secret? How do they get it right? What are we women interested in? A short survey among girl gamers and romance novel writers gave some interesting results.
The daring swashbuckling rogue wins hands down. The Scarlet Pimpernel, the Three Musketeers, Robin Hood, Pirate captains and any character played by Sean Connory. When asked most girl gamers admit it sends their hearts racing. Number one reason is the swashbuckler's humor and witty reparts. Not only does it hint at being well educated (ladies prefer brains), it also makes the hero ooze with charisma.
The inherent danger and unpredictability of roguish behavior is another winning attribute. A sense of the forbidden fruit is having the ladies pant, while the danger of being ravished and thus losing control adds a definite edge. The rake represents a challenge to ladies for it will take some ingenuity for a woman to not only let herself be seduced but make the hero commit to her.
It is the well-toned lean-but-muscular build, shown off in a lacy white half opened shirt and tight black breeches, and toped with a nice goatee, which completes the picture of a dashing hero.
The dark hero comes a good second. He is brooding, mysterious, somehow stands away from the crowd and carries the promise of evil intentions. His conversation is challenging, provocative and cynical, perhaps even bitter. He is more than a little arrogant. The dark hero radiates power. Yet underneath his tough surface there are unexpected moments of vulnerability and tender care. Again the danger element and the risk to the lady are the main attractions, but in this case it is the tenderness that makes us melt.
Where the swashbuckler is tantalizing through seduction, the dark hero makes female characters react with both adversity and a need to sooth his inner turmoil. The physical looks of the dark hero are in matching colors, especially dark hair and sometimes a bit of rough stubble on his chin. Apparently books with blond heroes don't sell very well. Other typical characteristics include broad shoulders, curls at the nape of his neck and well-defined hands.
Finally, do not discount the Knight In Shining White Armor just yet. Women adore being put on a pedestal, admired for all to see, while being showered with gifts and attention. Old-fashioned romance is a big ego booster. The knight is strong of character and protective, with a passionate idealism. This nobility is a big turn on. It works especially well if his idealism brings him into conflict with others, since that touches upon the danger element again.