People Magazine’s new ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ issue declares that they know what women find sexy. But does that same blueprint work in fiction? What type of man keeps our noses buried in a book, makes us lose sleep, and keeps us begging for more? Is there a fictional fantasy male formula? I decided that readers around the country should provide the answer. So, I thought we might look at the New York Times bestsellers list and compare some of our leading men.
Rather than spend hours scanning all the bestsellers in fiction, I narrowed my list down to Young Adult Fantasy. Why? Because it’s currently one of the top selling crossover categories in fiction. Many of these novels crossover because adult women read them just as much as their teen daughters. There are actually websites that are dedicated to the adult women who read YA fantasy such as the hugely popular Twilight Moms website. http://www.twilightmoms.com
Keeping with the Twilight theme, I think we should start with Edward Cullen. He’s the ridiculously handsome, mind reading, super fast vampire from the Twilight Saga series. By definition, vampires are powerful, dangerous, and seductive. Yet, Edward stands out because he hates being a vampire, won’t have sex before marriage, and is completely dedicated to clumsy human, Bella Swan. Edward is sexy because he’s got all those old school charms that we rarely see in our modern men. I also think his devotion to Bella is sexy. Who wouldn’t want to be loved so completely? Don’t lie ladies, I can see your noses growing from here!
I simply could not create this list without mentioning Jace Wayland from the Mortal Instruments series. Jace is a shadowhunter, dedicated to protecting us from the demons of this world. He’s the powerful, wise cracking, completely beautiful bad boy with secrets. Throughout the series, Cassandra Clare takes us through his painful past and our hearts break for him over and over again. We melt whether he’s playing the piano, slaying demons, or kissing on rooftops. Did I mention he’s covered in tattoos? This guy is hard to resist.
I literally read Evermore, the first book of the Immortal series in one day. Is it because I am a super fast reader, sadly no. It’s because of Damen Auguste. We spend half the book trying to figure out who he is. Turns out, Damen’s an immortal. He’s lived for centuries, yet he remains forever gorgeous. He’s rich, model beautiful, an artist, and totally devoted to mind reading, Ever Bloom. Alyson Noel goes into great detail describing his incredible body, sense of style, his touch, and kisses. Not to mention his unending search for the his true love, the reincarnating Ever. He’s the total package. What’s not to love?
I never knew I liked faeries until I read the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr. The series will leave you wondering if Seth or Keenan is better for Aislinn. Seth is her totally hot, body pierced, sexually experienced best friend. Keenan is interesting competition because he’s the definition of sexy as the seductive faerie Summer King. Did I mention that Aislinn is the Summer Queen? Her destiny is to be with Keenan, but she’s in love with Seth. What’s a girl to do? Two super sexy guys want to spend forever with you, poor girl, you certainly have my sympathy. What woman wouldn’t want to trade places with her? Ladies, your noses are showing again.
Now, I think I’ve got it. Step one: Male fictional leading characters must be sexy. It also doesn’t hurt if they’re a little dangerous, bad-boyish, and have tattoos or piercings. Step Two: They have to be powerful in some way. We’re looking for manly men here. Must run to danger and protect their leading ladies. Step Three: Attitude is everything. We like our men a little cocky, funny, and certainly interesting. We’re looking for depth here. Step Four: This is probably the most important step. Male lead MUST, MUST, MUST be totally dedicated to our female protagonist. He must put her life in front of his own, endanger himself, become physically hurt defending her, and give all his attention to just her. That’s what makes up our perfect fictional man!
Now that I’ve explained it all, you can resume writing the next bestseller. PS: Don’t forget to thank me in the acknowledgements or just dedicate the entire novel to me – your choice of course.
You can find many of my other articles posted here: http://www.yafantasyguide.com/for-writers/index.htm
Thanks for the picture: Hollywood