I love my heros--dark, dangerous, unpredictable, powerful, and mean. I don't want him to go weak at the knees when he see's the heroine. I like him to be overwhelming, and tricky. There must be instant friction--like anger, want, or just plain contrariness.
So long as it stays in the story.
In reality, if I hung around people that did half of what I wrote or read, I think I'd be getting restraining orders and going to counseling.
What is it about these fantasy hero's that I like- that are so dark? Recently I've been reading a series by Karen Marie Moning, about a Sidhe Seer named MacKayla Lane (Mac). Her first book in the series is "DarkFever." In this tale she has been able to present an incredibly dark hero named Jericho Barrons--and he is FASCINATING to me. He's rude, icily polite, has violent tendencies, and unpredictable. The more he is a jerk, the better I like it. Why? Because in between his nastiness, you occasionally see a glimpse of other feelings for the heroine. The author has successfully built the tension, while being true to his character. So now, even though the hero is so very bad, I am cheering for him.
I like the dark fantasy, because it is safe...safe to dream. I don't want the reality. Reality is doing dishes, going to work, paying bills, and raising children. I do that most of my waking moments. When I write, and when I read, I want situations that are not real, that are difficult and scary...because I am the direct opposite of that.
In my life, I prefer no drama, but laughter. Granted, I have a dark sense of humor and I am very snarky (ask my friends and co-workers). I have been gifted in my life with a wonderful husband. He'll do dishes, laundry, and makes me laugh. His eyes light up every time I walk into a room (as mine do when I see him). He is truly a nice guy and strong. He's not mean--thank goodness! I believe that's why I like the bad boys in books---because it is the direct opposite of my life.
What do you like in your fantasy hero? How about your real hero?