“Gentlemen… you’re up.”

I recently asked the girls in my writing group a question.

“In a story, what does a guy do to make your heart skip a beat?”

Personally, if a male character is hurt in some way, I instantly feel attached to him. If he gets hurt heroically, I’m even more attached. For me, having a male character in pain draws out all female sides of me – sister, mother, girlfriend, what-have-you. Pain takes away the outer glitter and lets you ‘see the gold deep down,’ as new-friend Micah says.(I’m not saying pain is the only thing that makes me like male characters;  but it’s a pretty big one).

I got quite a discussion going! Here are some of the responses; I was surprised at how many of us agreed with one another on the heart-skipping qualities in male characters.

• When the male character protects the girl

• Self-sacrifice, in all its various forms

• When the guy cheers up the girl

• If he behaves like a gentleman

• Guys who tease a lot but not to hurt anyone

• When a girl embarrasses herself in front of a guy and he’s cool with it/if she can take her guard down when she’s around him

• When the guy tries to do the right thing

• When the guy is respectful to his parents

• Guys with fur and golden eyes (I had to agree with this, though I don’t see many guys like that walking down the street…)

• Guys with witty comebacks

• We were pretty torn between bad boys and good boys. Half of us liked bad boys, the other half liked clean-cut… it was a draw.

• Guys who are good with little kids

There was also something that we unanimously didn’t like.

• When the author keeps pointing out how handsome the guy is. This irritates us – if the author has to keep drilling it into our brains that he’s good-looking, we end up saying “Forget it, I don’t care.” When I write a male character, I describe him but try to leave the ‘good-looking’ thing up to the reader. This is usually helpful, since we all have our own ideas of what pretty/handsome are.

So there are some things I collected (this is  by no means an extensive list!) so – what about you? Guys – don’t worry, there’s a post about female characters coming up soon, after my hiatus =)


10 thoughts on ““Gentlemen… you’re up.”


    *calms down*


    *has to calm down again*



    BAD BOYS!!!!

    *……Why even bother calming down at this point?*

  2. LOL!! that picture makes my day. X) tho don’t ask me why. 😉

    Those are all excellent points! I do tend to agree, even with the furry, golden-eyed one!! 😀 actually, I once wrote a male character with golden eyes…..it didn’t go anywhere, but I liked him! XD

    hmm…….good boy v. bad boy……I’m torn! :O X)

    This is kinda a random reason to love a guy, but I LOVE guys who are really agile, like NINJAS!!!!!!!!!!! 😀 ❤ (what are you talking about? I don't have an obsession with ninjas…..) 😉 and ones who are all sneaky and mysterious…….like thieves and assassins in the night! :O

  3. This is really interesting! 🙂 Definitely, self-sacrifice and staying true to his principles during moral dilemmas. Also, guys who are very studious/hardworking.
    – Marian (all-that-is-gold.blogspot.com)

  4. For me, it usually comes down to how he treats his family. (Almost) Regardless of how he treats everyone else, if he’s kind and respectful to his siblings and his parents, I’ll probably like him. Golden eyes used to be a big check mark to me, too, but then I read a certain novel where pretty much all that happened was the girl gushing over how beautiful her boyfriend’s golden eyes were. I’m now emotionally scarred from the experience.

  5. Nice 🙂 I love it when the guy has really sarcastic/teasing comments, when he and the girl totally do not realize they love each other, and I like guys with unusual eyes. I also like it when guys give the girl little touches; a brush by here, a look there. Good post!

  6. I agree with most of the said statements.
    My favourite which you mentioned is “Self-sacrifice, in all its various forms” which I love to read about. 🙂
    Another good one is “Guys who are good with little kids”

    Can’t wait for the female characters post! 😀

  7. Hey! 🙂 Even at 13, the romance in a book is one of my things that I like to write about. One thing that I’ve always liked about a guy, is when they hug their, girlfriend (or mom or sister, just depending on what book and what setting it is) when she’s crying or scared.

  8. I agree with all of those. There’s also something about a mysterious air or quality in a male… almost like he’s hiding something, or like he’s even more wonderful but is to modest to admit it. Examples? Fang in the Maximum ride books (although the later books in the series just start to get boring and rather stupid… :P), Murtagh in the Inheritance Cycle, and yes… one of my good friend’s characters, Ivan Shadespark. Every time I read his character, I just have to smile and indeed my heart does skip a beat… even though he’s a ghost. (it’s complicated… but the story is AMAZING.)

    There’s something about the guy being unintentionally clumsy, or even super smart yet awkward. (Sherlock and the Doctor, anyone? ;D)

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