Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Ideal Man

By Tiffany Amber Stockton

No, this isn't a blog about how to train men. Sorry. :)

We will be talking about the ideal man in novels, though. A hero is the central male character in a fictional tale--a leading man with admirable qualities. The hero’s positive traits might not be obvious in the introduction, but he possesses characteristics that typically will serve him and the heroine (since I write love stories) quite well throughout the story.

Of course, that’s not to say those strengths won’t come into play as weaknesses or obstacles at some point in the plot. It all depends upon the story and how the circumstances play out.

Now, think about your favorite story heroes from the books and movies you love. Who comes to mind? What would you list as the leading man’s admirable characteristics?

I've listed fifteen desirable traits for leading men, based upon feedback I've received from my books in email, letter, social media, etc. These are not exhaustive by any means, and that's where you come in. What else would you add? Or which ones from this list are your top choices?

* Courage
* Honesty
* Humor
* Compassion
* Gentleness
* Integrity
* Wisdom
* Perseverance
* Humility
* Strength
* Love of God
* God First, Family Second
* Patience
* Willingness to grow with heroine
* Peace

And here are five characteristics you’ll find in my story heroes, along with his particular flaw or flaws:

1. A Deepening Faith in God as he accepts God's Grace

2. Integrity

3. Conviction

4. Humor

5. Dedication/Devotion

So, now it's your turn. What traits do you count most important in a story hero? And which book or movie stands out in your mind as a top favorite because of the traits of the hero in it? Please share in the comments.

Tiffany Amber Stockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood. Today, she is an award-winning author, speaker, and brand partner with Nerium International, who lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have one girl and one boy, and an Aussie/retriever mix named Roxie. She has sold fourteen books so far and is represented by Sandra Bishop of MacGregor Literary Agency. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. Loved this post! As I saw the title, The Ideal Man, why did Rhett Butler come to mind? He loved Scarlett. As I was reading the points in the picture, I was thinking I had those words before. When I realized who was in the picture, I said that's who that is. lol. Deepening faith and humor stand out as character traits for me. Someone's gotta have humor; I didn't get enough of it and am sometimes too serious. It's nice to see (read) heroes making funny comments, or turning a situation around to the humorous side, or even when they are faced with mounting obstacles, they still keep their perspective. Thanks for this post and making me think about The Ideal Man! Which of your stories' heroes did you enjoy writing more and why?
    tscmshupe [at] pemtel [dot] net

  2. I love all the characteristics mentioned but is forgiving there? maybe I overlooked it. I loved the men portrayed in the Love Comes Softly series. They had flaws but loved the Lord And their wives And families. Sorry I can't remember their names. I just liked the protective nature of them. But I guess that's why we like to read our fictional characters because we get to glimpse into other lives!

  3. This may be a little on the simplistic side but I always thought Wesley in Princess Bride made the perfect hero - loved his steadfast loyalty, belief in true love and sense of humor.

  4. Kindness and loves children and being involved with their activities. Loving God first and being a spiritual leader in the home. sharon, ca wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

  5. The most important traits in a story hero, to me, are the same that I would want in my spouse: God first, & family second; honest; humor; & compassion. One book that stands out in my mind, because of the hero traits, is Liz Curtis Higg's book, Mine Is the Night - based on Boaz, from the bible.