Hero or a Zero?

By Sara Taney Humphreys

As a romance writer one is constantly challenged to come up with an outstanding Hero. There are great examples of Heroes in the movies and on television. How about the sensitive and devoted Bill Compton from True Blood? He consistently puts Sookie's needs and feelings above his own. One of my all time favorite heroes is Captain James T. Kirk. Whether we're talking about the original or the newbie....it's all good. You gotta love that classic Alpha Male. Have you ever asked yourself...What exactly makes a man a hero? I've given it a lot of thought and these are just a few examples I came up with. However, ultimately, I think being thoughtful is what makes a man a Hero and truly romantic--it separates The Heroes from The Zeros.

Zero: Box of Russell Stovers wrapped in the clear cellophane
Hero: Godivas placed on your pillow with a little note

Zero: He can't make it to your big event at work because he's just too tired.
Hero: Says he can't make it but shows up to surprise you in spite of how exhausted he is.

Zero: Asks you where all his clean shirts are.
Hero: Does all the laundry and puts it away

Zero: Walks in the door and before anything else asks, "What did you make for dinner?
Hero: He makes you dinner...AND cleans up

Zero: Offers to get you a trial membership to the gym (so not only is he telling you to lose weight he doesn't think you'll stick with it...nice)
Hero: Gift certificate to the spa for a full day of beauty (if you have children it also means he takes the kids) When you ask why... he responds, "Just because I love you."

Zero: Surprised you with something sexy and lacy for you to wear for him. (Probably resembles dental floss and will give you a severe wedgie)

Hero: A bubble bath with wine, candles and music....by yourself. (He waits patiently for you to finish..never once asking.."Are you done yet.")

Last but not least, when you emerge from the bedroom in your carefully chosen outfit for your date night (Which by the way probably was result of trying on 87 different combinations) he will of course have something to say.

The Zero says..."Oh, you're wearing that?"

The Hero smiles broadly and says...."You are beautiful."

So how about you? What makes a man a Hero as opposed to a Zero?


  1. I love this post! Ironically, a lot of what makes a hero can be more Beta than Alpha. I'm reminded of one of my favorite episodes of The Office.

    It's Valentine's Day and as Pam sits in anticipation, there is a stream of deliveries--beautiful bouquets of flowers, candy, even a six-foot-tall teddy bear! Each time, Pam waits eagerly explaining to the camera that she told her fiance, Roy, not to go too overboard since they're saving for the wedding.

    Each time, the gifts are for Phyllis and Pam's smile becomes forced.

    At the end of day, as Phyllis struggles to carry her gifts out, Roy walks in. Pam can't help but push, just a little. But, he says, he didn't forget Valentine's Day! Oh really, she says, lighting up, hope illuminating her smile.

    He nods. "Just wait until we get home," he says, "you're going to get the best sex of your LIFE!"

    The look on Pam's face is priceless.


    Thanks for a fun read!!

    --Chiron O'Keefe
    The Write Soul: www.chironokeefe.blogspot.com

  2. LOL, Chiron! Love that episode!

    Sara - this is priceless:

    'Offers to get you a trial membership to the gym (so not only is he telling you to lose weight he doesn't think you'll stick with it...nice)' - LOL!!

    And this:

    '(Probably resembles dental floss and will give you a severe wedgie)' - LOL!

    I agree with Chiron that what actually makes a perfect hero is a Beta rather than the average Alpha. I ADORE Bill Compton. He would most definitely place the Godivas on the pillow...

  3. I don't think, if I were to meet a Hero at this point, that I'd have the slightest idea what to do with him. I simply assume he was a hustler or maybe a serial killer. Jeez, eh? :-D

  4. Okay where are these real life Heroes hiding Sarah? :D great post! ;D

  5. Oh, I love this post! The heroes make romances so fun to read. I'm like Joanna wondering where the real life versions are! Lol.


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