The Strong Silent Type

In the movies, one of the most popular heroes is the strong, silent type. Think Jeremiah Johnson, or many of Clint Eastwood’s western characters. In a movie that can be very effective.

But in romance writing, it can kill your story. The only way we have to know your hero is through internal narrative. Too much internal narrative drags down the pace. Or worse, readers skip the large paragraphs and get to the dialogue. How much of their story did they miss?

You can show his reluctance to speak. Give him short, curt sentences. Use body language in briefs sections. This type of word usage will get the point across that he’s not a yacker. And it will keep the reader interested.

What is your favorite type of hero? The guy who spills his guts easily, pours on the compliments? Or, the one who says little, but when he speaks, he packs a punch?


7 Responses to “The Strong Silent Type”

  1. 10 November, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Hi Ari πŸ™‚
    My favorite hero type is the charismatic rogue type.
    (see Nathan Fillion)
    Thanks for the great post,
    All the best,

  2. 3 jenroland
    11 November, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    I think my favorite male character type is the smart slightly nerdy guy who has no idea that he is hot. I’m thinking Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi), Hugh Grant in his heyday, and Ben Chaplin in The Truth about Cats & Dogs.

  3. 4 Ari
    11 November, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    I LOVED Ben Chaplin in The Truth About Cats and Dogs!

  4. 5 Sophie
    11 November, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    I like a man who is caring and who would defend and support my right to be me. Do I’m sorry as opposed to saying it without meanin it, shows he cares with small gestures as well as the occasional grand gesture. Now, on the romance novel side, a man who would come to my rescue at the hint of danger. Hee!

  5. 6 arithatcher
    12 November, 2009 at 2:08 am

    Sophie, you mention some good qualities, and the rescuer is the perfect alpha hero, isn’t he?

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