7 Must Haves For Your Fictional Male Love Interest

Posted March 21, 2014 in Dreaming Novel Things, Features / 18 Comments

© The Day Dreamer and Candy Eater

Dreaming Novel Things is a feature in which I discuss book related subjects, but in a creative way. I’ll use interviews, narratives and lists to talk about book trends, book opinions and bookish matters. If you have any book related subjects you’d like to see me discuss just leave me a comment below!


Are you a would be author working on the next great American novel? Does your story contain a ravishing love story with a hunky male for all the female readers to swoon over? Well then, you MUST be aware of all the must haves for your fictional male love interest… right? You’re not?

Well thank goodness you’re reading this right now otherwise the hero of your story would have stood out for all the wrong reasons. If you want girls everywhere to fall in love with your fictional male love interest, you absolutely must include these elements.

The Half Smile

There’s something about a guy smiling with only one corner of his mouth that makes her knees buckle and her heart stop. A half smile says ‘you caught me off guard because you’re just so witty’ while a full smile screams ‘I’m trying too hard’. If your character is using his whole mouth to show off his pearly whites us females will have to stifle a yawn.

The Art of Stalking Yet At The Same Time Remaining Distant

This of course should be of no surprise to you but women LOVE it when we catch you always staring at us or at the very least are aware that you seem to be following us. However, if you’re stalking is not balanced by your cool distance than I’m afraid the character will fall flat. We want to be ignored and treasured, is that too much to ask for?

Absolutely Nothing In Between Snarky and Sweet

Got a snarky character? Give us more! We love sarcastic one liners and snarky bits about our appearance, but if you can’t deliver that then we need the complete opposite from you. We need someone who is completely sweet and sincere in every action he takes. You absolutely cannot have a male that lies in between this scale, its just too unrealistic. (Bonus points if you have a love triangle where one male is snarky and the other is sweet).

Brooding And Tortured Soul Type Is SO Not Over Done

We can not resist those tortured souls that are tough on the outside but sensitive on the inside. In fact we can’t get enough of this and if you extend your novel into a series we would we love it if you could give us this type of character over and over changing very few details. 

Should Have No Idea How Hot He Is

Isn’t it just the dreamiest when a guy has dozens of girls throwing themselves at him and he can’t bring himself to even notice? It makes the moment when he sees the heroine for the first time and realizes at that same exact moment that she is the one just all the more special.

Must Have One Defining Trait For Personality

If every guy contained all these factors then the fictional world would be full of cookie cutters therefore you must give him one at the very most two defining traits for personality’s sake. Suggestions:

  • make him a vampire
  • make him a werewolf
  • make him a baker
  • make him evil
  • make him an angel
  • make him a fallen angel
  • make him an alien
  • make him have rare powers

But please note that I said at the most two defining traits! You don’t want to give your guy too much back story as it’s distracting to the love story which is WAY more important than anything else.

His Rage Is Not To Be Tempted

For throughout most of the novel your fictional male love interest should possess a cool calmness that it not easily provoked into something more. However, there should be a moment in the book when he flips his lid and his rage is unleashed (not on your heroine of course but on whoever is harassing her or hurting her). It should be completely scary yet charming. All the better if your guy beats the pulp out of the attacker like it’s as easy as pie.

Remember, these are absolutely necessary if your fictional male love interest stands a chance in today’s fictional world. If even one of these elements are missing then you’re guy will fall flat and become easily forgotten.


How do you feel about the stereotypical male love interests in fiction these days? What are your pet peeves? What do you prefer? Share below and happy reading!

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18 responses to “7 Must Haves For Your Fictional Male Love Interest

  1. It might just be me, but I just do NOT understand how a half-smile can be cute. I always think that they look more like a grimace or a smirk instead of a smile. I love this list though, it really made me smile. I kept thinking of several different male characters for every point you made, which just goes to show how many of them are out there! D: Love love love this post!

    • Yeah, I don’t know who wrote the first half smile but I have NEVER found them attractive either! I’m glad you enjoyed this post and that the sarcasm transferred over, it’s just funny how these tropes keep appearing throughout literature. Thanks for reading! 🙂

  2. Okay, you had me laughing the entire post! Although I really have to admit here that I’m a huge sucker for the “snarky, brooding soul that turns out to have a heart of gold” trope. I will fall for it, every time. I am not ashamed!

    I kind of like the “flip his lid” segments, but not when the heroine then proceeds to say “oh it’s so romantic and he can be as violent as he wants and it’s just perfect as long as it’s not directed at me!” That’s so not healthy and it really irks me when I read bits like that.

    • Oh I definitely admit to loving a few of the tropes too, especially when they’re done oh so good. But they’re literally everywhere now and it’s overwhelming. That’s why I loved Levi from Fangirl so much because he broke away from the stereotypical male in literature. Thanks for reading Kayla, glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  3. I would love to know who introduced the half smile as something sexy? I’m pretty sure anytime I give a half smile, it’s because I’m feeling glum and someone is trying to cheer me up and I’m trying to show them that I appreciate it, but I can’t muster up a full smile. Either way, it is not sexy at all! Haha

    The stalking thing is so creepy. I mean, totally guilty of staring at my crushes in high school, but following them home without them knowing? *shudders* whole new level!

    And I know the brooding thing is overdone, but I love it. I love a dark and tortured soul!

    • I know right? My half smiles are sympathy smiles, like when someone is trying to be funny but their not and I can’t muster the energy for a full smile. It’s funny about the stalking thing too, because it seems like when the girl notices she goes up and tries to talk to him and he will act too cool for her. I’m just like, uhhhh what? How is that attractive AT ALL?

      I think the brooding thing is overdone because it really does still work well, especially when done right. But I recently read this series where literally, every book contained the dark mysterious brooding tortured soul type. EVERY BOOK! If she hadn’t changed the names it could have been the same character over and over.

      Thanks for reading! 🙂

  4. Haha, I loved this post! I have no idea how guys half-smiling could possibly even look good. I try to imagine it, but it just doesn’t even work. And the amount of times I have read a brooding love interest…*sigh*

    • Thanks! I think if you took every fictional brooding love interest and put them in one book we’d have ten million pages full of silent stares and eye squinting! Thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed it! 🙂


    The Half Smile, The Art of Stalking Yet At The Same Time Remaining Distant, His Rage Is Not To Be Tempted! Those, get me every single time! Like for real… if I’d meet a guy (in the real world) and he’d have one of these traits I’d be a puddle at his feet in no time!

    *sigh* haha, I love this list! Especially the His Rage is Not to be Tempted (and your hilarious explanations)

    Great post!

    • Thanks Iris! I know, so many are swoon worthy and I catch my self sighing in a dazed sort of way but I’m ready for something NEW and ORIGINAL, you know? Thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  6. I loved your article. Yeah, these things might be stereotypical, but… be honest, what is your reaction when you meet this hunky guy in the pages of your novel? SWOOON!

    • Oh I know, I totally fall victim to many of these aspects in fictional males (I have a special weakness for the snarky guy) but I just wish I could see something new, you know? Like Levi from Fangirl, he completely broke the norm of the stereotypical hunky guy and I adored him! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts Carol! 🙂

  7. Yay, I’m glad you read the book! It took everything that was standard about the new adult genre and through it out the window. It’s definitely one of my favorite reads of the year.