Friday, September 27, 2013


Anne Greene here. From these eight basic male character types a writer can mix and combine one or two of these masculine traits with one or two of the eight basic female character types I discussed in a previous lesson. Have fun with this. The characters should have enough differences in their personalities to provide built-in conflict.


By now, if you’ve read several of my lessons, you are well on your way to writing a winning novel. If you haven’t read my previous lessons, check the archives.


Before you write that first word, you must have a specific male character in mind. The following will help you build that unforgettable hero. These are types, and you can build your character from these foundations. Feel free to mix several types together. I’ll start with my favorite male type:


THE BAD BOY also called THE WOUNDED HERO: He’s dangerous to know and walks on the wild side. Family provided only pain and scars. He was either abused or abandoned. Every girl has a crush on him. He wears his cynical attitude like armor to protect his vulnerable heart. Often he’s lost the one woman who ever loved him.


THE CHIEF: He’s a dynamic leader, and he is wrapped up in his work. He urgently needs to fix problems and produce results. He expects people to follow him without question. Independence is important to him and the thought of relying on another person makes his skin crawl. He doesn’t think he needs a woman in his life.


THE CHARMER: He’s a smooth talker, and frequently unreliable. Makes women believe in happily-ever-after, but is not often there for the ever-after. He’s creative and witty, but manipulative and irresponsible. Often this man experiences the biggest character arc. Or he is the anti-hero.


THE SWASHBUCKLER: Mr. Excitement. He’s an adventurer. He doesn’t hesitate when faced with danger. He’s fearless, exciting and capable. He’s the daredevil and the explorer. He fears falling in love because he doesn’t want to be tamed.


THE WARRIOR: He’s a champion and acts with honor. He’s the ultimate protector and defender. He’s tenacious and principled. But he’s also self-righteous and relentless. He’s out to see justice done. Couple him with THE BOSS feminine lead, and you’ve got sparks from the start.


THE PROFESSOR: He’s coolly analytical and knows every answer. But he’s also inhibited and somewhat inflexible. When he finally gives his heart, he’s painfully vulnerable.


THE LOST SOUL: A tormented male, he lives in solitude. He’s a man with a past who yearns for love, but doesn’t know how to get it. He’s devoted, vulnerable, and discerning. But he broods and is unforgiving. He dreams of a loving relationship, but is not willing to stick his neck out to make it happen. Sometimes he’s an outcast.


THE BEST FRIEND: Sweet and safe, he never lets anyone down. But he seldom asserts himself. He’s unsure about love being worth the risk to his calm, low-key life. And he’s my least favorite type for a male lead.


So there they are. Choose whichever one fits the need of your book and turn him loose on the female archetype that will give him the most trouble. Have fun and God bless you as you write.


The book, HEROES AND HEROINES, by Tami Cowden, Caro LaFever, and Sue Viders goes into greater detail. I suggest the book for all readers.


Which MALE is your favorite?


If you enjoyed this blog or have a question, I’d love for you to comment. I love talking with my readers and getting to know them better. And return next Friday for a new lesson.


I pray our God will make us all great writers for Him.




  1. I'm a sucker for a Swashbuckler, though I married a professor.

  2. Swashbucklers are fun. I married one and he takes me on great adventures. But I love professors. They are mentally challenging and totally committed to the woman they love.

  3. Wow! Great character hints here, thanks!!! Mix and match and voila! Very nice!

    1. Yes, the mix and match gives you instant conflict. And without conflict there is no story. Glad you liked this.

  4. Thanks, Anne! I have the female archetypes from Ramona RIchards' class at the 2012 ACFW conference. I'm delighted to have the male now!

  5. HI Ane, glad I could help. It was good to see you at the ACFW conference! You're such fun.

  6. Most of my male characters are a combination of the Bad Boy, the Best Friend, and the Lost Soul.
    Connie Leonard

  7. That's a really interesting mix. I like the Bad Boy and the warrior. I set him against the spunky girl.

  8. Swashbucklers for me, as married one of those, too, Anne. I don't think taming them works very well, as it tends to break their heart (giving up what they love best). However, an equally swashbuckling female can find "happily ever after" if she can grab hold and hang on long enough.

    Which works out well in stories, as there is plenty of conflict when couples are too independent before they finally figure out "two are better than one," and learn how to get along with each other. Votes are still out on the real-life situation, though, as bravery is not one of my best virtues.

  9. HI Lily, Nope we don't even want to tame our Swashbucklers! They are too much fun and take us on such great adventures. And since bravery is not one of my strengths either, he often takes me out of my comfort zone. So my comfort zone has expanded drastically. Thanks for the comment!

  10. My heroes are all best friends. What fun to torment them into stepping outside their comfort zone!

  11. That sounds like a lot of fun! I like best friends, but haven't used them yet myself.