Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What Does a Good Romance Heroine Look Like?

Let's start with the looks.  Come on, let's be fair, it's often where the men start, isn't it?

But, truthfully, there is little room in traditional romance novels for the plain Janes (unless she transforms into a swan somewhere along the way, often with the hero's help), for the bookish types, the nerds, the geeks.  I'm all four of those (and all for them, of course).  So little wonder that I write romance novels, rather than star in them.


So, first point, a heroine must be beautiful.

She must be slender or average-sized with curves.  She can be a little chubby if it comes with extra curves.  She cannot be overweight.

Yeah, I know.

Their rules, not mine.

She can be blonde or brunette or redheaded.  There are a lot of redheads running around the pages of romance novels, statistically many more than exist in nature.  So what?  Romance novels are for dreamers so if your feisty heroine acts like a grown up version of Anne of Green Gables, why not make her hair auburn or Titian?

Now, a decent heroine must have eyes of azure, emerald, silver, or (more rarely) deepest sloe.  Common enough hues such as medium-brown or bluish-gray are out.  Colours must be singular.  The eyes themselves may be rounded or slanted or almond but they are usually quite large.  No one wants to read about a heroine with a squint.

Facial features should be clear and regular.  Very important: neither nose nor chin nor aforementioned eyes must protrude.

Likewise, with height, she can also be any of: tall and slender, short but determined, or average.  When in doubt, always stick with average.  It varies from country to country but you can be safe in most Western countries using 5'2" to 5'4".

Remember: your heroine's description shouldn't read like a police report.  No scars, no piercings, no tattoos.  No distinguishing marks of any kind.  A proper heroine should be recognizable by her violet eyes alone.

Okay, so we started with the looks.  Shall we end with them too?


Okay, a solid romance heroine must also be spirited, smart (but not too smart), sassy (or secretly yearning to be so), courageous and virginal.

Virginal?  Really, still?  Yes.


Yes.  Just deal with it.

Photo courtesy of m_bartosch at

No comments:

Post a Comment