Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Dark-haired vs Fair-haired Poll Revisited

Okay, I finally collated the results of the dark-haired vs fair-haired debate, and this is what it broke down as. Ten people voted, so the pool was small, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Since most of the responses focused on the hero, I’m going to talk about that.

Just under half the respondents had no preference. What I found intriguing is that of the people who did have a preference, 100% voted for dark-haired heroes.

Why do we like these heroes so much?

I also had a look through the books I’m reading or have read recently and a huge percentage of them had dark-haired heroes. I read across the board but less on the lighter end of the spectrum, so maybe that’s it—perhaps it's easier to write/imagine an emotionally dark hero if he’s also physically that way? I don’t actually think so – I’ve seen some ice-cold blond heroes done very well and I’ve just finished writing a very alpha fair-haired hero.

Maybe it all has to do with fairy-tales and the “tall, dark and handsome” prince we all grew up hearing about Or maybe it’s the other way around—bad boys are easier to visualize if they’re dark. Hmm, I don’t think this question has a real answer, but it’s fun to talk about nonetheless.

Here’s a challenge for you: try to think of one fair-haired hero that really stuck in your mind. The ones that come up immediately for me are Gabriel Cynster from Stephanie Laurens A Secret Love, and a Viking hero from one of Johanna Lindsay’s historicals (which I could tell you the name of if I was able to go to my keeper shelf in NZ). I’m sure there are more in my keeper books but those are the two I can think of on the spur of the moment.

Okay, hit me with your thoughts. (And don’t forget to post any suggestions for articles in the post below this one).


Milady Insanity said...

The only one who comes to mind is Lucan in Lynn Viehl's Dark Need--it's the last book I read, or I probably wouldn't remember.

I think it also has something to do with lots of us liking to read about bad boys. Dark haired romantic hero has this bad boy connototation, you know? Like the Black Knight versus the White Knight.

Also, is that fair-haired hero the guy you mentioned in the email?

Melly said...

I might be slighlly off the mark here talking fantasy, but already when I read LOTR (oh, some long years ago), I noticed the difference between the faired-haired characters and the dark-haired ones, both male and female. It usually involved how "approachable", even loveable, the character seemed.

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

I like 'em dark. :-) As for females ... they are interchangeable. LOL. Reason is... as a female when I am reading romance or other I am putting myself into the picture. I am tall and blonde (or used to be) and that is what I see as I am reading.


Barbara said...

One story that I like and has a blond hero is "Persuading the playboy king" by Kristi Gold. The hero name is Marc Deloria.

I think that what really matters to me is how good the character is developed and how good is the story.

So Nalini if you thinking about a fair hair hero go ahead. I bet it’ll be a great story.

Nalini Singh said...

Milady - Lucan - that name itself is so sexy! And the fair-haired hero I mentioned in the post is going to be in my next Desire. So you all have to read that as research *g*

Melly - what an interesting point. Now that you point it out I've seen the same done in several other books as well.

Cynthia - there was an interesting article up on Romancing The Blog a while back talking about identifying with heroines. What most people ended up talking about was whether it was necessary to like a heroine to identify with her. What about you personally?

Thank you, Barbara! And Kristi's a great writer isn't she? She recently won the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for best Sil Desire!

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

I need to like the heroine to identify with her... I really like the adventurous types. :-)

If they are too passive, I don't finish reading the book.

Also, if I respect but not like the heroine, I will finish reading the book...