Jennifer Knight Shares her Recipe for a Hot Guy

Jennifer Knight, author of Blood on the Moon—which you can begin reading on Figment here—shares her recipe for creating guys as delicious as Lucas and Derek, the hotties who battle for the affections of her heroine, Faith. Read it and cook up one of your own swoonworthy boys!





1 cup smoldering eyes of any shade

2 cups rockin’ bod

½ tbs witty banter

2 tbs effortless charm

3 cups kissing skills

1/3 cup rescue from perilous situation

Sweet talk and moodiness to taste



To make the perfect hot guy, you must first have your man stare into your leading lady’s eyes. Smolderingly. The color and shape of the eyes themselves don’t matter so much as how they make us feel. You’ll want to stop just short of total immolation, and go for something like breathtakingly sexy. Use metaphors and similes generously.

Now, with eyes still smoldering, make sure and point out that rockin’ bod. You’ll need to justify the bod in some way, be it karate, boxing, football, or extreme toe wrestling. (It exists. Look it up.) And in order for the reader, not to mention your soon-to-be-swooning leading gal, to grasp the full measure of your man’s hotness, you’ll need to manipulate the scene so that his shirt is removed. That’s right. Go for it, people. He just fell in a pool. He’s going to swim practice. A rabid raccoon popped out of the brush on his way to school and ravaged his T-shirt. Whatever works. Point is, we need to see this guy shirtless and we need detail. Muscles like marble, abs like mountains and biceps that’ll put your eye out. Again, use lots of descriptive language.

With your main character, and your reader, effectively captivated by your hottie’s outer appearance, it’s time to throw in some inner-attractiveness. Take your witty banter and effortless charm and whisk together until nice and fluffy. You can’t have one without the other, or your man will either be too sweet or too bitter, so you’ll want a nice combination of both. Insult your leading lady, and then schmooze it away. Take advantage of those gorgeous eyes you created, and keep them crackling with a good twinkle of amusement here and there. It’s not so bad to be teased if you’re looking into eyes that both smolder and twinkle, right?

Once you’ve reeled in your hapless main character, it’s time to kick it up a notch. I’m talking kissing. Now, this is the tricky part, people. We don’t want to enter porn territory, but at the same time, we need this to be de-fog-your-computer-screen-hot. Take it slow. Make sure the scene is set, the mood is appropriate and your man takes his sweet time coming in for that kiss. This will elongate what is sure to be a swift scene, since we’re not going blow-by-blow here. Fireworks. Heart skipping multiple beats. Some sexy tongue action if you want to get crazy and you’re good.

With all of the dry ingredients set aside in a large bowl, it’s time for the clincher. The thing every hot guy needs to take him from meh to oh-yeah! We need a perilous situation. And we need our man to rescue his woman. Like now. We need selfless, undying devotion; raw, unyielding strength and an inclination toward reckless yet oh-so romantic gestures. Key ingredient here: put your damsel in distress and bring in that knight on his white charger. Yep, it’s as clichéd and simple as that. Nothing like a good rescue mission to bring up a guy’s hotness level. I mean, he’s now risking his life to save the woman he loves. Doesn’t get better than that.

Tip: To take this clichéd and overused plot and turn it into something fresh, make the situation unusual or put them in a strange setting. Remember to use real, genuine emotion.

Now, slowly pour your dry ingredients into your perilous situation mixture and blend on high until well combined. Add some sweet talk and random moodiness to taste and voila! You’ve got your very own Jake Gyllenhaal. Serve with a garnish of whipped cream and enjoy!

20 thoughts on “Jennifer Knight Shares her Recipe for a Hot Guy

  1. Hi, Jennifer! I just wanted to say that I love your advice on how to create a hot guy in a story! I always go for describing the eyes because that’s how you can tell who the guy is! Thanks for the advice and I hope that you really like my entry for the Blood on the Moon Contest!

  2. Well I think that’s all very good, but why does that have to be the definition of a hot guy? I mean every body has their own opinion on what makes a hot guy, why can’t we write them our own way?

  3. While I appreciate the tips you are giving, I think this article presents an oft-stereotyped, one-dimensional sort of character who I don’t really agree with. If I was reading a good book and came across a character like this, I would feel ripped off, like I left F. Scott Fitzgerald and entered Nicholas Sparks territory. I’d rather read about more interesting, deeper characters.

  4. I enjoyed this piece and found it interesting in its analysis of how to write an attractive man (particularly useful to read a female perspective on this as a man) I couldn’t help thinking the whole exercise was a little…clichéd. The use of the eyes and such, while very enticing I’m sure, has been done rather a great deal. And the use of the “rockin’ bod”? I personally would be far more interested to see how you would suggest writing character’s who don’t fit the traditional definitions of attractive. I mean, it seems kind of unfair. Male writers are often criticised for portraying attractive females in very similar fashions (stick thin & chesty etc), and perpetuating the standard model seems kind of…sexist and really not helpful. Why is it ok for women to write clichéd attractive men, but not vice versa? I mean, shouldn’t we be striving to develop more different and distinctive kinds of attractive people? Just a thought. That said, you do deal with this somewhat in the “inner attractiveness” section, and that’s an intriguing area, although I kind of wanted more of that.

  5. this would be a wonderful recipe for some kind of YA-fiction parody but seriously – the guy you want me to create might have smoldering eyes and a good bod, but where is the personality? I’m not talking “random witty banter” or “charm” because every hero in every YA book has that. For a guy to be likeable – for ANY character to be likeable, he has to have FAULTS. F.A.U.L.T.S. Things that make you feel sorry for him or slightly wary of him or even annoyed by him, things that intensify reader relationship with the character. The short and long of it is this: nobody knows someone so downright perfect as that. So no one will be able to relate. And because everyone is writing about the “hot guy”, yours will just blend in with the rest of them.
    My advice? Try giving him smoldering eyes . . . and glasses. Or try giving him a good bod . . . and a limp. Try giving him terrible kissing skills! Try making him so moody that everyone warns the girl to stay away from him. Try making him the class clown that has a deeper, darker side. Make him have flaws so that readers can identify with him. Make him BELIEVEABLE.

    • Hear, hear! Thats the one thing so many new writers trip up on for every character. They like them too much, so they make them all perfect. I say no one’s perfect until they’re flawed. This is some great advice!

  6. I might just throw up. “And we need our man to rescue his woman”? So, it’s not allowed for the woman to rescue the man? No, she’s got to be the pale, weak damsel in distress, falling apart at his smoldering eyes. “It’s not so bad to be teased if you’re looking into eyes that both smolder and twinkle, right?” Yup. Go ahead, say what you want, hot guy, because your EYES make it OK.

    Here’s my updated recipe: 1 cup intelligence, a teaspoon of intelligence, and some intelligence to taste. Add intelligence and it’ll be perfect!

    Maybe you should consider that other people have different ideas that AREN’T horribly cliche and, worse than that, demeaning.

  7. Oh, figs. Such seriousness. It’s just poking fun at common cliches in literature.

    Either way, I’m putting my two cents in and sharing my recipe:

    13 cups height (above 5’8″) (actually, make that above 6’3″)
    2 cups British, Italian or Russian accent
    1/2 cup 5 o’clock shadow
    2 tbs. green for eyes
    1/2 tsp. gold flecks for said green for eyes
    1/8 cup snorting-while-laughing (don’t judge)


    See what I did there?

    • I LOVE your description! I’d prefer maybe a British accent, and instead of the snorting, just some awkwardness 🙂 But great recipe, and I love the fact that it’s different from what one would expect.

  8. Here’s my recipe for a hot guy:

    1 human (male)
    1 fire

    Place human into fire.
    Ta-da! You’ve got a hot guy.

    Okay, I just had to do that. Blame the fact that I’m sick right now. ; 3

    Seriously, though, how painfully cliché can you get? Oh, I have an idea! I’ll set up my quote-on-quote hot guy, then make my lead girl utterly repulsed by him! Yeah.

  9. Seriously people, Jennifer was just having some fun. Geez, why don’t we just scare authors off from joining in on the fun promotions that Fig offers. Rather than criticize, let’s HEAR YOUR list.

    • I admitted that Jennifer’s list was fun – just cautioned against taking it too seriously. My list? Very well:

      3 cups flaws (physical and personality)
      2 cups good stuff (physical and personality

      Layer these ingredients so that the flaws are covering the good stuff until the moment of truth. Garnish with your choice of toppings, including but not limited to:



      @ glassdragon – thank you for the comment 🙂 I’m glad I’m not the only one out there . . .

  10. I love this, but it almost feels like a commentary on how overused the “hot guy” template is. I mean waaaaaaaaaaay to many books do this. Though I do enjoy the rabid raccoon destroying his shirt idea? May I use that some day, with some tweaks of course.

  11. Ummmmm….I personally have NO IDEA what a guy ingredient list would be like, but if I had to say my personal favorite, this would be it:

    2 cups smart (it’s weird when the guy you like is an idiot)
    2 cups tall (taller than me, that is)
    1 1/2 cup “rockin’ bod” as Jennifer put it (seriously, what girl doesn’t want it?)
    1 tsp of SOMETHING I find annoying or whatnot (weird voice, strange haircut, etc. Nobody’s perfect)
    1 3/4 cup playful or funny (I can’t stand it when guys act all negative and serious)
    3 cups nice smile (do I really need to elaborate?)

    Any other ideas?

  12. i love the recipe idea! it makes it so much more entertaining…
    but… it is kinda too much. too perfect. and if there’s a perilous situation, it will definitely be a guy saving the girl, but after he breaks the chain or something, she will take over and kick some major butt.
    and he will gape in awe.
    because that would be AWESOME!
    anyone agree?

  13. My recipe would be this:

    1 cup tall (not too much taller than me, though)
    5 cups great sense of humor
    3 cups easy to talk to
    2 cups chin to shoulder length hair (don’t judge, for some reason I like long hair on guys)
    6 cups flaws (none that consist of illegal behavior or morally lacking behavior)
    8 cups genius (I find it difficult being the only smart one… Self-compliment unintended.)
    1 cup doesn’t joke about who’s crushing on who, especially if one of those people is me (hate that so much…)

    Plus a choice of toppings (may choose any or none or more than one)
    • Freckles
    • Video game lover (yay!)
    • Great imagination
    • More flaws
    • Likes Pokémon (I’m such a nerd)
    • Not interested in me

    There you have a nice recipe for, in my opinion, a nice guy. Note that last “topping” at the bottom: yeah. I have had a couple crushes, but I don’t WANT it… Don’t judge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *