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!