I guest wrote for Through the Tollbooth again! This time, I’m talking about how to write swoon-worthy boys. Hint: It’s not about his looks.
The hot boy love interest is a staple of YA Lit; he is expected in any book with a heterosexual female protagonist, and many books don’t stop at just one. Readers can also find him in books with gay male protagonists—again, sometimes in multiples. The hotness of various boys is heavily debated on fan sites and Goodreads groups, and the boys are often favorites of reader-artists, especially if the boy shows up on the page partially undressed or tenderly holding the protagonist.
But what makes a YA boy hot isn’t simply a nice jawline and prettily-colored eyes. It’s not even good pectorals or a brooding stare. In fiction, as in real life, appearance only gets the boy so far. And when his physical appearance is reduced to black and white words on the page, hunky description helps, but it’s going to take a lot more than that to make the reader swoon.