Monday, December 19, 2011

Heroes


Of all the books, movies and stories you know, who was your favorite hero? When I write a story, getting to know the hero is one of my favorite parts. It doesn’t feel like I get to invent the hero either, they just come tumbling out and kind of introduce themselves to me as the story progresses. It is a fascinating process and sometimes I’ll agonize over something that they do or something that happens to them. It bewilders my hubby. “Is something wrong?”  He asks as I push my food around my plate, unable to eat. “Yes.”  I sniff, “Asher shot and killed his girlfriend’s father today, and now they can never be together.”  “Who…  this is your book isn’t it?  If it bothers you, why don’t you change it?”  “I can’t. That is how it goes. It’s not like I can just make stuff up you know.” 
Are you familiar with the Myers & Briggs 16 Personality Types?  Apparently humanity has been narrowed down to these various types of personalities, though personally I feel like I can fit three of them depending on my mood. It is good to have options. It is fun to look at the list, check it out at:  http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/the-16-mbti-types.asp  Let me know if it works for you. Did you find yourself?  I enjoy finding my character’s personalities on there, and I can peg each and every one of them.
So what makes a good hero to you?  Does he have to be attractive?  I like to bang mine up a bit, some scars show they’ve lived. Do they have to be tough and strong?  Well I suppose at least resolute and brave enough to endure the suffering I’m tossing in their path. It builds character, right?  What’s a hero without a plot that shapes him. And of course a hero without a soft side doesn’t work either, without honor and a heart he could morph into the villain. It’s my job to make you care about him, and in my case that simply means writing well enough for you to get to know him just like I did.

2 comments:

  1. I was just re-reading Holly Black's 'Valiant'. Ravus, the hero, is absolutely 'swoon worthy'. And he's a troll. Like, tall and green. Now, if you can make your readers fall in love with a stinkin' troll (oh, he doesn't smell, just a bit, like damp stone) then you've got that hero nailed down. I was combing the pages for hints on how she DID that...

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  2. That story is so going on my Kindle (as soon as I find the power cord to recharge it); it sounds terrific. Damp stone? Hint of guano? Cave-dweller? I'll have to keep an eye out for him here inside my editing cave.

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