What do you need in a hero?
He’s gotta be strong and he’s gotta be fast and he’s gotta be fresh from the fight
Wow. That is quite a list ya got there. Is there more?
He’s gotta be sure and it’s gotta be soon and he’s gotta be larger than life
Seriously. Where do you think you’re going to find this ‘hero’?
Answer:In every manuscript.
This week, our topic is the heroes in our lives, books, and imaginations. And let me be bold and say, you cannot write a novel without a hero. The Main Character must exhibit heroic qualities as well as human attributes to connect with your readers.
Who are your personal heroes? Mine are Lincoln and Moses. Fictional characters? Ripley in Alien, Frodo from Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, and Tavi in The Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher.
Why? What qualities make these people a hero? A hero doesn’t want to be one, resists the call so to speak. Fear and doubt in their abilities to overcome. ‘What if I fail? Why me?’ But inciting conflicts push the hero into a no-turning-back position. And they grit their teeth and persevere.
As a real life example, witness Abraham Lincoln’s growth. These are actual quotes.
Lincoln started with convictions.
As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master.
Stepping up is a different story. Lincoln hesitates. He doubts his ability to resolve the terrible problem.
I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery where it exists…I have no inclination to do so.
But he moves a little bit.
If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.
Lincoln fights his own demons. Strength and the will to follow the right path eat at his confidence. At the end, he believes assassination is a very real possibility. But despite his fears, he continues.
Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.
Can’t you just see his teeth clenched and a fierce gaze trained on anyone who stands against him?
Who are your heroes in life, screen, and tome?
Tuesday's post will cover heroic qualities and how to improve these attributes in your MC.
Homework is inevitable.
*Bonnie Tyler, Sony Music