Thursday, March 15, 2012
Make Your Hero's Great
This is a special addition of Character Traits. The title says it all. Make Your Hero's Great. Already there are some of you who will disagree with me. You want your hero's flawed. Let me make myself clear, we aren't talking about flaws, we are talking about choices. But, you say, the flaws influence the choices. Yes, you are correct, but really, some things should be beyond a hero's thought process to accept as okay behavior.
I have read a certain fantasy series that is a top seller. I should say, I read the first book and never picked up any other book by this author. Why? His hero raped a woman. This was justified by explaining that the hero was in an alternate world and he didn't believe any of it was real. Excuse me, what does that have to do with any thing? Rape is a crime that shouldn't even enter the hero's mind. Mass murder committed by a sociopath does not equal a hero. An arsonist is not a hero. These crimes mean that there is something innately wrong with a person. I don't care if they are rehabilitated and turn a new leaf, I will never trust them. Your characters, if they are wise, will never trust them. Now if a villain becomes a hero, well, that is a whole different post. I will address that at another time.
I am aware that there are many of you who write "dark" fiction. Some of you write about fantastical creatures whose very nature makes them criminals. We aren't talking about those creatures. Making them into hero's is a new and exciting genre. I am talking about humans. If you take a human who obeys the law except for the occasional evil deed, then please do not try to sell that character as a hero.
Of course your comments are always welcome. Please keep it civil.