Bookings are now open for my three 2020 residential writing retreats, co-tutored with RNA Chair Alison May. Details can be found here.
Holding out for a hero
I’ve reached the part of my new book where my heroine has to decide between two very different men… and that got me thinking about heroes.
What makes a man a hero?
What sets him apart from (dare I say above) other men?
I’ve made a list… because lists are good.
By strength – I don’t mean muscles (although… muscles are not necessarily a bad thing). By strength I mean strength of purpose and conviction., Someone who will stand up under pressure and not give in. The man who will draw a line in the sand and say – “this far and no further”. We know we can rely on him to be there when we need him.
We love an honourable man. A man who knows what is right and will defend it. We can trust this man, because he will never do anything that is wrong. Or- if he does – he will fix it. Loyalty is part of honour – loyalty to family and friends.
Smart is sexy. But it’s more than that. We want to be able to look to our heroes for help in a crisis. The hero will figure out who the murderer is, or how to escape the locked room. Or the cure for a disease. Quite often these super smart men will have an innocence or a sense of other-worldliness that is very appealing.
Funny is sexy. That’s why we love romantic comedies so much. A hero who can make us smile will brighten the dark times. Even better if he can laugh at himself. We know we will enjoy the company of this hero.
We love a flawed hero. At first those flaws may make him seem a villain, rather than the hero. But as we come to understand him and learn what caused those flaws, we begin to see past them to the real hero underneath. Maybe, too, we think we can help him overcome those flaws.
Let’s be honest here – no-one wants to be poor. Then there’s the matter of providing food and shelter for his wife and children. There’s a reason the heroes in fairy tales tend to be princes. Castles are much better than a peasant’s hovel. However… I don’t think it’s necessary for a hero to be super rich. If he is all of the above things, he will succeed in life. And that means he will be able to provide for his family.
I’ve put this last – because it is the least important thing about our hero. OK – let be honest – we love a good looking hero. But they don’t all have to be handsome. If he has a good helping of the above traits, we are going to fall in love with him anyway. But… it’s not going to hurt if he looks like Brad Pitt.
Oh – yes. I know which one my heroine is going to choose. He is all of the above… and more.
Share this page...
Follow Janet here...