A bridge over a beautiful waterfall

A bridge over a beautiful waterfall
Nature brings magic

Saturday, April 9, 2011

H is for Heroes/Heroines

Let's talk about heroes and heroines.  Both of the personal varieties and those that we create for our novels.  Heroes are there to give us hope.  They give us something to believe in outside of ourselves.  I think Skillet gave the best definition of a hero in their song, appropriately called "Hero".

A hero (or heroine if they're women) is someone who looks beyond himself (or herself) to help others.  They move beyond their own lives to touch the lives of other people.  They make the decision - whether it's consciously or subconsciously - that they're going to do what others can't/won't/are afraid to do to help others.  This is what makes a hero.

There are reluctant heroes, especially in fantasy and science fiction.  The first reluctant hero to cross my mind is Garion out of David Eddings' Belgariad series.  By the time of the second series, he's kind of gotten used to the whole hero thing.  But in the first series, he didn't want to be a hero and was actually very whiny about it too.  In Ender's Game, Ender was a reluctant hero.  He didn't want anything to do with fighting and ended up helping save the universe from a terrible threat.  I'm not as familiar with reluctant heroines, but if there are any out there please let me know.  I'd like to read more books where the hero/heroine AREN'T aware of their destiny or are trying to fight it.

My protagonists - my "heroes" and "heroines" - are all hopelessly flawed individuals who end up fighting those flaws in order to help others.  In a way, they also help themselves because they're forced to rise above who they are to accomplish what they need to.

So what are your thoughts on heroes/heroines?


  1. I think heroines in the Romantic genre tend to be the reluctant heroines and they usually have problems with their love life or their life, but somehow it usually works out in the end.
    The heroine I'm working on in my novel (I'm in query stage) has a great imagination that helps her deal with all the threats and stressful situations she falls into. I guess that's how she "rises" above as you say in your lovely post.

  2. one hero, two heroine and imposable love triangle reluctant bravery and foolhardily daring, time and place , globe trotting it a mess but it is fun. it is the story i am writing. if you like take a read at http://radurham.blogspot.com/ there is five chapter i am writing six. comment , suggestion,and questions are welcome. great post will use the info. thank you and god bless

  3. Ooh, I liked the video. You're so right about heroes/heroines...flawed, but still relateable.
    Edge of Your Seat Romance

  4. My character Flame is a bit beyond "reluctant." XD I don't know where things will end up, but the first story (I wrote it as a serial, think it's about 50K words) ends with her running off from her arranged-marriage fiancé to make sure she never has to fulfill her "destiny."

    Though actually, she doesn't know anything about her destiny except that she's suppose to be a good little elf and get married... (problem is, neither do I!)