Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Monday, November 19, 2007

Round Six and Heroic Traits

I made it to Round Six! Yay! Mine is the very first comment. What can I say, I already had my lines ready to go. =oD

I also wanted to talk about heroes today. What makes a man or woman heroic?

Personally, I like my heroes to have certain qualities that I think are common to all heroic people.

- Integrity - a firm adherence to a code of (positive) moral values. I throw the word 'positive' in there because villians can have integrity, too - they're just adhering to negative values instead.

- Strength. Although a guy who can lift a car off the gal he loves is pretty nifty, I'm not just talking physical strength. He has to have strength of character. He has to believe in himself enough to not fall apart when the chips are down. Which brings me to...

- Courage. In the words of the Cowardly Lion, it's what makes the muskrat guard his musk, but it's something more. The hero has to be able to wade into the thick of battle (be it with a dragon, a gang of thugs, or his future mother-in-law), even if he's nearly scared out of his jockey-shorts. Flinching is okay, but he still has to take on the monsters to protect his values.

- Intelligence. Because without it, he'll never figure out exactly what he's supposed to do. He doesn't need to be a Rhodes scholar--hell, he doesn't even have to have graduated high school--but he does have to possess some kind of intelligence. Maybe it's book smarts. Maybe it's street smarts, but whatever it is, he has to have them to save the day.

- Sensitivity. I'm not talking about a guy who can weep on command, or who's heart is touched by the mere mention of Sonnets from the Portugese. I'm talking about a man who knows when his woman just needs to be held. Maybe they've just defeated a band of roving trolls and they're both bloodied and exhausted. She needs some quiet lovin' and frankly, so does he. They've been through hell together, and they need some soul renewing human contact. (Don't we all from time to time?)

That's all I can think of right now. Tell me what you think a good hero possesses. Are there different traits that a heroine would posses that a hero shouldn't? Talk to me, people.


Edie said...

Congratulations on making it to round six. Me too!

I write women's fiction, but a heroic trait for a man or a woman is if they're sympathetic. If they're in trouble for something that's not their fault, you're going to immediately root for them, to be on their side. I got that from Michael Hauge, and I agree. :)

B.E. Sanderson said...

Congratulations to you, too. I'm glad yours made it. =o)

liz fenwick said...

Congrats :-)

Great traits, same for a heroine...