Saturday, May 20, 2006

How to make a Hero....

I've been contemplating what exactly makes a hero and what characteristics I hope to instil in my own characters. I have 2 male and 1 female lead in my current work. As if writing realistic romance isn’t hard enough I have to throw in a ménage dynamic on my first attempt. (sheesh)

I really hope that by the time it is all said and done I will have created three distinct personalities that can’t live with out the other. I want them to be balanced both, complimenting and contrasting with each other. Not an easy task.

Who will brood? Who is the comedian? Who is wounded? Who is dominant? Can all three have all of these with out blending into each other? Ugh nothing worse then getting to the end of a story and the leads are a putrid shade of grey.

There are all sorts of heroes (of the romantic type) and I'm sure they have all sorts of specific literary titles but since I didn't take college literature I don't have a clue what they are. My atrocious spelling will often have people wondering how I ever passed high-school English. But I digress...

I was watching “Swordfish” earlier this evening and, aside from the fact that “Stan” is played by Hugh Jackman, (yummy!) what sells this character for me is his devotion to his daughter. The fact that he will go to any length to make sure he can protect her. That got me thinking about what other quirks have endeared some fictional men to me.

“Hellboy” (Ron Pearlman) is another favourite character of mine. With him it is all about acceptance. He wants to be accepted for what he is, at the same time tries to change his appearance so he won’t look as different. He accepts his heroine for what she is and doesn’t want her to change even though she doesn't want her talents.

“John Shaft” Samuel L…..need I say more? Ok aside from the physical. The man is a born protector. He is all about stepping in to help the oppressed. He is the perfect badboy in a good way

“Jack Callaghan” (Bill Pullman) Who didn’t fall in love with the brother from “While You Were Sleeping”? Ranks high on the sweetness factor but there is the fact that he is falling for a woman who he thinks is his brothers fiancée. That gives him a nice hint of bad boy in my opinion.

Now I realize I am completely simplifying these characters and their stories. I’m also picking out one part of their personalities, but it is the part that made them memorable for me. There are many more but these are the one that came to me immediately.

Feel free to share your favourites, both male and female, in the comments *G*


frenchpeas said...

Hell, I majored in lit. and the only label for a hero I remember is the "Byronic hero". Bah. Besides, English people like it when you use lots of words. :)

As for heroes? We can go for literary and do Rhett Butler (the "my way or the highway" type hero) for those who like the indulgent but occasionally domineering type. Or Mr. Darcy (intelligent arrogance) for those who want to cross verbal swords.

But for movie (because I never read this book), my big favorite is Westley. Realistic good looks, determination, and damn if that man doesn't understand True Love. Le sigh.

Bob said...

I like Will Smith and Bridget Moynahan in I, Robot. Will for his tough-guy, no-nonsense attitude and for his friendship with the Shia Labeouf streetkid character. Manliness, plus compassion for a kid: I think that works for most women, as well as a certain age of man. Bridget's character played the foil to Will's, and the screenplay did a good job of showing their initial enmity turn to grudging respect as they both risked their lives for each other. Her beauty--all right, the make-up and costume departments' skill--made her a likable woman (at least to that certain age of man) despite being a shrew in the beginning.

I know it's a simplistic movie, made for drinking beer and eating pizza, but to me, it shows the arc of the characters as they start out one way and change gradually. I enjoy it every time I watch it, which I barely have to do, I've seen it so many times. I give this one, five out of five beer bottle caps, and a homemade pizza with mushroom, peppers, tomatoes, onions, and pepperoni.

FeyRhi said...
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FeyRhi said...

I assume frenchie that you are referring to Westley (aka the Dread Pirate Roberts)? Princess Buttercup so did not deserve him; Almost marrying Prince Humperdink? It was True Love! How could she! Though she did redeem herself by the end. Inigo Montoya won my heart in that movie. *G*

Awesome movie choice Bob! That one did slip my mind. I think that once I had children of my own. Heros with a soft spot for kids appealed to me even more then before. I wonder if being a father affects men the same way?
That pizza sounds delish! I live in a house full of fussy eaters so I am often stuck with much plainer 'za. You order the pie, I'll bring the beer *G*

Mechele Armstrong said...

I love Bill Pulman in "While you were sleeping." And yeppers on Westley, adore him too.

Yeah I'm interested in heroes too. I just wrote a menage and it was daunting trying to keep the heroes separate personalities straight.

FeyRhi said...

I can completely understand that Michele. I am attempting that balancing act my self. can't wait to read yours you always do such an awesome job with your charries!