We all have our favorite characters in fact and fiction.
My real-life heroes tend to be actual heroes. The sacrificial type who really stand their ground for the sake of others. Jesus. John Adams. Ben Franklin. Mary, the mother of God. Joseph, who stood in place and cared for a son not his own. Mary Magdalene, Susanna and any woman who followed that cross and stood with Christ in His hour of need. Martyrs. Harriet Tubman. Rosa Parks. Mother Teresa. Every soldier and sailor who stormed those beaches at Normandy, knowing what would happen. And so many others...
Fiction is a different venue.
When we look at fictional heroes we use a different metric.
They don't have to be superheroes, changing the world for us to love them. But they need to be better versions of themselves and probably better than most any real person we know.
They put others first.
They take care of the heroine, even if she's pretty sure she doesn't need it.
They think ahead. (Come on, ladies, it's fiction. Of course they think ahead!)
They generally don't over-react unless there's a gun involved and it's a Western. In which case, we get it.
They're rarely grumpy even if they don't say too much.
They think a lot. (Again, fiction. Work with me here) :)
They're quite teachable. (I'm thinking of Mary Connealy heroes here. They don't talk much, and they're often surprised by the feminine mystique, but they do think. #HERO!!!!)
They're kind to dogs and children, even if lacking experience with both or either.
They have a sense of humor. (Jason Bourne is an exception. I'm sure there are others.... Wait, so is Mr. Rochester but gosh, that was a TRAGIC LIFE!!!!!!!! Oh my stars)
They are often ruggedly handsome which means they wouldn't be seen on the Euro fashion runways wearing girl clothes.
They're adorable when befuddled because they come through in the end.
They never let the bad guy win.
They get there in time, even if it's the nick of time. (Wait, Bourne is the exception again. Jason, really???????)
They may save lives. (doctors, sheriffs, officers, military, firemen)
They may build things. (Construction, builders, architects, Amish)
They might be farmers or ranchers.
High school football coaches are great, too! :) Rugged, teaching/coaching, competitive and good to kids. That's one that checks a lot of boxes!
Heroes pull us into stories whether they're male or female. We either identify with them or admire them or want to meet them. Live in their towns, their homes, eat at their table.
What draws you into characters? Is it what they've experienced? What they've overcome? What they're doing? Leave a comment below, darlings and I've got a copy of "Finding Her Christmas Family" for one lucky person who loves, loves, loves beautiful Christmas stories!
Bestselling, multi-published author Ruth Logan Herne is living her dream of writing great stories on her pumpkin farm in Western New York where the leaves have fallen, winter's approaching, but at least it's tiptoeing in this year... not barreling full-force, so that's good! She's also wishing all of you a blessed and wonderful holiday season. She thinks we're blessed to have the lot o' youse (Yankee way of sayin' "all y'all") here and she loves to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org or friend her on Facebook or stop by Ruthy's website ruthloganherne.com