Holding Out For A Hero

Discussion in 'Reading & Writing' started by Tom Locke, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    I have, I will concede, written only one novel. It occurred to me the other day that I took the easy option by having an antihero rather than a hero.

    It seems to me that creating a genuinely heroic character is a lot more difficult than finding one who is, to put it bluntly, a bit of a pain in the backside. We have all encountered seriously dysfunctional people, but how many of us have ever met someone who could be termed truly heroic? My antihero is based on a former boss that I had and in all honesty, was a very easy character to create.

    A hero? That's something I am struggling with for my new book. The challenge, I think, is not to create somebody who is perfect or they will lack credibility. All of us have flaws and weaknesses. This is where I envy the great writers and become aware of my own shortcomings.
     
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  2. John Donovan

    John Donovan Active Member
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    A hero is definitely hard to come up with, as it has to be a person that is good at everything, and at the same time has troubles getting over certain hurdles. You also need a lot of character development around a proper hero, which means inserting other interesting characters. It's way easier to opt for an antihero, but people don't do that often, for some reason. Also, I've found that most works which feature an antihero are really successful (see Deadpool comics by Marvel).
     
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  3. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    Yes, I'm surprised that there are not more antiheroes around. Most of them, at least in British culture, tend to be comedic characters. This is the route I have followed; my antihero is a buffoon, though of course he himself is oblivious to this and believes himself to be brilliant.
     
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  4. John Donovan

    John Donovan Active Member
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    Yeah, most antiheroes that I know of are really goofy characters, for whom battle is a breeze or a pleasure. Deadpool is truly the best example I can give. He's a mercenary who kills for fun, and he has a lot of pop-culture references thrown in during fights.
     
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  5. Magalina Lilis

    Magalina Lilis Active Member
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    Thus far, I agree with the many good comments on this subject of hero vs anti-hero and relate to the point about the difficulty of developing a creditable, believable hero.

    Although I merely ponder the thought of writing a novel, I spend a significant amount of time researching historical figures running into this dilemma quite often. Quite often, I begin with a fallacy. Either I presume the character to be either a hero or anti-hero. By the end of exhaustive research, I find my logic in deduction incorrect.

    I suppose, this would be an intriguing premise for a story line to keep the readers guessing. Maybe you will begin your novel with a anti-hero in mind and by the end create a character deemed a hero, as events unfold.
     
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  6. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    This sort of thing, of course, is part of what separates hacks like me from the likes of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. Not that I have any illusions or pretensions, but it would be nice to create a character that not only sticks in the mind, but has readers wanting him/her to succeed. I think that the best heroes are enigmatic and flawed, as are we all. It's strange, therefore, that it is so hard to create a character when there are, in theory, millions out there. It is, though.
     
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  7. Magalina Lilis

    Magalina Lilis Active Member
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    Stumbled across this quote by Ray Brady, thought of this discussion.

    Sure sounds simple enough, but thinking there may be some substance to this line of thinking. I don't think a hero necessarily has to be grand. A hero could be someone who takes the high road, when the low road would have been much easier.

    I agree, we all like a bit of mystery and humanness in the characters found in books. This is exactly what makes them remain in our mind, after closing the pages to a book wondering.

    Oh, Dostoevsky. I am sure your aware of his thoughts on fools or as you word it, hacks.

     
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  8. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    "One must think like a hero to behave like a merely decent human being."

    - May Sarton
     
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  9. Magalina Lilis

    Magalina Lilis Active Member
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    Huh, good one.

    By the way, May's father, George Sarton, might be one of my new hero's. Seriously, a historical scientist. How cool is that? Coincidentally, it kinda coincides with another topic I am in the midst of these day, so thanks!

    I suppose I am on the curbside.

     
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  10. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    Think Like a Hero is also the title of an album by the Irish musician Ron Kavana. He acknowledges May Sarton on the album's cover. It's one of my favourite albums and the quote stuck in my mind.
     
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  11. Magalina Lilis

    Magalina Lilis Active Member
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    Again, thanks for sharing your knowledge!

    I went and took a look at the tracks from Think Like a Hero.
    I am a bit partial to the track title,

    Reconciliation.
    Seems fitting, as fall approaches, of course, the lyrics are reach much more.
    Anyways, in regards to your upcoming book, I think having a reconciliation between the hero and anti-hero is another important aspect to consider.

    Now, I am listing to the album "Coming Days" by Kavana; although I am still drawn to the cover art on Think Like a Hero.

    [​IMG]
     
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