What do you look for in a fictional hero?

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What do you look for in a fictional hero?

Postby Pel » Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:28 am

Sounds like a school assignment. Really, though, I'm writing something, and I'm looking for what makes people fall in love with the romantic hero. Because I already love mine, and I want others to do the same. Also I'm looking for input. Humor me.

P.S.
Saying "EDWARD!!!" is not helpful. I cannot write Edward, and I don't want to write an Edward clone.

P.P.S.
Although if Firefly wants to put up screencaps, she's more than welcome.
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Re: What do you look for in a fictional hero?

Postby *Bloodlust* » Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:15 pm

Basically, I look for perfection. Once I've found that, I look for flaws because that's what makes him real and so likable.
WARNING: EDWARD CULLEN IS NOT EFFECTIVE BIRTH CONTROL! E<3B
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Re: What do you look for in a fictional hero?

Postby Elizabeth » Sun Sep 07, 2008 4:10 am

I prefer a hero who I can relate to on some level. Someone who has a tragic flaw, it goes hand in hand with relating to the character. No one is perfect, no one can identify with a perfect hero, and with flaws come conflict. Conflict is essential to the plot, a hero becomes stronger when he resolves his issues. We all have problems and heroes inspire readers to hang in there, and we usually get something out of the story that can help us in our own lives.
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Re: What do you look for in a fictional hero?

Postby Adam » Sun Sep 07, 2008 4:53 am

I don't know how much help this will be, but I find that an element of antiheroism draws me to a character very effectively.

When you said that you want others to fall in love with your hero, I wasn't sure if you meant everyone, or just the ladies, but if you meant both guys and girls I'd be sure to include something like this:

Here is a prominent example that everyone on the forum should recognize - Edward and his days of hunting evildoers. Still good, but not heroic in the traditional sense.
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Re: What do you look for in a fictional hero?

Postby EvenFreaksNeedLove » Sun Sep 07, 2008 12:21 pm

angst. I love me an angsty hero
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Re: What do you look for in a fictional hero?

Postby Sharenei » Sun Sep 07, 2008 5:45 pm

Hmmm...

I guess I'm horribly picky about my heroes; minor imperfections aren't enough, nor is some sort of overplayed tragic past. If they want the "Hero" tag, they are going to earn it in the strongest, perhaps most morally-questionable fashion possible.

I want my heroes to face the darkest sides of themselves--to see within them their darkest capabilities, to confront the monster within. To see with that monster's eyes the darkness inherent in their particular universe. And from there, I want them to decide what they will do with it. Will they rise completely above that darkness--while continuing to acknowledge it and accept it as part and parcel of what they are? Will they try to twist some of those elements and use them for the greater good, even if it means indulging a "scarier" part of themselves? Or does the monster win the conflict, taking an unassailable hold over them?

I've seen heroes of all three categories, though the last would probably be termed the "antihero", in a more accurate sense. Naturally, your mileage may vary.

It's tough to write a story with a good, strong hero. Good luck! :D
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Re: What do you look for in a fictional hero?

Postby MiharuSkii » Sun Sep 07, 2008 6:35 pm

Flaws, antiheroism, angst

The best advice I can give you is don't make a Superman type hero that can do anything perfectly everytime, it's boring and pointless.
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Re: What do you look for in a fictional hero?

Postby Elizabeth » Mon Sep 08, 2008 1:57 am

Miharuskii:
I'm with you on not having a Superman-like hero. But even Superman has his demons, just not at the relateable level. I guess I always compare Chris Reeve Superman with the newer Tom Welling Superman in Smallville(before the cape). In Smallville, Clark deals with coming into his powers and the reprocussions of his choices. In the Superman movies, we just know the outcome- the perfect hero. I'd like to think that a ficitional hero has some nonfictional qualities that make him more human. I feel that a perfect ficitional hero is someone most people can understand and identify with. As I look at classic characters in literature, I notice that many of them are flawed, but those flaws make them perfect in their own way. It's who they are, without the flaws they wouldn't be true to themselves. A good example, Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind. A horribly flawed and complicated character, but without her flaws would she would be imperfect- she would remain unnoticed, unidentified.
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Re: What do you look for in a fictional hero?

Postby oleander » Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:00 am

my ideal fictional hero will be slightly flawed, yes, but can also see through superficial layers and straight through to the heart of his heroine.
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Re: What do you look for in a fictional hero?

Postby Nightvision » Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:37 pm

someone i can relate to and understand their problems
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