Wikipedia says "A hero (masculine) or heroine (feminine) is a person or main character of a literary work who, in the face of danger, combats adversity through feats of ingenuity, bravery or strength, often sacrificing their own personal concerns for a greater good."
I just watched the movie Thor, and am also reading the novel American Gods. Both works are littered with heroic characters, some of them gods, some of them just people exhibiting unusual courage or nobility of character. And I think that's the key - it needs to be out of the ordinary. A gym teacher trying to shield students from a killer - a hero. A woman working selflessly in the jungle to cure native children - a hero. A soldier racing into battle - surrounded by hundreds of others doing the same thing - a hero? A president visits a hospital of wounded for a thumbs-up photo-op - not a hero. We write these characters into our novels, but need to remember that for an exception to be seen, there needs to be a contrast. Our hero can be the one gem shining against a cast of relatively plain characters, god like with bulging muscles and a devil may care attitude. But the ancient gods had their flaws too. Better to give your hero their own internal challenges to overcome, an arc to follow, so that the reader can see some of themselves in there. Maybe even have the antagonist, your nasty villain, do something heroic in their own way, show courage in a particularly evil act.
My own life, since I last checked in, has been not especially heroic. But, I did get some writerly things done, some roads covered in Russia, some beers shared with friends. A good week.
- Write - I started off the ROW80 poetry challenge with a lofty goal - I would outline a complete story and then compose the whole thing in free verse. Well, I did get the outline done, and it will be a good story someday, but due to limitations in time and focus, I ended up with a haiku. Two actually.
- Write better
- Still the same list of blogs to follow, many with helpful ideas.
- I finally got to another meeting of one of my groups, Ottawa Independent Writers. Good networking, and we had a series of 5 minute readings this week. Some great writing by our members.
- I'll count book sales here - another copy of Kirk's Landing sold. At the aforementioned OIW meeting.
- The OIW has partnered up with the Ottawa library to set up a table at the monthly book sales. I'll be at the March 17th one, along with another mystery writer.
- Still plowing through as much of the Sunday NYT as I can. But there is a lot there. And enjoying the Guardian Weekly - it's more focused.
- I'm trying to re-read American Gods. It's a 10th-anniversary edition, with a new introduction and even more words, but I may not finish, as it is a second read. And I just watched the Amazon Prime series, or at least the first season. I love Ian McShane as Odin.
- Health - I'm sleeping better, with my FitBit there to monitor and nag. And as the days warm, I get out more often for a stroll.
- Social - Visits with son and his family, beers with buddies at the bar, long phone chats with my girlfriend, and discussions about religion on Facebook.
- Fun - Yes, I continue to meet this objective. More driving my truck in Russia and live-streaming. I have 16 followers now - oh my! And I've started watching the series Mozart in the Jungle, online on Amazon Prime. A young oboe player, a flamboyant conductor, and the New York Philharmonic. Delightful.
- Chores - Other than digging my car out of the ice, it's been the same old cycle of laundry, groceries, shovel up the dust bunnies. I need a job jar so I can be a little more proactive.