How do you write a perfect hero? Should he (or she) be strong and brave? Should she wear tights and have powers and super cool gadgets that I would probably poke my eye out with if I ever got the chance to touch them? Or do you prefer the Everyman forced to perform heroically under extreme circumstances?
I can only speak from personal experience, and I have never, in fact, written about a man in tights. Though, come to think of it, I could write about a ballet superhero, and my years of ballet training would be put to good use.
My personal preference is for the vulnerable hero. The one who never set out to save the world, but whose conscience and heart won’t let him turn away from what needs to be done. I want him to struggle, unlike Captain Hammer (if you don’t know who that is, please go watch Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog immediately. It’s brilliant).
Every hero has a great weakness. It’s the only way to make a story. Otherwise, it’s just “There was a bad guy. He tried to kill some people. The superhero hit him on the head, and we all ate donuts.” Now, I love donuts, but that’s not an interesting story. There has to be kryptonite or an Achilles heel in order to make a plot with any sort of suspense.
And the deadly flaw doesn’t have to be from space or the gods. It could be a lost family member, or a bee allergy, normal things for normal people. There are heroes all around us. Real life heroes who don’t have powers or capes. Policemen, firemen, members of the armed services. Doctors, nurses, single parents. Heroism can be found all around us. Someday I’ll find a story I want to write about a hero. (The Tethering does have a hero, though I can’t say anyone in the book ever calls him that.) I want to write about someone who could be an everyday hero but is elevated by circumstances to be something greater. A true superhero.
Until I find my story, finish the third book in The Tethering series, and get book one officially published, I do have a wonderful way for you to get your hero fix. Go over to the HEROES! Kickstarter and pre-order your copy of the latest anthology from Silence in the Library Publishing, and once the stretch goal is reached, you can get a short story from the world of The Tethering for free if you’ve pledged five dollars or more! So go be my hero!