Nisa over at Wordplay, Swordplay had an interesting post about villains. It got me to thinking about what type of heroes I like to create. So here's my take on heroes in writing. I harbor a particular dislike of "goody goody" heroes a.k.a. Johnny the Mountie who always gets his man. About the only thing this type of person is good for is comic relief, and I rarely am in the mood for writing a comedy anyway. I suppose it would be a true challenge for me to create a hero of this nature and make him/her truly interesting. It's something to keep in mind anyway.
No, what I really like are the heroes who would rather not be a hero. The distant and reluctant hero who wishes to stay out of the conflict but ends up being the hero in the end. I don't think they necessarily need to have this inner spark of goodness just waiting to come out. I'd rather they end up "saving the world" because they have no other choice. Because really, they're not a hero and have no desire to be one. Why do I like this? I really can't nail down why it appeals to me, but it just does. Maybe it's because I believe that all of us have the capacity to do good, whether we follow through on it or not. We would all like to think that given the opportunity, we'd do the right thing. I find it more interesting for someone to do the right thing, because they have to rather than some internal desire to do good. It's too easy to say someone will do what's right because they know it's the right thing to do. Too cliche for me.
What about you? What is your idea of the perfect literary hero? Tomorrow I'll take a more in-depth look at what type of villain appeals to me.