Posted by Chris
Bare with me everyone, and settle in. This is going to be a long one haha.
What is a hero, why do we write them, do they even really exist? That would be a good thesis statement huh? Well modern writers seem to have trouble writing heroes. They think heroes are boring, and “cookie cutter”, but honestly those are excuses. Excuses being made by lazy writers.
Harsh? Yeah, maybe. But I’m not going to lie, we need heroes.
A hero is a pillar to aspire to. Heroes are a moral role model. So do they come in one shape? No, not really, but not because of what they stand for, but how they reach it. I’m sure nearly everyone has heard of “The Heroes Journey”. Truly a hero is not the end result but the path in which they traveled to become one.
Have you struggled with making the right decisions? Have you had trouble taking the high road when you have been wronged? Do you struggle with being a positive influence with everyone you meet? Is the endurance to keep going on when things become incredibly hard sound like yesterday for you? What makes someone a hero isn’t the “can’t do wrong” or “make’s the right choices”, it’s the struggle and overcoming of hard situations. The kind of situations, that we the readers, would have great difficulty taking action in the same way.
Their morals are not how we don’t relate to them, it’s how we should aspire to be like them. We identify with the struggle, we should seek to become able to also make the heroic decision in those struggles. It is incredibly difficult, and in our world we tend to only see darkness everywhere we look. That is why we need heroes in our stories, morals are instinctual, but do not happen automatically.
We all know when things feel unfair when they happen to us. Why then is it so much harder to see unjust things that happen to others? How can we be so cutting with our words when if those words were turned on us we would cry foul? Is it because we don’t want heroes anymore? Do we empathize with villains and antiheroes instead? Are we content to remain children forever whining about how unfair the world is? Is that not why we write heroes? Are we not trying to show that there is a better way? A responsible way?
We don’t write heroes that don’t have struggles, for if they struggled not they would they not be heroes? Honestly, look anywhere, look everywhere, we have examples of heroes in our world every day. Does the firefighter whine that the building is too hot to enter, or do they duck their head and charge in to search for the trapped people? Do the hospital workers turn you away because you could get them sick? or do they let you in and treat your aliment as best as they are able? Does the police say “nah, there is gun fire over there, I could get hurt” or do they try and stop the violence?
What makes those heroes different then the ones we write is they go through stressful things that a lot of us cannot always relate to. The heroes we write can be shown to struggle with more everyday things and over come them as well. Not to say any of those people in my examples don’t also struggle with everything we do, but when you see them you don’t see those struggles you see their heroic actions. We cannot get inside each others head and read their thoughts (Thank the good Lord for that haha), but in stories we can see that the heroes are not so different from you or me.
So when I hear fellow creatives say things like “heroes are boring” or “heroes are all the same”, I know what they are really saying is “I don’t want to grow up, and writing someone who does grow up and becomes something more is hard”
That’s all I have today, let me know what you think in the comments.