I’ve had heroes on my mind lately.
noun, plural he·roes; for 5 also he·ros.
a person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character: He became a local hero when he saved the drowning child.
a person who, in the opinion of others, has special achievements, abilities, or personal qualities and is regarded as a role model or ideal: My older sister is my hero. Entrepreneurs are our modern heroes.
the principal male character in a story, play, film, etc.
- a being of godlike prowess and beneficence who often came to be honored as a divinity.
- (in the Homeric period) a warrior-chieftain of special strength, courage, or ability.
- (in later antiquity) an immortal being; demigod.
In my novels I try to create men/women who have many of the qualities above, along with vulnerabilities that create empathy in my readers.
It’s a fine balance to tread.
To me strength comes as much from inside a person as physicality. You have to be courageous to do the jobs they do. But more than that, is their Achilles’ heel, for want of a better name. What is their weakness? The thing that makes these strong warriors weak in the knees?
I like to think it’s compassion. Love of fellow man. Gentleness and mercy.
This week’s teaser comes from a women’s fiction novel I’m working on about two estranged sisters and the path to forgiveness and understanding.
© Jacquie Biggar 2019
Many evenings she and Susan would sit at his feet and listen enthralled, as he regaled them with tales of pirates and princesses, mischievous elves and buried treasure. As with every good fairytale, a dashing hero would arrive just in time to save the day. It was probably then, listening to stories at her father’s knee, that Holly began to dream of her own hero. He’d need to be strong enough to slay dragons. Charming and kind, yet able to make her laugh. Handsome and gentle; a father as perfect as her own. A good kisser; that’s as far as her nine-year-old mind would go at the time. And above all else, someone she could talk to, share ideas with.
Even then, she’d known the value of a true friend.
The rattle of a key in the front door lock jerked her back to the moment. Self-conscious, she dropped her hand from where it had been resting and turned to greet her parents.
Except it wasn’t her mother and father.
Susan hesitated on the threshold, their gazes fusing across the distance. A cold draft knifed its way between them filled with ugly words and betrayals.
What does a hero mean to you? Let’s talk about it!