What Makes a Hero?

Despite the common view that we should view everyday people as heroes, the word hero has a heavy connotation to it. It holds weight. When you here someone described that way, you expect them to be impressive. They have to have done something awesome to originally get the title, but to hold onto it, they should probably be awesome all around. If they’re not, then they run the risk of disillusioning people and not being a hero anymore.

Which all makes writing a hero difficult. Heroes are a huge part of fantasy, so as the main character of a fantasy novel, my character Ledia is a hero of sorts. I try not to think of that while writing because it makes characterizing her difficult.

I haven’t written Ledia to be a despicable character, at least not in my view, but she’s definitely not an overly likable character in my point of view. She doesn’t have the charismatic quality that I associated stereo-typically with heroes.

Of course, I’m completely of the belief that she can be a hero anyway. Although if I’m being honest I don’t ever stop to think of her in those terms. To me she’s just a girl who happens to have magic and be in situation dramatic enough that it could be a book. If other people deem her a hero, then that’s pretty cool, but I’m not sure how I feel about using the term as a blanket for all protagonists, especially in fantasy.

The term hero feels limiting to me and like it calls for all protagonists to be written in a way that pushes them into a tiny box. And that’s never fun.

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