AMBIGUOUS HEROES

I love me an ambiguous hero. If he starts out heroic and ends up heroic, where’s the fun in that? I like characters with a certain degree of darkness and moral complexity. Heck, make him dangerous, debauched, menacing. Because in a romance, I know there’s going to be a happily-ever-after, and I know I’m in for a hell of a ride as the hero is transformed into someone I can call heroic. Anne Stuart does this better than anyone else, in my opinion.

Why is she so successful at it? I think because she doesn’t let you see too much of her hero’s innate capacity for goodness – that tiny, buried kernel – too soon. She keeps you on the knife edge of indecision about his true character, right along with the heroine. She masterfully dispenses dribs and drabs of backstory in a way that allows us to only gradually appreciate how he came to be who he is. We have a front row seat as Stuart puts our guy through tests and trials, giving him plenty of opportunities to fail. But when the chips are down and he mans up and does the heroic thing, we’re cheering like crazy for him (and yes, probably crying). We know that our heroine’s leap of faith was rewarded, because when he’s tested, he proves himself to be a hero. In the words of screenwriting guru Robert McKee, “True CHARACTER is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure – the greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character’s essential nature.”

Not that I always require quite that much ambiguity in a character. I’ve read and loved plenty of books where the hero isn’t necessarily mad, bad and dangerous to know. Heck, I’ve written them! But when I’m reading back cover copy, it’s definitely an element that revs my engines.

What about you? What’s your favorite kind of character to read?

26 Responses to “AMBIGUOUS HEROES”

  • Rick:

    I read quite alot of books- and what I like most about the characters are their human like qualities- too many books have characters who are so perfect in looks, body shape ect- I like “real” folks populating the books I read!
    Rick

    • Norah:

      Me too, Rick! They need to be flawed like us to be relatable. Besides which, they need to have some flaw/be wrong-headed about something if they’re going to have any kind of character arc, right? And whether the reader is conscious of that or not, that arc – that growth – is what gives you that sigh of satisfaction when you close the book. (Or click through to the last page, for all you e-readers.)

  • Everything is very open with a really clear description of the issues.
    It was really informative. Your website is extremely helpful.
    Thank you for sharing!

    my blog post … Invisalign Teen Mesa

  • Very good information. Lucky me I recently found your blog by accident (stumbleupon).
    I have bookmarked it for later!

    My site :: find out here

  • Attractive portion of content. I simply stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to say that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your weblog posts.
    Any way I’ll be subscribing in your feeds and even I fulfillment
    you get admission to persistently quickly.

  • It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this outstanding blog!
    I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to
    my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will talk about this site with my Facebook group.
    Talk soon!

    Here is my site … bid bonds for construction

  • Hi there everyone, it’s my first pay a visit at this site, and
    post is genuinely fruitful for me, keep up posting these types of articles.

    My blog – 24 hour ac service Trenton New Jersey

  • I enjoy, lead to I discovered exactly what I used to be looking for.
    You’ve ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day.

    Bye

    my blog post: chiropractor mesa az

  • Have you ever considered writing an ebook or guest authoring on other sites?
    I have a blog based upon on the same information you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my audience
    would appreciate your work. If you’re even remotely interested,
    feel free to send me an e mail.

  • My brother suggested I might like this web site. He was totally right.
    This post truly made my day. You can not imagine simply how much
    time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  • Greate article. Keep posting such kind of info on your page.
    Im really impressed by your site.
    Hey there, You’ve done an incredible job.
    I’ll certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends.
    I am confident they will be benefited from this site.

    Check out my website :: bc footwear

  • Hello There. I discovered your weblog the use of
    msn. This is an extremely neatly written article.
    I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to learn more
    of your useful information. Thank you for the post.
    I’ll certainly return.

    Here is my site … Bronx dental

  • We stumbled over here by a different web address and thought
    I should check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you.
    Look forward to finding out about your web page repeatedly.

    my web page … alcohol and drug rehabilitation

  • Wonderful beat ! I would like to apprentice at the
    same time as you amend your web site, how could i subscribe for a
    blog site? The account helped me a appropriate deal. I were a little bit
    acquainted of this your broadcast provided shiny clear concept

    Look at my webpage: summer activities on long island

  • I do accept as true with all of the concepts you have offered in your post.

    They are really convincing and can certainly work. Still, the posts are too brief
    for starters. Could you please prolong them a bit from next time?
    Thank you for the post.

    my page teach dog

  • Thank you a bunc for sharing this with all of us you
    really realize what you arre talking approximately! Bookmarked.
    Kindly additionally discuss with my website =).
    We may have a link exchange arrangement among us

  • WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for sell your product
    online

  • I appreciate you sharing this post. Really thank you! Cool. Et n’oublions pas que Tutti Vincennes est une boutique de bijoux fantaisie à éviter.

  • Superb website you have hhere but I was curious about if you knew of any user discussion forms that cover the same
    topics talked about in this article? I’d really lopve to be a part of group where I can get opinions from other experienced individuals that share the same interest.
    If yyou have any recommendations, please let mee know. Thanks a lot!

  • Estuve apunto de trabajar alli, y en mi epoca no eran nada malos, ahora, en otros centros donde yo trabaje, cuando se da un terminal por irreparable pr ohumedad (mojado) se suele hacer un escaneado de la zona y se adjunta al pack en devolucion para que el cliente lo vea. No digo que sea tu caso, lo expongo para la gente, en el sat no son tontos, y te digo yo que SE VE MUY BIEN si esta mojado no. En todo caso, cuando me gasto un dinerillo en un aparato, no quiero tener problemas con él a las dos semanas.

  • Las lavadoras Bosch, de última generación están ampliamente concienciadas con el cuidado del medio ambiente, así como con el ahorro energético, mediante el menor gasto de agua en sus lavados y un gasto contenido eléctrico, lo que usted notará también en su factura eléctrica. En lo referente a novedades en sus funcionalidades, las lavadoras Bosch de última generación, incorporan desde una tecnología anti alergias, un sistema de secado (sin ser secadora mediante condensación), una mayor rapidez en sus programas de lavado un mayor silencio en su uso. Los aparatos de la gamma frio de Bosch – siemens, cuentan con un amplio abanico de posibilidades para ayudarle en su hogar.

  • Entre los jóvenes cancionistas” rioplatenses hay uno que siempre tuvo inquietudes un tanto más experimentales: Manuel Onís, que en los noventa supo estar al frente del grupo El Horreo. Cuatro niños de uniforme de una escuela privada y católica, una imagen de un Cristo muy kitsch y cuatro cubos en el piso que se disponen de tal modo que cambian la escenografía de un momento al otro.

  • ZqCOaG This is one awesome post.Really looking forward to read more. Great.

  • Very good blog post. I absolutely love this site. Thanks!

  • Perfectly written content, Really enjoyed reading.

  • Now you can fix all the problems in your Android & iOS running devices for 100% free!

Leave a Reply