In order for me to continue reading (or watching) a story then the hero has to be intelligent. There are reasons why I enjoy Sherlock and Elementary (or any variation of the Holmes mythology) and it has very little to do with the physical appeal of either lead actor. It’s because I loved the character when I read him.
I wrote a Top Ten list for myself several years ago and I revisited it in order to see if my tastes had changed any. The answer is no, by the way. I’m pretty much still on the hunt for a real life James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser. That’s the main hero from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, which I hear is coming to television in the spring.
In order to answer this month’s Round Robin topic I decided to really dissect Jamie and see what made him so likable for me. Here’s what I came up with.
#1) He’s smart.
The poor guy is engulfed in political machinations between his two uncles when we meet him. But he’s managing to keep from having to swear allegiance to the clan (they’re Scottish, for those who haven’t read the books) until the girl comes along and kind of messes things up for him. But even when he is presented to a mob of drunk Scottish men he manages to decline swearing to the clan without getting himself killed in the process.
#2) He’s brave.
In the series Jamie has managed to live through several battlefields, but more than that he faces down his personal demons quite often. I don’t want to tell more because I don’t want to ruin the books for anyone who hasn’t yet.
#3) He laughs.
I meant it last time when I said that laughter was the truest sense of strength in a person. It isn’t just for women, it’s for men too. A hero has to be able to see his own weaknesses and faults and laugh at them just as much as a heroine does. (Double points if they can laugh at each other and not get annoyed at the other person because of it.)
So … that’s it. Those are the three reasons why I love Jamie Fraser, and they’re what I look for when I’m doing my writing as well. It probably goes without saying that I dislike brooding characters no matter which gender they happen to be. Broody people make my eye twitch.
That goes for real life too.
But honestly, there are authors and genres that I specifically avoid because of the “brood factor.” If a character is so torn up about their past then they are far too weak for me to enjoy. I get that there is a period of grief for loss, I really do. And I know that grief is something that lasts a lifetime. But what I need, what I want, what I look for in a hero is someone who has managed to deal with that grief and live again.
And I prefer if they’ve managed to do this before Chapter One.
Round Robin Continues! Check out what some of my fellow authors have to say about this subject!
Diane Bator at http://dbator.blogspot.ca
Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/
Lynn Crain at http://lynncrain.blogspot.co.at/
Beverley Bateman at http://beverleybateman.blogspot.com/
Ginger Simpson at http://mizging.blogspot.com
Connie Vines at http://connievines.blogspot.com/
A.J. Maguire at https://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/ (You are Here)
Rhobin Courtright at http://rhobinleecourtright.com/