I’m currently a tad stuck with the hero in my WIP. I think it’s because I took too much of a writing hiatus (no new pages in two weeks–longest dry spell to date) and my hero’s voice kind of faded. It’s not that I don’t still LOVE him or think he’s one of the strongest characters I’ve written, it’s just that his voice wasn’t ever-present in my head anymore. I couldn’t see and hear what he’d do in every situation I threw him up against. (And he’s got to be ready for what’s to come! These next fifty pages are going to turn his world upside down!) That’s when I started researching to get to know my hero better…
There are three types of Gothic Heroes
This guy is the classic overachiever.
He stands behind his own moral code.
He often does “good” by performing rebellious acts or breaking laws.
This guy sacrifices his own well being so others may have little things like freedom and love.
This guy kicks some ass, breaks some laws, but does it all for the sake of his own special brand of “justice”.
He could also possibly bear personal responsibility for some failure in his past.
*Think Batman saving Gotham.
Oh, these are the dark, dark, dark bad boys.
Very conflicted over something in their past and
They’re also extremely arrogant
*Think Anne Rice’s Lestat from Interview with a Vampire
These guys are fascinating
And can also have their own moral code (although they willingly sacrifice little of themselves to achieve their end goal).
One of the key components to this guy is no matter how close he gets to the flame, he doesn’t ever think he’s the one who’s going to get burned.
*Think Annakin Skywalker from Star Wars Episodes 1-3.
Seriously though, after researching the three types of Gothic Heroes, you may be asking yourself the same thing I was…Why On Earth Are These Men Heroes? Brooding and moody? Troubled pasts? Burdened by secret guilt? Jaded and arrogant? I don’t know about you, but in real life those traits don’t scream Dating Quality.
The Promethean Hero is appealing because although he is doing wrong, we, as readers, can somewhat understand the logic behind his moral ambiguity. Sure, Batman is killing people…but he’s killing inherently evil people. He’s cleaning up the streets of Gotham, right? We want to be the heroine at his bad-ass side, whispering in his ear, telling him to do right…when what we really enjoy is the duality in his nature.
The Byronic Hero is appealing because…well because they’re bad boys. They can never accept praise because they think they’re the villain. They don’t feel worthy of love. Heroines see the sensitivity behind the tough guy act and fall hard. Only through the heroine can the Byronic Hero step into the light. Don’t you just want to be that heroine who turns the bad boy good?
The Satanic Hero is appealing because they are secure and defiant and constantly search for meaning outside of the traditional norms. They have a sense of purpose that draws heroines (and readers) in. They have a fire burning within them…a passion, if you will. Heroines and readers alike hope that by being that Satanic Hero’s leading lady, that passion will translate into their relationship. (It often does, fyi, at the cost of other things in the heroine’s life.
I think I know where the hero in my WIP falls among the Gothic Heroes. He’s Byronic all the way..but what about the hero in your WIP? Is he solidly one? A blend of two? I’m curious to hear what’s being written out there…
Also, did this post interest you? If I did another post on what type of heroines are best suited for Gothic Heroes would you find it helpful? I’ve researched hours and hours and would love to pass on the information if even one person found it as useful as I have. (You can either comment or email.)