Monday, July 27, 2009

Wishing They Existed?

For the next two weeks, one of the blogs I’m a member of is featuring a heroes tribute, meaning fictional heroes in romance. I look forward to reading each post, in seeing the different and similar viewpoints about what defines a hero. Technically, a romance hero simply means the main male character. He can be in all different forms from moody and distant to funny but strong.

There are similarities within heroes of each writing era. In early days of genre romance it was normal for the hero to take what he wanted from his heroine. That was encouraged by publishers. Not so anymore. If you write that kind of hero in your novels now, good luck getting a publisher to accept it. Now readers want strong but good-hearted heroes, those who would never take advantage because of their strength. He does have to be willing to fight for his heroine in some form, though. Most end up in some kind of physical fight for their heroines, and yet in dealings with her, are very kind and soothing.

One of the excerpts posted on the Lindsay’s Romantics blog showed one of these hunks rescuing and then soothing his heroine. A comment asked why couldn’t there be heroes like that in real life.

Well, of course there are heroes like that in real life. I’ve seen plenty. I happen to live with one of my own. I think sometimes we don’t tend to notice what heroes our men are because of how toned down our world is as compared to medieval days of castles and armored knights. Also, in fiction we have the advantage of skipping over daily mundane activities such as grocery shopping and taking care of our certain personal needs no one wants to read about. We don’t have to show clothing dropped beside the bed instead of placed neatly in the bathroom hamper or dishes left on the counter instead of rinsed and dropped into the dishwasher. Those things don’t make good fiction except in comedic fiction where it’s used for effect. They do, however, tend to diminish our heroes in our eyes because we do have to deal with them on a daily basis.

How many of us women think our men wouldn’t actually step in to be our rescuer if needed? I happen to think most would. I know without a doubt mine would. Heck, he even asks people not to smoke in a non-smoking section for me. That may be a mild rescue, but it’s still a rescue and should be acknowledged as such.

Look at our soldiers. We have many heroes fighting for us on a daily basis, even though some of the population they’re fighting for may not approve of what they’re doing (and fictional heroines often don’t, IraqiWoman-HappySigneither, but still have a respect for them) and then coming back home to be loving husbands and fathers. Some of the sweetest images in my  mind are of these sturdy, strong, fearsome men who get off the bus and fall into waiting soft arms with tears in their eyes and kiss their babies on their cheeks.

There are, indeed, still heroes today. We may have to look beneath the chinked and faded armor, but they are around us. Sometimes it’s the heroine’s fault when a hero doesn’t act a hero. Sometimes we’re too busy looking at the annoying little things to bother seeing the hero within. That’s a shame.

~~ visit Lindsay’s Romantics this week and next to get your hero fix!


Lisa said...

Bravo bravo!! *clap clap clap*

And for the record, my favorite romance hero of all-time is Jamie Fraser of the 'Outlander' series. I am not a big fan of oopy-goopy romance heroes in novels or the 'take what they want' guys. Jamie, to me, is the perfect man.

Umm. Being an author, do you know where I could get me one of them? =)

LK Hunsaker said...

Lisa, thank you. Yes Jamie is worth the time to read! I'm not a big fan of Claire or particularly of the writing style but I do enjoy Jamie enough I may read beyond the first book eventually.

Well, I can tell you several books where you can read about them, lol. In real life? Hmm ... ones that aren't married.... That could take some doing to find since I seem to hang around with the married crowd these days. It's gotta be an age thing. ;-)

Dorothy said...

Beautiful! And you are so right. I hadn't thought of Jamie Fraser while reading your blog. I was too busy remembering the heroic moments I've witnessed, appreciating those I've only heard about, and thinking about those brave young soldiers coming home finally to their families. God bless and protect them-the men and their families!
But I do agree that Jamie Fraser was the perfect hero. There was some talk about asking Gerry Butler to play that role if/when they make a movie from the book. Let's hope that happens because he has a genius for portraying the tough guy and the tender lover. And they certainly need a good-looking, sexy Scot, no substitutes, for that role.

LK Hunsaker said...

Gerry playing Jamie would be perfect!

Jane Richardson said...

You are so right, my friend! There are ordinary heroes everywhere, and it's easy to forget until something jumps out at you. I remember times where my guy has spoken out on my behalf, and it's surprised me - not because I didn't think he could or would, but because on a day-to-day basis, we're too busy with the small stuff. And not so long ago I wrote a blog post somewhere about meeting an elderly couple in hospita; and discovering he'd been a Hurricane pilot who fought in the Battle of Britain. Now there was a hero. :) I don't agree with the politicians when it comes to some of the international conflicts of recent years, but I would never, ever deny the hero or heroine status of those who actually have to go out there and do the work.
Of course there are heroes - and heroines - in every day life. It's good to remember that. The guy next to you on the bus might be one, or the gal behind the checkout - who knows? And I also believe that everyone has the capacity to be a hero, which is one of the reasons I love to write about them.
This is a super post, LK. Thanks for the prompt!

Jane x