Happy Monday All,
What do you look for in a hero? Someone larger than life? Super-Man, maybe? *EDIT as of 9:37 a.m.: (I'm talking about FICTIONAL heroes. As Tess points out in the comments there are real life heroes that make this world a better place, and they have my respect, admiration and gratitude for what they do, but for this post I'm talking about heroes in novels, I apologize for being unclear).
Or perhaps you're for someone a bit more "untouchable"--a little more "forbidding", like Mr. Darcy. Maybe you go for swashbuckling pirates like Captain Jack Sparrow.
One thing I was told about heroes is that they should be "larger than life".
Heroes do have to be believable but they aren't likely to necessarily be someone you'd meet walking down the street. I don't know about you, but I've never run into Edward Cullen (or any other vampire) as I walked out of my house (maybe I wasn't looking hard enough?) I have yet to meet Mr. Darcy at the grocery store (kind of the wrong time period). Or Captain Jack Sparrow anywhere (not that I'd want to, I'd rather read about pirates, not encounter them in real life).
Last time I saw a shape shifter was...never. So, yeah, in a sense they have to be larger than life and unrealistic. But they also have to be believable, someone people can relate to. Now granted, most of us aren't going to believe that a demigod is existing in our swimming pool, like Percy Jackson, but believable in that a person can suspend their disbelief. That is, they have traits we can relate to.
Heroes have to have some kind of honor code. Something that makes them heroic. For Darcy, one of the things that made him heroic was helping Elizabeth Bennett's sister--and saying he only thought of her while doing so. That's not only heroic, but entirely romantic. (Now you men understand why we women swoon when someone brings up Fitzwilliam Darcy).
For Edward Cullen, I'd say a heroic gesture on his part was how he prized Bella's humanity. He treasured it. He didn't treat her as expendable as the other human-blood drinking vampires were prone to doing, he and his "family" treated her humanity as something to guard.
I don't know enough about Captain Jack to say what makes him heroic.
My favorite heroes are the ones who did things because they are just so passionate over the heroine they couldn't help themselves. Yes, I'm that mushy-romantic. I'm sort of the "knight-in-shining armour" type heroes.
What defines a *edit as of 9:38 a.m.: FICTIONAL or in a novel hero for you? (Like I said above, there's many real-life heroes I totally respect and agree that they truly DO make the world a better place, but I'm talking about fictional heroes that appear in novels, that's why I brought up Mr. Darcy, Captain Jack and Edward Cullen, rather than real-live people. I apologize if I wasn't clear).
Have A Magnificent Monday!