Robin’s Randoms: Messy, Talented, Tortured Heroes

Why is it so many books seem to feature the same guy as the main character?  In my classroom, I swear the same kid is solving all the crimes in the world and he just changes his name to fit the title.  This is what I like in a MC.

1) I like my heroes a little messy. If it’s a romance PLEASE don’t make the hero perfectly coiffed with an angular jaw line.  I always gravitate to the guy that’s been somewhere and done something, and so it shows on his clothes.  When I first hugged my husband his sweater smelled like balsam fir, you know, a Christmas tree.  He’d been cutting wood that day.  I was hooked!

2) I like my heroes a little messy on the inside, too. What I mean is they have to have an inner conflict that makes them vulnerable.  It’s boring and predictable to have Mr. Perfect who looks perfect come in and save the day without a challenge to his soul.  I love Mr. Darcy for his conflicts.  (I also love Colin Firth, but that’s got nothing to do with this.  Does it?)

3) I like a hero to keep me on the edge of my seat wondering if he can get the job done. His inner conflict and outer conflict should be fighting with each other the whole story until he reaches his goal.  Yay, my hero….

4) I like my heroes to have a special talent, an obscure hobby, or I like them to teach me something I don’t know. No more cardboard characters allowed!

5) My favorites: Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice, because he’s dark, secretive, and not what you think.  Jamie, from the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, a little clumsy, messy, primitive.  Russ from the Claire Fergusson series by Julia Spencer-Fleming; he’s smart, careful to a fault, sensitive.

Aw, my heroes…

~R.M.M.

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4 Comments

Filed under Robin's Randoms

4 responses to “Robin’s Randoms: Messy, Talented, Tortured Heroes

  1. Amanda Marrone

    I’m listening to a YA book on CD in the car by a mega-selling author, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve rolled my eyes. Granted, he’s supposed to be “perfect” for plot reasons, but he’s captain of the football team, class president, shoe-in for valedictorian, champion of nerds, sweet and thoughtful–though he is clueless to the fact that his girlfriend is cheating on him, but other than having a blind eye or maybe it’s that he expects good in everyone, but he’s just boring.

    I’ve read some of this author’s other books and loved them and their flawed characters–this one is just too much to stomach.

    (Also the narrator interupts conversations ALL OF THE TIME to have long winded conversations with herself about how perfect he is and whether his smile meant what she thinks it did, because how could a guy like that be smiling at her THAT way? Guys like that don’t smile at girls like me, but maybe I’m wrong, maybe that smile did mean what I think, but I’m so boring so how could it…..and so on, and so on…)

    My son was listening to it with my a couple of days ago and everytime the mc brought up his smile he’d scream “We know–he has a great smile! Shut up and get on with the story!)

    I like flawed heros–and I absolutely love that your hubby smelled like balsam–sigh, how romantic.

  2. Robin

    I agree with that perfect MC syndrome can be exhausting. I’m reading The Lightning Thief (I know I’ve gone on about this book) and I love that Percy is a regular kid with a distinct personality and doesn’t particularly LOOK like a god or a monster. He just is. He has issues, and challenges, as well as special powers. What I like best is that he’s different enough from other MC’s I’ve read.

  3. Amanda, I want to know what book you’re listening to! 🙂 Robin, I agree, I think Percy was an awesome hero for a MG novel. Perfection in a Hero is boring, plain and simple.

  4. Amanda Marrone

    Angie, I can’t tell which book, but it’s getting harder and harder to keep listening to it!

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