What does it mean to be a hero?
This is, undoubtedly, the first question I ask myself before penning a new story because sooner rather than later it is in the nature of the reader to ask why they are investing time to read something. Not everybody can be the stand up, wholly good, citizen. Realistically, very few of those characters truly exist. So, what attracts the reader to a protagonist? To a hero? The answer is simply, their motivations.
A journey is not a journey without an audience to witness a character’s feats and no journey is complete without a few missteps along the way. To me, it is the flaws of a character that makes them more appealing. Suddenly they go from being on a heroic pedestal to the relatable everyday person. Those are the heroes that impact because the lines of them being better than us start to blur.
There is no such thing as a Superman.
But there is such a thing as a person with the willingness or drive to do something or go somewhere. Readers don’t need another Superman. I’d argue that readers don’t want another Superman. Heroes don’t need to be super, but they do need to represent something.
As I continue to write in the voice of Gunmetal Greys’ Brigand Octavia I’m finding the line between what kind of hero I want her to be and what kind of hero she is becoming to be shifting on a daily basis.
Sci Fi Westerns are crazy, folks, but the journey into the world looks like its going to be worth it in the end.