10 Character Traits of a Treasured Hero/Heroine

How does one build a character that will be treasured by readers?  What do we all look for in our story-book heroes and heroines that makes us want to root for them through the tough times and actually celebrate when they succeed?  When do character traits of the protagonist  become the goals of the individual reader?

So I’m going to invent this imaginary character that will have the traits that others see as inspiring, motivational and want to imitate.   I’ll call him or her:  Jess

  1. I’ve noticed that Jess should never make degrading remarks about friends and family.  Jess may have to struggle with feelings, but when in a situation with others, Jess refrains from “bad-mouthing” folks.  Jess prefers silent judgment, trying to seek the good in others.

2  Jess can be less than totally handsome or beautiful, probably good to have a couple physical faults.  But Jess is clean and does that best that he/she can at being appropriately dressed and groomed.

3.  Even on bad hair days, Jess seeks silent solace, rather than cursing, condemning, threatening, or punishing.

4. Jess lives quite simply, without seeking fortune or fame.  Jess is not purchased by advertising.  Jess is determined to own little and not live in anyone’s debt.

5.  Jess tries to do what is best, even if it means having to do without or have others think poorly about his/her decision.

6.  Even threatened by malice or evil intent, Jess struggles to understand, not seeking to be aggressive, but not hiding from the fear.

7. When it is cool to use profane language, Jess refuses to indulge or degrade his or her character by speaking in curses or smut language.

8.  When all seems to be lost, Jess does not give up.  The might of will power overcomes the fear of loss.

9.  There is an overall sense that Jess is capable of protecting others while reserving self for one great love.

10.  Jess is kind in a world that does not expect kindness.
Now for the question:  Who does Jess remind you of?

This is another First Day post.  Be gentle with yourself.

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2 Responses to 10 Character Traits of a Treasured Hero/Heroine

  1. patricemj says:

    This list makes me realize how subjective heroes are. There is no one kind of hero. For instance, I could find someone a hero even if she cursed. I could consider someone a hero for confronting someone, rather than silently judging them. Every person is so unique, for some getting out of bed in the morning is heroic.

    • dearfriends says:

      Hi Patrice,
      So true. Thanks for pointing this out. Heroes come in very different packages. I believe that heroes or heroines have a sense of putting others above self. Of struggling with “what is right.” I think you have spurred me to write a few more posts on some of the finer points of this broad message. Thanks for keeping me on my toes–I mean that–Barb

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