We discussed the stereotypical villain on Tuesday, but isn't it just as difficult sometimes to write the protagonist?
We've all read those stories where the hero is bigger than life. The largest protagonist in my world is Mitch Rapp, Vince Flynn's magnificent hero. What an amazing creation he is. Because of his occupation as a spy/assassin, the built-in flaws established in this character's persona make his huge presence on the page believable. At least for me.
And we've all read those stories where the hero is just too good. Almost flawless. Does all the right things at just the right times. And we scoff at his heroism because it doesn't ring true.
Then there are those protagonists who lean the other direction - and we can't bring ourselves to like them, ruining the reading experience. It takes a gifted writer to risk an unlikable protagonist and to be able to garner any kind of empathy from the reader. (Chris Fabry's protagonist comes to mind from Not in the Heart.)
Nothing wrong with crotchety heroes if done well.
At times we need a good hero, one that does rescue or says the right things. He just can't be too perfect because, as much as he might appeal to our desire for perfection, we know it doesn't realistically exist.
These same concerns apply to female protagonists.
God, we're all so flawed. I'm never heroic. Maybe that's why I appreciate and admire heroism so much. Thank you for those who are real heroes. And thank you for allowing us to create them. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.