Good Characters—Day 3

This title is misleading, perhaps. Not good characters in the sense that they do no wrong but in the sense that they are characters readers care about, become involved with, and above all, remember.

Today I want to add another trait to the list. Along with a combination of strength and vulnerability, independence (which might best be stated as influential), action, and complexity, I think characters are engaging when they are sacrificial.

It’s the opposite of selfish. The character has a higher cause, a greater love, a more noble passion for something or someone other than himself. This, to me, is admirable. It is this kind of character I not only can root for, I want to root for.

Not trying to promote Superman at all, but it is this self-sacrifice that makes him so endearing, especially in the TV series, Smallville. Here he is, as a teen, realizing that to disclose his identity to the girl he loves would bring him the closeness he wants but would put her life forever after in jeopardy. He chooses to give up what he most wants in order to keep her safe.

WOW! Now that’s a hero I can love.

Published in: on October 18, 2006 at 11:57 am  Comments (2)  
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