What makes a hero?
Everyone has a different idea of what a "hero" is.
The dictionary defines hero as:
'a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.'.
Okay, that's a bit overdone. Also, a man? I hope they weren't being literal. Let's look at the second definition:
'a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal'
THAT'S a lot better. It's more all-encompassing, and reaches more truth about what a heroic act can be. Many see policeman and fireman as heroes. I know I do, especially when they make a sacrifice as great as they do. There can be local heroes - someone who saved a beloved local business from falling under by creating ads and spreading the word. Or a journalist who finally exposes the horrendous conditions of puppy mills and works towards making them illegal - a cause very dear to me, by the way.
There are many different types of heroes. Even the ones who wear capes.
A lot of people rule out superheroes as actual heroes. But not I! If you have any knowledge of the Marvel comics universe, you will realize that these heroes are normal human beings too, and the sacrifices they make for the good of humanity prove that it doesn't take extra-terrestrial powers to save us. We can save us.
I'm seeing The Amazing Spiderman in theaters later today, and it looks really good. I was never a huge fan of Spiderman (I prefer Capt. America and Thor myself), but his heroic actions can't be denied. He's just a nerdy kid who uses his radioactive turn of events to save his beloved city from those who wish it ill. He has to hide this heroic-ness from the ones he loves in order to protect them and keep them from worrying. He's not all-powerful - sure he was able to gain some extra senses - but he's just as scared as all of us.
Bottom line is, heroes are human. (Or at least possess human qualities). That's why it's important for your main character, the hero in your story, to possess such faults and fears. Being able to overcome that for the good of something greater than her/himself is what will make them a hero.
Can you be a hero?
"Virtue never looks at any vile or base thing, but rather clings always to pure and virtuous things and takes up its abode in a noble heart."
- Leonardo da Vinci
Book Working Title: Knights of Kethyria
Day in Progress: 31
Words Achieved: 3,142
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AvocadoPolymath