Heroes: Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!!
Romance, flowers, chocolate, music and….
I know, I know – there are some GREAT posts in cyberspace about the perfect hero.
To get a yummy taste of a few go here or here.
But I want to examine a few specifically. A few heroes from novels and what makes them heroic. Generally, there are four basic pieces to a person – including heroes. Three of them are intricately woven together, and the fourth, well it’s just for eye-candy.
So…where to begin?
Let’s start with the most obvious trait: Body.
Let’s look at a few examples:
Lady in the Mist by Laurie Alice Eakes –
Tabitha had never seen a man with such beautiful eyes. The rich, deep brown of coffee, they sparkled with pinpoints of gold light behind a fringe of lashes that would have made them feminine if not for his strong cheek bones and firm jaw. The powdered hair, ridiculous as it was in Seabourne, created a striking contrast to the dark eyes and sun-bronzed complexion.
Beautiful description isn’t it?
For Pete’s Sake by Linda Windsor
Ellen loved taking a guy out of his four-wheeled cage and putting him on two wheels with nothing between him and the abrasive paving. It separated the men from the boys. And Sinclair was definitely a man. He’d leaned with her on the curves in the road and kept her from wobbling all over creation like stiff, first time riders tended to do. And that rock-hard chest under his silk shirt and business suit was definitely that of a manly man.
Still, she’d never been held quite so…whole-heartedly.
Notice that physical characteristics are the first signs of interest. Most of the time in fiction (and in life) this is the case, but as we all know – it’s only a package. What’s on the inside is what matters most – and that’s true for stories too.
Sharpshooter in Petticoats by Mary Connealy
He pulled back, only inches, his intense eyes and stubborn jaw filling her whole world. Made her want. Made her feel. “I’m taking your children out of this fortress tonight. You can come with me or stay behind.”
Made her crazy. “I won’t let you.”
“You can’t stop me.” He fell silent and waited. A big, tall stack of pure stubborn…
When she didn’t respond, Tom set her on her feet, turned, and stalked toward the house, as if he planned to pack the three children up and take them without her permission or company.
She reached for her rifle and grabbed…air. Looking down by her right hand where the muzzle was always waiting, she realized, it was gone. Looking up, she saw Tom carrying it.
“Looking for this?” He raised his arm high so the gun was silhouetted against the starlit sky.
Smart man :-)
What about a man’s talent? Audra Harders describes it like this in her debut novel, Rocky Mountain Hero.
Gabe’s fingers danced along the neck of the guitar as graceful as the hawks she’d seen the other day soaring through the air. Gabe hummed and picked at his guitar. His eyes closed, he appeared in complete worship.
Many times our heroes have specific smarts. Sherlock Holmes is the ultimate example. He certainly wasn’t part of a romance (though the notion of a novel like that is spinning through my head), but his brilliance defined him. Each hero shows his knowledge. How does yours?
Heart – the compassion, tenderness, protective-instinct, determination, ROMANCE, and spirit of your hero. There are SOOOOO many examples, but let me just share a few.
“Are you missing home, Morrow?”
Thoughtful, she met his steady gaze. “No…I’m missing you.”
He came to her and rested his hands on her shoulders, tipping her head back so that cold moonlight spilled into her eyes. “How can you miss me when I’m standing here beside you?”
“I-I don’t rightly know,” she said, feeling she’d stepped off a safe path onto perilous ground. “Aren’t you…missing me?”
His handsome features turned perplexed. “You think I…” …
Gently he framed her face with his hands and brought her head up. “Morrow, you’re mourning.”
Mourning. A startling realization stole over her. He was telling her he wouldn’t touch her so soon after Pa had passed, that she needed time to grieve….
“Yes, I’m mourning,” she said, softly. “I believe I’m mourning you.”
A flicker of surprise played over his handsome face, but his gaze remained steadfast….
“Morrow…are you sure?”
The tender question touched her. “Never surer,” she answered.
Gently, like they were about to dance, he took her in his arms, and she felt a wall within him give way.
Whew…isn’t that scene so lovely. Passion and tenderness all rolled up into such a short amount of space. Oh dear, I do so love that story.
Massive palms slowly grazed the side of her arms, as if he thought she might be chilled, but the heat they generated made her feel anything but. In fluid motion, they moved to her waist, the gentle caress of his thumbs all but stealing her air. His blue eyes deepened in intensity as he leaned in, and his husky voice made her mouth go dry. “Let’s face it, Katie Rose,” he whispered. “I don’t want ice, I don’t want water, and I definitely don’t want chocolate.”
She caught her breath when his words melted warm in her ear.
“I want you…”
And before the air could return to her lungs, his mouth dominated hers with such gentle force, it coaxed a breathless moan from her lips, heating the blood in her veins by several degrees.
Last, but definitely not least, is Soul
As Christian writers, our worldview should come out in our stories – whether overtly or woven into the pattern of our novels. Soul is a part of our characters, and seems even more beautiful in our HEROES.
One of the most beautiful novels I’ve ever read which shows the spiritual aspect of the hero is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Here’s a short scene from the book to show how his faith influences his behavior.
It was growing colder and they needed to return. They dressed in silence, both tormented, both trying not to be. She came to him and put her arms around his waist, pressing herself against him, as a child would looking for comfort.
Michael, beloved. Would you have her hang on her cross forever?
Michael let out a shuddering sigh. When she lifted her face, he saw something in it that made him want to weep….
Lifting her, he held her cradled in his arms. She put her arms around his neck and kissed him. He closed his eyes. Lord, if I give her up to you now, will you ever give her back to me?
No answer came.
Read the book to discover the answer.
There you have it. The essence of a hero.
Tell me about your hero? Body, mind, heart, and soul.