Where are the white hats?

I’ve been thinking about a conversation that I had with my wife a while ago. One of the problems she had with one of my earlier stories was with the main character. “He’s not realistic,” she said. “He’s too perfect. He doesn’t have any flaws or problems. No one will be able to relate to him.”

She may have a point. After all, the world is getting increasingly dark. It seems like society (at least here in the United States) has gotten to the point where everything that was once seen as evil or wrong is being celebrated. At the same time, those things that are viewed as moral, decent or good are denounced as obstructive or obsolete. With this attitude, can we say that society is getting better?

I’ve already mentioned in a previous post how we, as writers, should try to do our part in our contributions to society. We should try and do our part in creating the utopia or cultureĀ that we want to live in. And a big part of that would be in creating characters that help to make this utopia a reality.

In classic Western movies, you could easily tell who the good guys were because they wore the white hats. But it was more than just their fashion sense. They fought for what was right. They stood up to that which was corrupt or evil (often typified by those wearing black hats). They were gentlemen to the “womenfolk” and contemptuous to those who tried to break the law, or harm others. In short, they were heroes in every sense of the word.

In my opinion, we need more heroes like that. Not just in our literature, but in our society. Good, moral and virtuous individuals, both men and women, who we can look up to and admire. If we present them in our artwork, perhaps we can encourage more people to follow those example, and also strive to be good, virtuous and heroic.

So I think that might be the next series I’ll offer to you. It’s a good thing to consider before National Novel Writing Month, too. What kind of hero or protagonist will you have in your next masterpiece? I’ll go ahead and present a few different archetypes for your consideration. See if you can write a story, if not your novel, with one of these in mind. It’ll be a fun experiment, at least!

 

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