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Flawed Heroes — Writing Them, Reading Them

Flawed Heroes

On 3 April 2020 @ 8pm Emma Viskic, Karina Kilmore and Natalie Conyer will explore the flawed heroes of their crime novels and grapple with an equally flawed world.

This Sisters in Crime event will be chaired by author Jacqui Horwood at the Rising Sun Hotel, South Melbourne and while booking details are still to come (check back the Sisters in Crime events page), maybe we can think a bit about what 'flawed' means to us when we pair that term with hero.

Men, Women, and Non-Binary Heroes—Do They Even Get to Be Flawed?

In fiction and in fact we make heroes of imperfect human beings, then, mad as hatters, we demand those heroes be perfect.

Greta Thunberg flew to a global summit on an airplane, which uses carbon! How can we take her climate change advice seriously? is just one click-baity bit of madness I've seen which demands a hero be beyond reproach.

Bent Smoking Pipe—What is a hero?Why do we do this? And does it matter on how we even define hero?

While the dictionary tells us it is someone 'noted for courageous acts or noble character' what do we consider a hero, much less a flawed hero?

I think it depends.

Is it the fact that Sherlock Holmes gets almost everything right that makes him a fantastic fiction hero to some? Or is he a hero because he doesn't give up, even when clues are sparse and the path littered with obstacles?

Maybe it's because he can think in ways we don't, or perhaps it's because he's earned the devoted friendship of a man quite willing to do dastardly deeds for him (John Watson: ever-willing to bring along his pistol at the slightest encouragement from his flatmate).

Continuing with Holmes as an example, for me a hero, flawed or otherwise, is simply a being who is capable of mistakes, prejudices, and doubts and tries anyway. For all his moaning about boredom, for all his frustrations with a world that does not see as he does, Holmes does his best to tame his tart tongue, to keep squinting, sniffing, tasting, trying.

I'm not sure I can ask much more from heroes I read, I write, or the ones, like Greta, who are out there, imperfect perfect in their trying.

This is why I'm very curious what Emma Viskic, Karina Kilmore and Clan Destine Press' very own Natalie Conyer have to say about their crime novel heroes this April.

And I wonder, what you have to say. What makes someone heroic?

Can you be a hero and still be full of flaws?

More Like This
How to Write Flawed Characters & Antiheroes
Natalie Conyer's Present Tense
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

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