marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

heroes and highwaymen

In an outline, the hero is off, nobly going to save the realm despite the way the king treats him.

I have come to the conclusion that the most logical thing for him to do is turn highwayman and waylay someone.  For knowledge, mind you , not gold, but still highwayman.

Meanwhile, in a short story, the heroine is being the cog in the machine, nobly carrying out her assigned task. . . . getting nibbled to death by ducks in the best bureaucratic fashion.

Always a trick, figuring out how far to integrate the hero into the society.  Society has a way of providing assets that make problems less tricky and so lessening challenges, so you end up not so much integrating them as miring them in it.  And there's the question of whether it's part of a bigger picture.  One single character can't do much to win the war, even a general if you make it large enough scale.

Of course, I've heard the genres of tragedy and comedy described respectively as splitting your character off from society and integrating him into it, so there's a lot of tradition in having him alienated up front.
Tags: genre, heroes and villains, world-building: social structure

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