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"Chloe Harris" really is the pseudonym for two writers, Noelle and Barbra, who've joined forces to write intriguing and sexy stories. A quintessential eccentric southerner, Noelle seems to find a story in almost everything. Ever ambitious to change her stars, she has a degree in Communications. Barbra lives together with her cat ('Princess Mimi'), who isn't very happy that she is spending so much time on writing. But this folly of the living can opener with opposable thumbs is mostly tolerated.

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Protagonists 101, Part Eight

by Barbra

In my blog series “Protagonists 101” I’d like to analyze stereotypes and how we as writers employ them to our advantage. Part One dealt with The Boss and The General. In Part Two we had a closer look at The Bad Boy and The Trickster. In Part Three we discussed The Best Friend and The Gal With Courage. Part Four examined The Charmer and The Lost One. In Part Five we talked about The Prodigal Son and The Spitfire. In Part Six we looked at The Scholar and The Librarian. In Part Seven we went through The Adventurer and The Crusader. Finally, in Part Eight we’ll discuss The Warrior and The Big Sis.

I think it goes without saying that The Warrior is the perfect type to save the damsel in distress. He is honorable, insistent, unyielding and always looks after the weaker ones. He only sticks to the rules he’s made up and never — never ever — does something because others want him to or expect it.
Locked in the basement with the ticking time bomb and the unconscious lady he’d be furious. He’s a protector, so the first thing he’ll think about is getting her to safety — and that’s exactly what he’ll do regardless of the consequences for himself. That accomplished, God have mercy on the villain. The Warrior will seek him out even if he has to hunt him to the end of the world and back. He will find him and then... well...
The Warrior doesn’t require help from outside, because he’s a task force himself.

The Big Sis cares for and looks after everybody. She’s a good listener. She’s funny, proficient and optimistic. Nothing is more important to her than the safety of her loved ones (family, people, etc.) and she sees to their well-being with her iron will. Being mistress of her own temper, she is always rational and objective. Not only that, she is reliable and really has all the answers.
In the brawl The Big Sis will chide the drunkards for their stupid behavior with such authority that the fight will stop immediately. Then she’ll tend to their bruises, black eyes and broken noses. She’ll thank the hero for his endearing but absolutely pointless worrying over her. She’d possibly also tell him to get lost because she’s needed here and she won’t leave until she’s done.

Somehow this reminds me very much of Alec Reynard and Domini Lancer in Susan Sizemore’s I Burn For You. Can you think of other fictional characters like those H/H types?


Samantha Kane said...

I love the Warrior type. They can be frustrating because in the wrong hands they turn despotic, and that doesn't thrill me. But the Big Sis always makes me want to slap her, because half the time she's "taking care of others" they don't want her to, and it's clear she doesn't need to. I often find these types use that as a shield to shelf their own problems, and when it's an avoidance technique it's not endearing.

Can't think of a single book right now, but I'll think some more and get back to you.

Anonymous said...

You're right, they're both types that can be frustrating if done wrong. But if done right, I think they can be wonderfully strong and heroic.
Personally I like The Warrior more than The Big Sis.

Samantha Kane said...

I think in some form or another all my favorite heroes from books and movies are warrior types. Jack Reacher, John McClane, Jack West, I've gone on and on about the list before. But none of my heroines or my favorite heroines are the big sis type.

Okay, I've noticed in these protag pairings that I often like the male protage type better than the female. Which is typical for me. In most books, even romance books, I identify much more with the hero than the heroine.

Anonymous said...

I tend to identify more with the heroes in romances also, but that's probably because they behave more like what I'd do than the heroines who are - half of the time anyway - silly and unreasonable at best. That's possibly also the reason why I have a few favorite authors, whose heroines don't make me want to slap them repeatedly (the characters, not the writers).

Uh oh... that got me thinking of... Yes! Very good points for the conclusion! Need to scribble them down somewhere.
Sam, thanks for inspiring me!

Samantha Kane said...

What?! What did I do?

Anonymous said...

;-P You'll see. Next week.