I Need A Hero – Vulnerability

by | Mar 31, 2010 | Fiction Book Reviews | 2 comments

Missy Tippens’ sweet stories of rekindled love are some of Steeple Hill’s loveliest books. This goes right along with Missy’s ‘sweet’ personality anyway. Not only is she a LoveInspired author, she is also a Seeker. (I know, I’m kind of a fan of those Seekers or something). Missy has a beautiful, southern style, website at www.missytippens.com. You can also read Missy’s blogs on Thursdays at the groupblog http://writingbyfaith.blogspot.com

So Missy, what are your Top 3 Hero Characteristics?

Top 3 Hero Characteristics:
1. Sense of humor
2. Honorable–always acts heroically
3. Even if he’s the toughest of guys, he has some sort of vulnerability–a place where he’s vulnerable to the heroine.

 Vulnerability? A hero? Are you sure?

 That’s right. All of the best heroes have…a weakness. At least one. In real life, the numbers can multiply by 10 or so, but in fiction we try to keep it…er…fictional 😉

Superman had his Kryptonite

Batman had his humanity (and women)

Mr. Darcy had his pride

Mr. Rochester had his bride (among other things)

Indiana Jones had snakes (and women)

The Count of Monte Cristoe had the lust for revenge

Poor Westley had been ‘mostly dead all day’

All of the greatest heroes have a flaw, a weakness, something to make them human…and more likeable.

How can any of us relate to perfection? No matter how many times the idea of perfection dances through our heads, the truth is – nobody’s perfect 🙂

You certainly don’t want to make you’re hero so weak he becomes unlikeable – or no longer heroic, but when writing novels the characters need to grow in some way. Whether the ‘sin’ or weakness is pride, unforgiveness, a physical weakness that might mirror a spirit weakness, an addiction…whatever, something weakens your hero – so he must either overcome the weakness, or grow from his weakness.

Also, in his own vulnerability, the heroine can be his strength, or his match.

One of my favorite recent heroes is Robin Lee Hatcher’s hero in Fit To Be Tied. Sherwood is a broken man, but a loveable hero. He doesn’t even realize he’s a hero, and that’s one of the beauties of reading the book. He becomes one – because he has all the stuff inside to be one, he just doesn’t know it.

Like Missy said, even the tough guys need a soft spot – especially for the woman who is winning his heart.

 Ultimate Hero Moment:

 The only perfect hero is Jesus Christ and he chose to become weak. He took on the skin of humanity, with it’s frailty, all because of love. He became vulnerable to death – relinquished his eternal power to the blackness of mortality.

The Perfect One loved perfectly with a picture example: innocence crucified.

As we remember His love, especially this time of year, may it influence our hearts, our lives, our thoughts, and our writing. We are loved! May our fictional heroes display the truest sort of love – self sacrifice.

Hero Quote:

“A hero is no braver than any other man, he’s only braver for five minutes longer.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Inspirational Verse:

3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

 5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
 6Who, being in very nature[a] God,
      did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
 7but made himself nothing,
      taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
      being made in human likeness.
 8And being found in appearance as a man,
      he humbled himself
      and became obedient to death—
         even death on a cross!
 9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
      and gave him the name that is above every name,
 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
      in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
      to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:3-7


  1. Sherrinda

    Oh yes, I love a vulnerable hero. Indiana Jones is a big one who is soooo good at it. I love the heroes that are strong and take charge and yet open themselves up with glimpses into their softer side. Sigh…I love thinking about heroes.

  2. Alexandra

    A hero won’t hook me unless he’s got vulnerability. The scene where you get a glimpse at the little boy (or lost puppy, whichever you prefer). Then they’ve got me right there. I think it’s the reason why so many people adore the Phantom from Phantom of the Opera, even though he is a “horrible” person. He’s vulnerable. You see that w/Christine, and that’s the reason people still root for him even though he does all that icky stuff.


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