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The Tortured Hero

HuntsmanI suppose I must be a bit of a sadist, but I love a tortured hero.  No, not physically tortured, but emotionally tortured by his own misguided or not so misguided beliefs. A hero with a horrific past to overcome. A hero with broken dreams. A hero who has lost it all. A hero with an impossible cause.

Two of my favorite movie tortured heroes are the Huntsman, Snow White and the Huntsman, who never got over the murder of his wife and turned to drink for solace, then finally shed his self -loathing for a worthy cause.  And Aragorn, Lord of the Rings, who spent his life living in seclusion and being hunted for his bloodline. He never saw himself worthy of taking up the crown or of loving an elven princess.

My heroes are no less tortured.

Draegon is my most tortured hero. He had a horrific past, an abusive childhood, and presently lives a life that forces him to keep his face hidden beneath hood and helm. He feels unworthy and yet will stand up for what is right with confidence. He wants to love, but doesn’t believe he is deserving of it. He was a most interesting character to write because I have never suffered as he did, and yet I channeled his suffering onto the page with ease.

Damian comes next. He had once been the heir to a massive estate, was betrothed to a beautiful noblewoman, had everything to look forward to . . . until taking part in the Crusades. The Crusades had been the death of his twin brother and had taught him that nobility wasn’t a birthright. He blames his absence for the murder of his parents, for the sheriff confiscating the estate, and for the death of his beloved. All that he loved was lost to him. His torture is that he does not dare love again. Fate has ripped through his heart and has destined him to lose all who get close. The only woman he does not fear to love is the woman in his dreams. She is not real. Or is she?

Michel lost everything when he traveled from medieval England to present day to stop a killer. He can never return. But on the lives of all the young maidens the killer slaughtered, including his sweet cousin of no more than seventeen summers, he has sworn to end the carnage. Now, in present day, he has found someone worth living for, but a threat hangs over him. He must stop the killer before the killer discovers him and his new found family.

Alasdair is my least tortured hero, or so you think until you get further into the story and discover the deceptions and tragedies of his past. Alasdair dares to love what is forbidden, dares to risk all to save a child from being tithed to Hell, a ritual that the fae believe to be their eternal salvation. In other words, Alasdair is creating enemies. But he perseveres and fights for what is right in his heart, despite the consequences.

Is there a pattern here?  Perhaps. Every writer has a pattern, a way of writing that is uniquely their own.  I, myself, relate strongly to the hero. I don’t know why. Perhaps I spent many a past life as a man. Whatever the reason, I relate best to the tortured hero. I feel his pain, I am in his thoughts, I rally with him and fight alongside him for a solution. And I rejoice at the end when he has found internal peace and his happily ever after.


About Linda Ciletti

Linda Ciletti grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she discovered her love for classic fairytales during her many childhood visits to the Hazelwood public library. She now resides in a quaint bungalow in the beautiful Western Pennsylvanian suburbs. She is a member of the Greensburg Writers Group, Ligonier Valley Writers, and a former member of Romance Writers of America. Linda exhibits her love of fairytales, romance, and happily ever afters in the genres of medieval historical, time travel paranormal, contemporary, and fantasy. Her novel, Draegon’s Lair, won the Epic Award for best historical romance. When not serving the writing muse, she immerses herself in illustration and graphics, doing photography, virtual world content creation, and book cover design.


This entry was posted on August 26, 2016 by in Characters and tagged , , , , .
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