Sunday, 2 January 2011

Holding out for a hero...?

When I was but a wee slip of a girl I had many role models, people who I looked up too in a near obsessive way. My mum can tell you stories and, this may or may not surprise you, many of these people were not celebrities. I recall doing a project on Marie Curie when I was in primary school and on Mary Anning. Dr Jack Horner was another such role model. (Further proof of my impending geekiness...) Sure, there were some singers/songwriters who were my inspirations but when I became a bit older it was writers such as Tamora Pierce and Stephen King.

Even now I still find people that I admire - Neil Gaiman, John Green and his brother Hank (who is awesome, btw!) I also admire strong characters from my favourite books and shows. KayLee from Firefly. Angela, Hodgins and Temperance from Bones. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. These are just a few.

Anyway, I do not like many of the so called 'role models' that people have these days. In my mind a role model is someone who you aspire to and you hope that your actions echo their choices and decisions.The end result is that, in having a role model, you can make yourself a better person. With that being said, I find it more than a little alarming that there are so many bad role models out there. This is not just a jab at those in the celebrity world because, although many may complain about being a role model, they have put themselves out there. Though I can't see what kind of role models that Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton are and I'm not going to apologise for not seeing them as positive role models.

Now, before you think I'm just standing on my soap box doing my little rant I would like to point out that what I think may not be what you think or believe. What I feel strongly about, however, is that we do need more positive role models in our lives who are complex and not just some airbrushed ideal that is plastered on a poster. How can we expect our children to grow up idolising such things as Bratz Dolls or other gender stereotyping figures be they male or female.

I am not saying that celebrities are all bad role models as there are some very positive role models in the acting world and this goes for authors as well but I'm going to leave that alone.

After all this rambling, my main point for this blog came about when I was trying to focus on a new character for a novel that I am currently working on while waiting to send my draft off to the publishers to see if there are any bites. I was writing about this female character and I suddenly found myself obsessing over how I portrayed her as I wanted her to be someone that readers would admire but I didn't want her to be perfect, basically, I didn't want to create a Mary Sue. This lead me to thinking what my favourite authors would do and how they create such vivid characters that I admire. They have flaws, like real people, and they have emotions, like real people...I hope you get where I am going with this because there is so much that I would like to say about the idea of role models but I don't want to end up making this into some self righteous blog where everything I say is set in concrete.

To finish up I would like to say that having role models is an important thing but choosing the right role model will always be up to you. For all my writing I cannot make you like my favourite role models and I wouldn't want you to like something just because I like it. What I would hope is that you find someone you admire and use them as a guide - and, just because I don't particularly like someone doesn't mean that you should stop liking them.

Anyway,I'd love to know who you admire? Or what kind of character traits you think are good, bad or ugly?

Peace and pancakes all...

P.S. I promise to get this blog proper sorted out as soon as I know what I'm really doing...I apologise for it being a little wonky...

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