Heroes: How Much Damage is Too Much?I love a tortured hero. Nothing I like better than a hero who has had pain and heartache and trauma in his life, who has deep wounds that only the heroine can heal.
The problem is, in real life too much trauma can cause damage that can’t be rectified.
Freud was right about some things. What happens in the first five years of life is crucially important to future development. Remember Harlow’s monkeys (famous experiments about attachment)? The ones who had a wire mother could not learn to form attachments to other monkeys later.
Nowadays we call this an Attachment Disorder.
Attachment disorders are associated with early experiences of neglect and abuse, of children who have been abruptly separated from caregivers after the first six months and before three years. Such children cannot give or receive affection.
Heroes in fiction must have received love early in order to give love to the heroine later. So, please, no matter what torture your hero endures, give him someone to love and care for him in those early formative years.
So, what do you think? Do you worry about things like this when crafting your heroes? Do too-tortured heroes bother you?
Visit Diane’s website for a sneak peek of her eShort Story, The Unlacing of Miss Leigh, and her novella, Justine and the Noble Viscount, in THE DIAMONDS OF WELBOURNE MANOR. Diane’s contest is still on, too!