Why do some professions produce fictional heroes? Others lend themselves to villainy and still others sprout heroes. Royalty is chock full of victims and villains—Shakespeare’s live on. Politicians? Many more villains than heroes--example The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon. Perhaps we'd better stay away from politicians unless we're writing about George Washington. Most of John Gresham’s lawyers are role models. Professors can be exciting—think of Harrison Ford chasing after The Holy Grail. But stay away from Colin Dexter’s Oxford and a few of the professors that teach there. Those dastardly intellectuals keep Inspectors Morse and Lewis busy solving their crimes. Then we have doctors—in real life and most television shows we are filled with admiration and usually follow everything prescribed but fiction? A doctor often falls off the pedestal he or she is placed on. There is the crusading newspaper reporter—a hero and the gossip columnist who wrecks havoc with lives and careers. Politicians? And victims—Susan Isaacs In her book Compromising Positions used Dr. Fleckstine, a dentist as a victim. Laurence Olivier as Dr. Christian Szell—a former SS dentist, featured in Marathon Man made a splendid villain. I’m sure movie patrons lived with excruciating pain before keeping their dental appointments. But I’ve never read about a fictional dentist as hero—fellow writers the character is all ours.
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