Friday, August 23, 2013


     Why do some professions lend themselves to fictional heroes?
Others are thought to harbor villains. Several give us an easy or sympathetic victim. Royalty is chock full of victims and villains--Shakespeare's live on. Politicians? Many more villains than heroes. Perhaps we'd better stay away from politicians unless we intend writing a detective novel that features the Father of our Country.
     Most of John Gresham's lawyers are role models and professors can be exciting and even sexy--think of Harrison Ford chasing after the Holy Grail. But stay away from Colin Dexter's Oxford and a few of the professors who teach there. Those intellectuals keep Inspectors Morse and Lewis busy solving their crimes.
     There is the crusading newspaper reporter--our hero and his opposite--the gossip columnist who wrecks havoc with lives and careers. And what about doctors? In real life and most television shows we are filled with admiration and usually follow everything prescribed but in fiction? A doctor often falls off the pedestal he or she is placed on. And victims--Susan Isaacs in Compromising Positions used Dr. Fleckstine, a dentist, as a victim. Lawence Olivier as Dr. Christain Szell--a dentist, Nazi and former SS Officer made a splendid villain. I'm sure many movie patrons lived with hours of pain before keeping their dental appointments. I've never read about a fictional dentist as hero--fellow writers the character is all yours.


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