I am inspired by hero stories. Not just superhero stories. I get a strong sense of hope when I read any story where a person struggles to do what is right despite the odds against them. After all, if they can win against all that, then I can overcome my own trials.
I had a rough childhood. I’m not going to whine about it, though, because it made me the person I am proud to be today. My trauma ultimately brought about my desire to write. It all began with my imagination. I didn’t feel as though I had any heroes in my life so I developed my own. I had an imaginary friend, of sorts. Not one that I could “see” or pretended to see. Not one that I told anyone about. She was my secret hero. Whenever something bad happened, I coped by imagining my hero saving me and getting revenge on those who hurt me.
As I got older, my heroes changed. They no longer struggled to save me. They struggled to save themselves. In my imagination, they went through trauma similar to mine but oftentimes even more harrowing. They were lucky enough to have people to help them along the way (I realized later that I did as well), and in a way that was more of a hand-up than it was a hand-out. Ultimately, it was my hero’s decision to take the good that was offered rather than push it away. It was my hero’s decision to grow from their hardship rather than wallow in self-pity. Life is hard, excruciating at times. But my hero fights on. And as I write, so do I.
Are you drawn to stories with a hero for a similar reason? The space-fantasy series I’m writing is just such a story. The most prominent character starts out as a young boy in book one. He has a critical and abusive father who wants his son to be as hard and ruthless as he is. Somehow, this boy must find the strength to be his own person and to be a good person at that. It doesn’t happen in just one story, though. Battling his past is a constant struggle. It doesn’t help that people keep reminding him of it. Having to fight other enemies compounds his efforts.
Hopefully, my story will inspire your own hope. If you’re pessimistic about all the terrible things that keep happening in this world, have hope that there are good people out there who truly do want to do good things. If you struggle with your own demons, have hope that with effort you can fight against them and win!