What Makes a Hero?

L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) - www.klermaine.com

L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

I’m currently writing book one of the Children of Twistledom series, and working through the story, I placed myself in my characters’ shoes and asked, “What makes a hero?”

In Harry Potter, we learned that there is nothing more pure than a mother's love. And in the Lord of the Rings, we have Frodo Baggins who taught us that you cannot judge a book by its cover. He showed us size doesn't matter because he was able to complete his quest when stronger men could not. Surrounded by allies helping him on his way, Frodo became a hero. Does having good friends or a mother who loves you so much, she would die for you, give you heroic qualities?

And even in the Wizard of Oz, we learned that compassion brings both joy and sorrow, and the way to become a hero is to help others achieve their dreams. This meant finding a heart for the Tin Man, brains for the Scarecrow, courage for the Cowardly Lion, and a way to get home to Kansas for Dorothy Gale.​​

So many lessons in life about love, courage, knowledge, beliefs, and beauty can be gleaned from L. Frank Braum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.. And as I complete book one of my series, I'm forced to think about what truly makes a hero.

Creating characters like Toby, Princess Henrietta, and Noddy Bakerson has humbled me greatly. I think about the many brilliant authors who have gone before me to show children how they can become heroes in their own rights and live a well-lived life, and then I look at the 'mess' I created... and start deleting drafts after drafts after drafts.

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