Friday, May 21, 2010

Why My Baby is My Hero (and should be yours, too)

© Carbouval |

My baby is my hero.

He's got more going on than my current protagonist, who is fighting evil in his own family, and trying to gain control over his very sporadic powers.

You don't believe me?

Listen to this compilation of misery:

  • swollen gums 
  • sore mouth 
  • compulsion to chew on anything in sight
  • runny nose 
  • sore throat
  • mouth breathing vs. hunger (can't eat and breathe at the same time)
  • scratchy tissue paper assault courtesy of mom
  • exposed sensitive skin
  • poky toys
  • compulsion to grab things causing pain
  • thinks he's a toy
  • tries to carry him
  • steamrolls him
  • takes away his toys
  • poop; need I say more?
  • near-constant need for sleep

Okay, I'll stop there, but I'm sure he's feeling other things I can't put my finger on as an outside observer. The amazing thing is that he's laughing, and cruising along furniture as we speak. I'm pretty sure he's eating California right now (USA wooden puzzle). But he's happy.

It got me thinking about two things:

1. My baby is amazing! He's resilient. He's perky. He's way tougher than I'll ever be. I mean, I'm sick right now, and I'm being a total baby (obviously not) about it. He's just going on with his quest of learning to walk. And that's plain heroic.

2. The hero of my current WIP is weak sauce compared with Baby LJ. And I could learn something about characterization by looking at what an actual, real-life hero deals with on a daily basis. We are what we do, right? LJ is a hardcore survivor type. My protag is a sissy la la. Maybe if I gave him a few more external problems (big brother, teething, diapers) and a solid internal dilemma (compulsion to stick everything in his mouth), he'd make for a rounder, more developed character.

Food for thought, people. I'm off to make my fictional hero more like an 8-month-old. 


  1. Wow! Brilliant insight. It makes me see some 2Dness in my own characters. They really should have the whole world on their shoulders to earn their "hero" badge. :-D

    I hope your little one has less of the world on his shoulders soon and that you recover quickly too. Lets get stuck into putting more muscle on our scrawny heroes. :-)

  2. Rebecca- Thank you for your comments and well-wishes! The kids are napping now, so I hope we will all be over this sickness very soon.

    Cheers to real-life heroes! And believable heroes of fiction, of course!


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