Anyway, I was belting along with Tina, 'You don't need another hero,' as I polished - those are the words I was singing; I don't know about her - and I was pondering about heroes.
Any creative writing handbook or course will tell you you have to create believable characters for your stories. That means the hero can't be totally perfect and the baddie shouldn't be completely evil. Jane Austen knew this. Elizabeth Bennett, for all her admirable qualities, was prejudiced against Mr Darcy. Coming up to date, almost, Morse was a grumpy old sod yet we loved him.
Compare Morse with Barnaby from Midsomer Murders, for example. Barnaby is just another television policeman; Morse will live forever. (Barnaby is, in fact, a stupid policeman as he hasn't yet worked out that anything group or activity his wife gets involved with, will soon have a murder. Or maybe he just doesn't want to acknowledge the nasty truth that his wife is a serial killer.)
I was going to say that popular fiction ignores the 'be real' maxim but I've just disproved that by talking about Morse. However it is true for many of today's novels. Not the great ones but the ones that get promoted and sold in huge numbers.
One of the characters in the book I'm currently reading is a practically perfect nanny. Mary Poppins with sex appeal. Another is an actress who loves food and doesn't want to be famous. Yet another is a size zero zero actress who dotes on her pug and will do anything for fame. Yet another is the unbelievably handsome make actor who is sleeping his way to the top. They're stereotypes of stereotypes. (I don't think that sentence means anything.)
I've forgotten where I was going with this ...
Oh yes: we're not like that. Not in real life. We're neither saint nor demon. We're a mix of both. In my case I am only too aware that my bad qualities win over my good far too often. And I don't know anyone who would qualify for the title of saint as it's used in modern vocabulary. (In his letters, Paul the apostle, addresses followers of Jesus as saints, but that's not quite the way we think of the meaning today.)
I think you can't call anyone a saint unless you know them really well and if you know them really well then you'd know they weren't saints.
Now I could go into a Christian rant about sinners being saved by the blood of the lamb, but I have a much more serious dilemma.
Bearing in mind what I said about great literature needing believable characters, how can I make Munch the Cow more convincing? She's far too nice.
(Did I tell you I'm writing a story about Munch the Cow for a competition? In 600-800 words.)