Stories. Books are epic. There is no way you could replace them with fancy e-books or stuff like that. I have always preferred to pick up a good book whenever possible to using a computer to read. Novels are just awesome that way. Especially fiction. You can’t go wrong with good fiction.
As G.K. Chesterton said: “Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.” Yay fiction! That’s the great thing about imagination. Not just in books, but overall. The author pours out his or her imagination, creating a limitless scenario from which comes anything they can think of. Heroes, castles, great battles, and other worlds beyond ours. Totally the best way to use imagination. It’s just so focused into the pages that you can see it all happening in your mind’s eye while you read.
There’s always been something about books with the old traditional weapons that makes me go “YUS! HE HAZ _________.” Especially swords, those things are just awesome. I always did like knights. Not just their shiny weapons and armor, but also their solemn vows of chivalry. To me, that has always been really cool.
Getting away from the good guys and stuff to do with them, every story needs a villain with a master plan. They just make the book come to life in their own way. I mean, come one, what’s the point of having a hero if he’s got nothing to conquer, rise above, etc. etc.
Why are there enemies in stories? Why are they necessary to the plot? And also, why do heroes have flaws? Why are all these things needed?
So, we’ll start with the flaws of heroes, since I’d rather take longer on the enemy point. I personally like heroes with flaws better because I can relate to them much more than some hero who has no weaknesses. Creating the perfect hero takes away half the plot. He has no room to mess up, no room to learn from his mistakes, and basically will be able to take out the enemy too quickly and easily. It just makes him boring, and fortunately, I have yet to read a book with a “perfect” hero. Sure, I’ve seen some where a few characters believe they are perfect, but fortunately they are proven wrong in a short period of time. In many ways, the flaws make the character. Plus, he becomes greater in the end right?
And villains… you need them interestingly enough. Every hero needs his opposite, every power its darker force. All those stories using the figures of shadow and light duking it out have always appealed to me because of the author’s ability to take the common elements and build a different sounding story around it. Does the hero always triumph in the end? Yes. Why? Hardly anybody would want to read a book where he loses in the end. Books pretty much always end with the hero winning. What would happen if they changed it so that the hero lost?
That would be rather depressing I suppose. Nobody creates a hero just to make him fall. However, they each have a certain goal that they are set for. Once that goal is complete, usually it’s happy ending and stuff right? But happy ending in what way and for whom?
I’m getting off topic here [and yes I do that a lot, mostly because I have the mind of a butterfly (Ranger’s Apprentice reference, go read it, it’s an awesome series!)], maybe I’ll go back to it later. Anyway, villains complete the mixture. It’s like a puzzle to me. You have to fit in the hero and as soon as you add him, you realize there is one left on the opposite side of the board that is unfilled. Villains complete the heroes, and sometimes make the story more realistic. They each have to win at some point in time. It’s just needed. Heroes that win all the time are… well, to put it simply, meh. Shadow and light are not equally matched. It might seem like the shadow is stronger at points where the hero is beaten down, but from that, he has to rise back up with a new strength unmatched.
Light/good always has to win in the end in some way. That doesn’t mean that everyone survives, no! In true warfare, there are always massive losses on both sides, but readers always want their heroes to be invincible to the point of things having no effect on them, or taking the hit, then regenerating or something. Readers also hate when you kill off good support characters.
I do apologize if it appears that my thoughts are scattered all over the place, I just normally am this way even when talking in real life. Just ask my friends about it.
One last note on heroes that doesn’t have to do with their “winning” in the literal sense, in the end. Winning doesn’t always mean that they survive after they accomplish their goal. Matoro from Bionicle never survived, but he saved the world from death. Through his death, he managed to bring life for others. He is one of my favorite heroes, and actually very realistic.
You see, there are these people called Saints…