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TOP TEN LISTS—Common and Unusual Hero and Heroine Roles/Careers

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August 29, 2013 by Pamela Nowak

People often ask authors if they start their stories with people or with places or with events.  For me, that’s a tough question to answer because I seldom start a story in the same way.  At times, I’ll have seen or read about a place that intrigues me while, other times, a historical event intrigues me.  And, of course, I might have read about a person who inspires me to create a story around him or her.   But, whatever the spark is, I’ve discovered I like unique characters, if the story lends itself to them.   I can’t always fit them in, but I like them.

So…today I’m starting four lists—two for heroes and two for heorines.  We can call them Common Hero/Herioine Roles or Careers and Unusual  Hero/Heroine Roles or Careers.  Let’s concentrate on western historical romances in the Victorian era.  Remember, these are most common and most unusual careers for heroes and for heroines (not necessarily common and rare in reality).  I’ll start each list out with ten items and readers can add to them.  Let’s see what we can generate!

COMMON HERO ROLES/CAREERS

1. Rancher

2. Lawman

3. Bounty Hunter

4. Texas Ranger

5. Blacksmith

6. Doctor

7. Lawyer

8. Soldier

9. Trail Boss or Wagonmaster

10. Miner or Mine Owner

COMMON HEROINE ROLES/CAREERS

1. Teacher

2. Governess

3. Mail-order Bride

4. Restaurant or Bakery Owner

5. Laundress

6. Housekeeper/Cook

7. Waitress

8. Saloon Girl or Actress

9. Dressmaker or Milliner

10. Rancher’s Widow or Daughter

UNUSUAL HERO ROLES/CAREERS

1. Undertaker

2. Circus Performer

3. Rodeo Clown

4. Wild West Show Performer

5. Tinker

6. Medicine Show Operator

7. Boat Builder

8. Clergyman

9. Scientist or Inventor

10. Artist

UNUSUAL HEROINE ROLES/CAREERS

1. Telegraph Operator

2. Circus Performer

3. Doctor

4. Wild West Show Performer

5. Photographer

6. Veterinarian

7. Pinkerton agent

8. Miner

9. Suffrage Worker

10. Newspaper Reporter

Have I missed the boat (or career)?  Have you read about a hero or heroine in a role that I didn’t mention?  Have you different thoughts?

I’d love to build these lists further—especially the unusual careers.  My mind is already generating possible stories!   Please…add to them!

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