Causes: an inherent belief that fear should never limit or dictate a response; growing up in the shadow of bravery, especially during a time of great turmoil (e.g.: having a revered uncle who bravely served his country as a pilot in WW II); an extreme belief in one's own abilities, skills and fortitude; a high tolerance to pain; strong role-modelling (such as parents and relatives that serve in the military, or as police/fireman, etc); a need to consistently challenge and prove oneself as worthy; selflessness; a deep moral center of right and wrong
Characters in Literature: Batman; Captain America; Lan Mandragoran & Galad Damordred (The Wheel of Time); Nevile Longbottom (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows); Rambo
Positives: Brave characters are often viewed as heroic, and are willing to face hardship and danger because it is 'the right thing to do'. These Braves are natural leaders, inspire others and selflessly do what is required. Others gravitate to this personality and admire them for their fearlessness. Braves do not obsess about possible negative consequences or outcomes--they see a need, make a moral judgement and then act, often placing themselves at peril to keep others from suffering. Braves place the goal above all else, and are unwavering in their determination to achieve it.
Negatives: Because of the attention, hero-worship and high pedestal others place them on, Braves can be susceptible to pride, which can lead them down the dark ego path of vanity or arrogance. Even characters with this trait who remain true to their selfless nature can become pawns to others who would use their bravery to achieve their own ends. Brave characters can place their trust in others too quickly because of the belief that they too have the same motivation and sense of right and wrong.
Common Portrayals: Soldiers, Policemen, Firemen, Superheroes, Warriors, Hunters
Cliches to Avoid: the hero who is so brave he is blind to the corruption of the people he works for; the brave hero with a secret death wish; the superhero whose resulting fame causes egotism & the eventual 'fall from grace/comeuppance' as a result
Twists on the Traditional Brave:
- We see a lot of 'brave' but not 'smart' characters. Give us a character who is both!
- Bravery is acting without fear, courage is acting despite fear. Think of the saying, 'to fear is to live'. A complex twist on a brave character would be to have them feel something is missing because they do not feel fear.
- Bravery does not have to equate into a character who is big and strong or physically fit. Show us a character who is naturally brave, but his body is compromised, yet rather than have to 'prove himself', he naturally has respect of the people around him.