Today we’re focusing on the heart of any story: the characters. We often refer to the protagonist as the ‘hero’ whether or not he/she is heroic. Today, however, we’re going to take that word literally:
Write A Story With A Heroic Protagonist
- A hero is not necessarily someone with a cape and superpowers. A hero can be someone who is exceptionally talented in one or more areas and who uses those talents.
- A hero can be great at one thing and ordinary (or clueless) in other areas: Adrian Monk is almost incapable of living a normal life, but his OCD and his fears make him an exceptional detective; Elizabeth Bennett is not rich or beautiful or titled, or any of the other things that mattered at the time, but Jane Austen’s famous heroine endures because she is witting and quick and funny; Slippery Jim in Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat is a rogue, but a charming rogue.
- Think about characters you love from fiction. What is it that you like about them? Are they funny? Smart? Brave? Brooding? Tortured?
- Think about characters you dislike. Why? Are they whiny? Angry? Glib? Uncaring?
- What raises the feature you love about that character to the next level?
- Think about people in your life that you love or abhor. What features and characteristics do they have that you envy/loathe?
- How could you create a character that has a stand-out characteristic (one that you love) that shows the reader the best of humanity? That gives the reader something to aspire to?
- What mannerisms will your character have? What expressions will they use? How will they talk?
- What single adventure could this character have in a story that highlights their most heroic feature?