Amazing Kids! Magazine

Creating Your Hero

By Salma Danuningrat, Writing Tips Editor

 

For some writers, creating our characters is the most enjoyable part in brainstorming our story.  It’s where we get to create our imaginary friends, enemies and heroes. Our heroes, or in most cases our protagonists, play a great role in developing and creating the plot of our story – without your protagonist, you won’t have much to write about it. Here are a few tips to make a great hero.

Your Hero Isn’t Perfect – The most realistic heroes are the ones who are the most human. It might seem like such an easy, simple rule, however, most writers find this part the hardest. Sometimes, we make our characters flawless and perfect. Sometimes, our characters are reflections of what we ourselves wish to be. But the truth is humans, even heroes, aren’t perfect. Before putting characters into your story, list all your character’s good and bad qualities. When you’ve finished the first draft of your story look for evidence in your story that your character shows these qualities. Make sure that your character’s positive and negative traits are clear to your reader.

Your Hero has Conflict – Everyone has a battle they’re facing, so make sure your character does too, because without a conflict, you’d have a pretty boring story. Your character’s conflict can be external (your character vs. somebody or something) or internal (your character vs. themselves) – or you can do both. Just like your character’s flaws, your character’s conflicts should be clear to the people who are reading it.

Your Readers Should Care For Your Hero – A good way to make sure your readers keep reading your story is to make them feel attached to your character. Maybe your character is facing somewhat of a problem, like their parents are going through a divorce, they’re being bullied, they’re mourning the death of a loved one, etc.  That way, your readers will feel sympathetic towards your character and keep reading. Though sympathy is the easiest approach for readers to like your character, your readers should at least have a basic understanding of your character’s actions, so they won’t abandon your story in frustration of your character.

Your Hero Develops – Character development is one of the most important things for your hero. Your hero should learn something from their journey – maybe it has a positive impact on your character, or a negative impact – but at the end of the story, they have grown. Your character is different at the end of your story compared to when they started. Not only characters develop, but real people, even writers like us, learn from our journeys.

Let your character discover. Let them learn from their mistakes, let them fall, and let them pick themselves back up again. Don’t create a perfect hero – because the greatest protagonists aren’t perfect. Your hero is essential to your story, so let them do great things.