With me finally having the time to sit down, plan and write, ive come to the sudden realisation that I dont really know what im doing when it comes to building a Hero / Heroine.
Thinking back to my childhood there were a heck of alot of stories that started ‘Once Upon a time’ and Im sure you are aware of the subsequent plots of Boy loses or has lost family, boy is thrown into a dire situation. Boy comes out by the skin of his teeth, or by acquiring somekind of ultimate weapon / awakens a hidden power to see off any and all evil, and sometimes even get the girl at the end too.
But I want to create something a little more than that..
One key fact is that all story elements have a Beginning, Middle and an End. Although sometimes they are ambiguous they are always present, and in these childhood hero stories, there is always a set up, some peril that forces growth, and then a solid payoff, thus making the narrative precise and on point. So much so that by the end of the story the main character is tucked up in bed safe and sound ready for their happy ever after. But, when you think about it, is this really any different to any other story you have read? So have I been over complicating things?
It seems to me that even 33 years on, I still gravitate towards this similar style of narrative, and it appears I am not alone.
In order for me to form a more rounded view of my hero / heroine’s journey, and how it slots into the overall world that I am slowly creating, I have come up with a few character based prompts in order to feel them out.
- What made them take the leap and start this journey?
- What, if any, were their initial expectations?
- What were they hoping to come away with when you started?
- What challenges or setbacks did they face along the way?
- Who supported them while on this journey?
- How did these supporting characters help or inspire the hero/heronie?
- As they progressed, did any part of the hero/heroine’s world view change? if so How?
- Did they achieve what they set out to?
With the assistance of these character based prompts I am hoping to weave an elaborate tapestry of character driven decisions that mould and change the world as we progress through their journey.
If any of you have any suggestions or advice on how to do this more effectivley please feel free to let me know in the comments, im all ears, although I suppose in this case im all eyes, equally as gross but you know what I mean!