Regardless of whether you want to create the story of a superhero, an epic hero, or another type of hero, you can create an attractive character with a little time and effort. For development, incorporate specific traits and keep their goals in mind. Then edit the story based on the Hero's Journey format developed by Christopher Vogler. This will help you ensure that your character is liked by others and that the story is attractive to readers.
Method 1 of 2: Develop Your Hero
Step 1. Identify the purpose or objective of your hero
Think about who your hero is and what he is looking for. Identify your reason for being, the things you value most and what is missing in your life. Understanding and developing your hero's motivations will be the driving force of the entire story, so it's important that you be as detailed as possible.
For example, your hero may have to find a specific resource that allows him to repair a machine to extract all the water from his village. Maybe someone has kidnapped the person he loves and has to find and fight the villain who has taken her away from him
tip- Try free writing, mapping, and other creative activities to help you brainstorm your hero's motivations. Create as many ideas as possible before you start writing. This will give you a direction and make it easier for you to tell your hero's story.
Step 2. Develop traits that make your hero likeable
A good hero is not simply someone with extraordinary abilities, but someone people look up to and want to have as a friend. Think about the things that make your hero likeable and how you can incorporate those traits into your story.
- For example, your hero may be the son of a blacksmith who is proficient in sword fighting, but is incredibly humble about his skills and doesn't want to compete.
- Your hero can also be a beautiful young princess who prefers to wear blue jean over party dresses and is not over the top when it comes to working with her own staff in difficult or crisis times.
Step 3. Assign some flaws to your hero to make him more believable
Not only will a perfect hero not be as likable, but readers will have a harder time relating to him. Therefore, it is important that you assign some defects to it. Keep in mind that it must appear human, even if it is immortal, like a god or a goddess. Think about what your hero's weaknesses might be and how you can incorporate them into your story.
For example, your hero may be clumsy, naive, temperamental, or impatient
tip: Avoid assigning defects that make him look evil. For example, don't represent your flaws by making fun of other people or being physically abusive to another person. This will make you look more like a villain than a hero.
Step 4. Identify how long you will learn from their experiences
Demonstrating your growth is an essential part of writing a hero's story. Think about the changes you have to make to overcome your greatest obstacle or to achieve the goal of your search. Having this information in advance will help you plan your story and provide your hero with opportunities to develop the skills necessary to be successful.
For example, your hero may need to trust himself more and overcome his fear of public speaking. To provide you with practice, you may have a few opportunities where you will need to capture the attention of a small crowd or a room full of people. This can increase when you reach a scene where you have to speak in front of thousands of people to achieve your goal
Method 2 of 2: Organize the Hero's Journey
Step 1. Introduce your hero's normal world
As far as his world is from the readers' world, it is still the normal world for your hero. Write the place where you live and show it during your normal daily activities in that world. Explain the roles and responsibilities and a typical day for your hero.
For example, the normal world in Toy Story is Andy's room where the toys are alone and come to life. Woody is Andy's toy when he wants to play with him, and Woody also leads toy gatherings when Andy is not around
tip- You don't need to include all the Hero's Journey components to create a solid story, and you can also incorporate the elements in a different order, if it makes sense based on your story.
Step 2. Include an initial conflict or a call to adventure
This is the first problem that your hero will face. It may not be deadly, but it will still be a problem for your hero. Describe how conflict arises and show how your hero responds to it. This is a good opportunity to show some of the nice features and their flaws.
The conflict or call to adventure in Toy Story occurs when Woody is replaced by Buzz Lightyear. Woody feels rejected and his obvious hurt feelings make him more likable, but he is also very jealous of the attention Buzz receives. His jealousy is one of his flaws
Step 3. Show that your hero is hesitant to start the adventure
After writing the adventure or conflict that your hero must face, show your rejection or denial. You can convey it through your hero refusing to go on an adventure, or it could be another type of denial, such as ignoring his feelings or rejecting the truth of something. Your hero might cite practical reasons for rejecting the call to adventure, but will often do so out of fear.
In Toy Story, Woody refuses to answer the call to adventure by not accepting that Buzz is Andy's new favorite toy. She denies her own feelings and her jealousy towards Buzz. His fear of not being his favorite toy anymore is what leads him to deny the facts as they are
Step 4. Assign a mentor or guide to your hero
When your hero finally begins to accept that he may have to go on the adventure, he will need someone to guide him. Usually your mentor will be someone with much more experience. However, it can also be a partner who has a different skill set and someone you can learn from.
- In Toy Story, Woody's mentor is Buzz. As much as Buzzy is new to Woody's world, he has different abilities. Woody learns new things from Buzz while they are in the outside world.
- Another good example of a hero's guidance or mentor is Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi, who teaches Luke how to be a Jedi so he can go on his own adventure.
Step 5. Describe the hero crossing a point of no return
This is also known as "crossing the threshold." At this point in the story, the hero must go on an adventure to prevent something terrible from happening, or because he has no alternative. Explain what happens to your hero or someone in his world that forces him to search.
For example, in Toy Story, Woody is forced to go on an adventure after Buzz falls out of the window. The moment he crosses the threshold is when Buzz falls out of the window and then Woody finds him in the car
Step 6. Have your hero face trials, allies and enemies
Your hero needs to go through some trials to grow. Bringing in new allies or enemies will provide you with assistance and stamina as you strive to reach your ultimate goal. Think about how you can integrate trials, allies, and enemies into the hero's journey to move the story forward and make it more interesting.
For example, in Toy Story, Woody and Buzz go through a trial when they have to work together to find Andy in an arcade. There, they also make some new friends, like the aliens from the toy catching machine. They also face an enemy: Sid, the boy next door who tortures toys
Step 7. Show how your hero approaches a special world or the heart of the story
As the story progresses, your hero will get closer and closer to his goal. It shows how you envision your goal and the things that still stand in your way. These obstacles can be external, such as an enemy or a difficult task, or they can be internal, such as overcoming your pride to ask for help.
For example, in Toy Story, Woody and Buzz end up in Sid's room, and Woody can see his house from where he is. However, the other toys are wary of him and he can't go home until he lets go of jealousy and works with Buzz to get back
Step 8. Give your hero the greatest challenge
At this point in history, your hero must face the greatest challenge of his journey. This can be defeating a powerful enemy or obtaining a special item. Describe what your hero must do to overcome this challenge.
- This is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the growth of your hero throughout the adventure. For example, your hero may demonstrate a skill that his mentor has tried to teach him, but has not been able to master up to this point.
- In the Toy Story example, Woody's biggest challenge is working with Buzz and the rest of the toys in Sid's room to stop Sid from further hurting them. They come up with a plan together and work as a team to scare Sid.
Step 9. Allow your hero to obtain the object of his quest
After you have overcome your biggest challenge, you can get the item (or items) from your quest. This can be something physical (like a magic key or sword) or symbolic (like gaining the respect of an important person in your life or earning a significant title).
For example, in Toy Story, Woody and Buzz escape from Sid's house, and Woody overcomes his jealousy for Buzz. They develop a strong friendship as a result of their adventures
Step 10. Allow your hero to return home, but with a final test
While your hero has overcome the biggest obstacle in history, you can also include one more test that he must pass. This will allow you to emphasize his growth throughout the story and provide closure with something he has struggled to achieve in the background of the plot.
For example, in Toy Story, Woody's final test is when he must trust Buzz and accept his help to get back to Andy. Buzz uses his special abilities to help him get into the car, and Woody shows that he is no longer jealous of Buzz. He is delighted with him and gladly accepts his help
Step 11. Show how your hero changes after his experiences
Your hero could go through a symbolic or real death as a result of his or her ordeal, and he will also have to go through a resurrection. This will be the moment when you show that your hero has changed as a result of where he has been and what he has done.
- For example, Woody praises Buzz, rather than mocking, showing that he has grown since the beginning of the story, when he was jealous of Buzz and looking to fight him.
- In some stories, like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the hero dies temporarily. Harry Potter dies, has a vision or visits a place between life and death, and then resurrects with new strength to defeat Lord Voldemort.
Step 12. Take your hero home with his quest completed
After he completes his final task, he describes his new normal world. This may seem a lot like the beginning of the story, but with a small but noticeable improvement that your hero has created through a successful adventure.