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H is for Hero

H is for Hero
This entry is part 8 of 26 in the series A to Z 2014

You don’t have to love or even like him, but you have to care about what happens to him.

The hero, or heroine, doesn’t have to be the guy in the white hat (and white teeth). He might be the guy in the black hat (and missing teeth). You just need to want to know how he fares, how he thinks, and what’s going to happen to him. If you don’t care, then he’s not the hero, he’s just a character.

I’m going to copy straight from John Muldoon’s excellent comment from yesterday’s G is for Gradual where he expertly defines what he likes to see in a character and we can then translate into what we need from our hero:

I like to see a character struggle, and maybe not get what they want. Or at least not get what they want in the way they’d hoped. I want to see characters make hard decisions, and have those decisions not always work out like they expect. I like making characters who have to grown and change in order to get what they want. I like it when things don’t go according to plan, and someone has to come up with a new plan and learn new things and change who they are in order to reach that final destination I imagined with my architect’s pencil.

In a way, the hero of a story is someone you’d want as a friend or maybe he even is your friend (if only between the pages of the book). You care about him, you want him to succeed, to progress, to grow, to learn, and you want to experience it all right there with him.

My hero is someone who can do things that are difficult for me (e.g. painting).

My hero is someone who can do things that are difficult for me (e.g. painting).


Series Navigation<< G is for GradualI is for Inspiration >>

About The Author


I don't like to call them excuses. They're priorities. With a handful of exceptions, we usually have a choice in our actions. They just need to be prioritized.


  1. Vikki Thompson

    Great post! 🙂 Good luck with the rest of the challenge x

  2. Tina DC Hayes

    Nice post about heros. 🙂 It’s fun to have a main character with flaws as well, and I totally agree that no matter what, the reader has to care what happens to him.

    • Bradley

      I think the hero probably has to have flaws, otherwise they’re just too perfect and who likes that! Well, I guess it’s nice to aspire to, but I’m not going to like the perfect hero! 🙂

  3. Reflex Reactions

    Hi Bradley, I bookmarked your G post after reading Johns comment yesterday. Definitely will help turn a character into a hero.

    • Bradley

      It was an excellent comment. How often does a comment turn into (part of) a new post? Great stuff.

  4. Sonia Lal

    Yes, this is everything you want in a hero. Great post!

  5. Marcy

    very helpful thoughts and suggestions. I’ll be wanting to refer back to this one.

  6. Veronica Sicoe

    Or, how Chuck Wendig put it, you don’t have to love or even like the protagonist. You only have to be curious enough to spend some time in his company.

    • Bradley

      Love it, thanks for sharing, Veronica!


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