Writing a Hero – What is It About the Hero That You Would Like to Read About?
There are many definitions for what makes a hero. Each one has something to do with the hero’s abilities, attributes, and successions in life. For some, it may be that they have the innate good sense to see things clearly or they might have a strong sense of right and wrong. Others may simply be born winners thus being naturally destined to be heroes. Still others, may have felt underdogs or had to endure hardships in life, thus making them capable of greatness in a different way but still possessing the hope to rise above it and strive on to be the best.
A hero is simply a real individual or perhaps a main fictional character who undertakes deeds of heroism, sometimes through acts of courage, sometimes through the accumulation of uncommon qualities, and at other times through the recognition of painful truth. As such, hero can mean different things to different people. In general, however, hero is often referred to as the personification of goodness and virtue. Like other previously only gender-specific terms, hero can be used to describe any gender, although hero only specifically refers to women.
Just as there are numerous heroes throughout the course of history, so there are many ways to identify and describe each hero. Just as “a hero is somebody who struggles with what is wrong,” so too there are several kinds of heroes. One way to categorize heroes is by identifying their relationships with God. Through their interaction with the divine, their act of heroism is seen as an extension of God’s will, as if God were actually fighting alongside them. This idea has been a significant part of popular culture ever since the days of classical Greece and Rome.
Through the ages, heroic imagination has been increasingly used in literature to explore and depict aspects of the world and its many facets. For example, William Shakespeare wrote most of the plays that have become major motion pictures and stories throughout the centuries. Though he was a playwright and author, his hero was predominately a beloved and respected character.
Modern day writers such as Keats, Chesterton, Hemingway, and others have also created works that showcase real life heroes and other great characters. Despite this, modern day literature and Hollywood movies continue to show the continuation of the mythic structure within our heroic imagination. Most of all, real life heroes and characters remain appealing because they represent the ability of human beings to overcome hardships and triumph over evil. And perhaps no element better encapsulates these qualities than the heroic spirit or the heroic mindset.
The key element of heroic imagination is the ability to create a character that is uniquely you. Real life heroes are not created by some external source (such as gods or humans) but are uniquely you. If you want to write a hero character, do so as if you would like to write a true hero. After all, you are the one who knows what it is like to feel heroic, even if it is only in your imagination.