1. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    How do you keep a Hero Fresh

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by TwinPanther13, Jul 2, 2008.

    I try to write heros with issues but that is becoming almost common place. and I hate heroes who are goody goody. Can a hero be a womanizing drunken killer, could he be an inteligent idiot? I have characters like that I write but i would love to know what other type of non-stereotypical heroes people have ideas for
     
  2. TheFedoraPirate
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    TheFedoraPirate Contributing Member

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    Well, my current hero is a coward who would do anything to anyone to avoid dying.

    But I'm actually not sure 'hero' is the word for him so much as 'protagonist'. He's just the guy the story follows. 'Heros' have to have some sort of 'heroic' quality ... protagonists don't. Or that's the way I see it.
     
  3. Sandy Banks
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    Sandy Banks Member

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    I had an idea about a hero character who works in a factory late 50's industrial Britain. It is just the beginning of consumer culture and whilst this character is a part of consumer culture as much as anyone else he also see's through it and wishes for a simple rural existance. He goes about his time working, drinking, and womanizing in this gritty urban consumer world, hoping, but incabable of implementing, an escape from it all. In the end he finds love and his angry young man emotions subside a little. He finds escape and spirtual enlightenment from love and it is love that trancends consumer culture.
     
  4. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    My main character is a 15-year old squire with no real talent. He is afraid of fighting, and people in general. He has no real skill in fighting at all, except for a mysterious spirit that has followed him for four years. It can possess his body and give him great strength, but everytime it possesses him, it holds on to control a little longer.

    I hope that's not very cliche.

    Just try giving the hero flaws equal to their talents.
     
  5. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I find that traditional folklore has a very interesting concept of what makes a "hero." Take for example what are known as "culture heroes" or trickster figures. These are beings who are usually clever, witty, fast thinking, innovative, introspective, generous, compassionate, powerful, etc....but on the other hand they're also cowardly, selfish, stubborn, dimwitted, foolish, ignorant, cruel, greedy, jealous, etc. All in the same character. The interesting thing is, none of these things contradict each other--that's just how they are, according to the situation.

    The same being who gives fire to the human race also introduces death into the world, for example. Or the same being who singlehandedly vanquishes a great monster and re-creates the world after its destruction is probably the very person who caused the destruction in the first place when he grew too cocky and insulted the monster just for the fun of it. He comes up with innovative ways to preserve and store food, perhaps, but in the wintertime he's too lazy and cold to go hunt for himself and resorts to begging. He'll go to the ends of the earth to fight for others, but when it comes to himself or his own family, he's a deadbeat. Things like that.

    You might want to look into North American Indian trickster/culture heroes for some good ideas on unconventional heroes.
     
  6. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    I like heroes that have something to atone for that they can never undo. Even though they know this they are stubbornly trying to make up for past mistakes to ease the pain as much as possible. is that pretty cliche or unique cause i have not read to many stories with characters that never redemm themselves in there own eyes or others eyes
     
  7. InkDancer
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    InkDancer Senior Member

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    If they can never atone, their character can never progress, and a character who stays static gets boring quickly. I'd be much more interested to read the story of how they committed that act in the first place, came to understand it was wrong, and began to try to atone. That's a character arc that can really go somewhere.
     
  8. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    I disagree he progresses as a character because he is constantly seeking redemption that shall never come. To me its like dangling a carrot in front of a horse. The character senses redemption is close but can never figure out how to obtain it so is constantly moving forward toward that ultimate goal
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The lack of movement is what makes a character static.
     
  10. Incroyablepurple
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    Incroyablepurple New Member

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    I'm not really an avid reader, but if you read some books you'll find unusual and unique protagonists that can be of some service in drawing ideas.
     
  11. Acglaphotis
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    Acglaphotis Contributing Member

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    Was that a pun? :D

    I got another:

    The triboelectric effect from shoes rubbing a carpet is what makes a character static.

    To the op: I try to keep my protagonists fresh by making them psychopathic, eccentric and the like. Or by making them the unlikely hero, such as an assassin hired to kidnap certain hostages but falls in love with one of them and is manipulated by his new love to kill his past employer, only to leave him after he does and turning him in to the local authorities. Now, this hero wants to inflict his vengeance on to his past love, and finds out she/he is the owner of an equally big and dangerous group as his past employer, which leads people to root for him, for they think he is doing it because that is the right thing to do. (I think i overextended myself :p) Just try to find qualities unlikely in heroes, and see if they fit your need.
     
  12. B-Gas
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    B-Gas Contributing Member

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    Here's an idea- make a truly good character. There hasn't been a convincing knight in shining armour for years. Make him good without being goody-two-shoes, wise without being a wiseass, kind without being a bleeding heart, caring without being a lovebird... make him a careful, restrained but pure-of-heart good guy.

    I gurantee, there will be some chink in his armour immediately.
     

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