And we’re back with another installation in this mini-writing help series!
May I present one of the most common character tropes in writing: The Hero
They’re the protagonist. Almost always right, are friends with all the good guys, and a perfect person with little flaws. Usually have good skill sets (though they’re usually general skills unlike special ones as in the case of The Chosen One trope). They are the leader, well-balanced with everything and everyone, and will be on the forefront of every challenge, winning all their battles at some time or another.
Get the picture?
Think of the standard main character in most stories, but especially high fantasy. The Hero is a trope that is not only the most common, but is also one of the oldest to ever exist. Examples in the past include Beowulf, King Arthur, and so many others.
Now, what’s the big deal with them? Clearly it’s a good trope because it’s been in use for so long.
The problem with it is that so many people use it wrongly in the sense that the hero is too perfect and/or completely boring.
Similar to Mary Sues, the Hero can be done so well that they’re unrelatable to the reader because they’re so perfect and gifted and therefore boring to read. If you’re going for the Hero character, you need to give him/her believable flaws that add to his/her personality and characterization. Make them have realistic struggles. Make them fail and learn from their mistakes. Make them grow. Sure, have them defy certain laws if it’s going to help your story and make it more interesting. Have them do the unbelivable. But make sure it helps and adds to your story’s depth. Make sure that it makes sense in light of context and character.
The Hero is very similar to The Chosen One that we talked about a few weeks ago, but with one main difference. Instead of being a special dude/dudet that has a special prophecy about them or whatever, the Hero has kinda the same role, but without those special markings. They’re generally rather ordinary, but do extraordinary things. Make sense?
So should we continue to use the Hero in our writing?
I honestly don’t see why not. After all, it’s really popular. If done well, they’re fun to read about. Just make sure they’re not boring, but interesting characters that help add to the story’s depth. Make sure it flows and fits. And if you pull it off, it’ll be epic. 🙂
Next post will be on the Secret Princess Trope.
If you’ve missed the previous installations in this mini-writing series, here are the links to them:
Song of the week is Don’t Leave Me Alone by David Guetta and Anne-Marie. I was at dance camp for the majority of this week and one of the many things we learned was FusionFighters style of treble reel and we did it to this song. It’s been stuck in my head ever since and I’m still not tired of it.
Review of the week is Magic’s Minister by my friend, Vanna Grace.
A Bit About the Author:
Ellowyne is a fellow Christian homeschooler-now-college student who enjoys reading and writing epic fantasies. She also loves book review blogs and a well-written romance. Plus she’s fun to talk to about writing. 😉
Pretty unique. Honestly the only title I’ve heard that’s like that. Short and simple. And rolls easily off the tongue.
Epic. I do think, though, that the r at the end of Minister could be a normal size like the rest because it looks odd. And the title font could be brighter. But other than that, it’s amazing.
Probably one of the very few blurbs on Wattpad I like. I personally think that the part about the cynical mage could be cut as it’s not necessary, but the rest is perfect, especially that last line. I love it. Excellent work!
The biggest thing that stood out to me in this story was your characters. My greatest struggle in writing is characterization and so I often pay attention to people who write characters well to learn from it. You did such an amazing job developing well-rounded characters that not only broke clichés, but stood out easily and each had vibrant personalities. They all were a joy to read, even Tyrinn. Sedgewich was so much fun. XD I laughed and face palmed alike at the things he said and did. (Sorry, guys, I’m trying my best to not have spoilers.) Feyla was a very likeable character as well and many times I wanted to bash Sedgy over the head because of his stupidity where she was concerned for half of the book.
The plot also, was very well done. The romance, well, that was predictable, haha, but the rest of it really surprised me. I’m not sure how exactly how I expected the book to go now that I’ve finished it, but it was not the way you had it. Every time I thought I could predict what would happen next, you did something and I was left behind with a “wut” before rushing to catch up. Excellent work on that one as well.
Your descriptions were also very fun to read and I enjoyed being able to easily picture characters and settings in my mind. The whole magic system, as well, was mind-blowingly genius. Absolutely loved the way you created that!
Grammar. Wasn’t too big of an issue, mostly just commas here and there that needed to be fixed and a few places where punctuation was outside the quotation marks. I believe I marked those in comments–as well as uneven phrases.
World-building. You did a very good job with this, but because I’m picky, I’m going a bit more in detail about issues I had with it. There wasn’t enough to really create the world. Like I mentioned above, your descriptions of the Northlands and stuff as well as the magic system, were very well-done. Everything else just felt rather empty. I’d like to see more descriptions of the different areas of your world and how they all correspond to one another. I’d also like to see what the normal people do who don’t have magic. Just small things like that would add so much more depth to your story.
Pacing. Again, your pacing was excellent, but the romance felt to me like it built up way too fast. Might just be me, but I’d like to get to know Sedgewick and Feyla a little bit more as just fellow workers before the romance all kicks in. (I love a good romance story, believe me, just not this much that fast.)
What the Reader Thought:
I’ve tried to read this book in the past, but for a variety of reasons, I never ended up reading further than chapter five. It wasn’t because of bad writing or anything (which you don’t have), but because of time restraints and because I was usually reading it for a contest. However, thanks to my contest, I got a head start on finally attacking this and reading the whole thing.
Absolutely loved this book. I’m not a huge fan of “magic” stories, but this was an excellent work and I really enjoyed it.
My biggest issue was the fact you have this as a fantasy book when to me it felt like it belongs in the romance genre. Why? Well, because romance seemed to me to be the bigger element of your story than fantasy. The relationship between Sedgewick and Feyla seemed to have more importance than the fact that Sedgewick lost his magic. Again, this just might be me, but that’s my biggest critique. If you’re going to have the romance that early in the story, then have it as a romance story in a fantasy world because to me, that’s clearly what it was.
Overall, this was a lot of fun to read. I really really loved it and I can’t wait to get started on the sequel and the short stories in this universe. Amazing work for this being your first novel. Honestly. It’s so much better than the first draft of my first original novel. XD Congratulations again on being my 6th winner in my bookshelf contest and I can’t wait to read more of your work!
See you all next week!