Friday, October 21, 2011
Tis a Writer's life for me. Creating a hero!
But let's backtrack a bit and start with the hero. How do I create a hero for the book?
First I have to decide on a theme for the book, some moral or lesson I want to express through the story, something the reader can take away, something that might resonate with them and bring them closer to God. I decide this through much prayer and searching of the Scriptures to see what God would have me write about. It could be forgiveness, obedience, destiny, loving others, humility.. you get the picture. Then and only then do I begin to create characters.
You see it is through the characters that this theme will be expressed. It is through their lives and struggles and the things they learn that my message (or the message God gives me) becomes real for the reader. To start with, I create a hero and heroine. If I wasn't writing a romance, I wouldn't need both of them but romance demands a couple! I must create a heroine and hero who are basically good people but they are flawed. (Like most of us!) But I need to create flaws in both of them that can be used to forward the theme. For example if my theme if forgiveness, I need to create a hero who has a problem with forgiveness. It's not always that simple but you get the picture.
In Forsaken Dreams, the hero, Colonel Grant Wallace, has lost his entire family in the war, including his younger brother whom he encouraged to join the effort. Consequently, Grant is bitter and angry and filled with hate for the Yankees. He isn't sure there is even a God anymore, and all he wants to do is escape to a place where he can forget.
Next I choose a personality for my hero. There are many personality charts you can use for this. I use serveral but I like 45 Master Characters by Victoria Schmidt. From the personality or personalities that I choose, these charts give me a list of qualities the person has. I use some of them and add my own to form the person I have in mind.
Last but not least, I go looking for a picture of the man I have created. That puts the final seal on my new guy. He's not just a fragment of my imagination anymore. He's as real as if he were sitting right next to me!
Seems more complicated than you probably thought, huh? Tune in next week when I'll write about how I choose a heroine to compliment my new hero.