Top 10 Tips to Create a Lovable Hero and Heroine in Your Story
Lovable heroes and heroines don't just happen; all that lovable-ness is carefully engineered by the author. Readers love and read their favorite characters for many reasons. Writing is subjective, and so is reading. What one reader finds lovable may do absolutely nothing for another reader.
Finding enough common ground for that elusive lovable factor is unique to each story and set of characters in the cast. You won't be able to make every reader love each and every one of your characters equally, but you can better your chances of creating lovable, memorable heroes and heroines. In the series A Song of Ice and Fire, the reader gets a chance to know and understand characters better by seeing that character's viewpoint on a by-chapter basis. In this manner the reader can learn to love a character they previously loathed.
But don't force a character into a role he or she simply isn't meant to fit into. Keep these top 10 factors in mind when creating characters.
1. Relatable Factor
Your reader must be able to relate to your character on some level. They need not like them as a person, but they need to understand what drives them or be able to empathize with their goals or situation.
2. Emotionally Invested
Your hero or heroine must be emotionally invested in what they're doing. Even if the character does not care initially, they must want to see the trial through, even if it's just to get back home. Dorothy from Kansas and Bilbo Baggins both wanted to go home, but had to go through trials, even reluctantly, first.
3. Proactive and Doers
Heroes and heroines who jump in and make things happen are more exciting to read. With tragedy, however, letting the world fall in around them can also work in an angst-filled character, such as Prince Hamlet, but this is more engaging to read in tragic stories.
Give your character fire and attitude to meet the challenges head-on. They'll need this to get them through the obstacles you arrange for them. This doesn't mean they're in denial of the magnitude of the daunting tasks, but they need not be irritatingly optimistic.
Draw readers to your character with qualities that adhere them emotionally to the hero or heroine. Find and magnify points in your character that make readers empathize, sympathize, or understand on a deep level what your character is going through.
6. Beckoning Qualities
If not irresistibly handsome or beautiful, include other beckoning qualities in your character to make the reader come hither, to keep reading. You might not want to meet your dangerous hero in a dark alley, but you want to read about him on every page.
Humor is a welcome attribute in your hero or heroine. Have them laugh at themselves or their situations. Use a bit of humor to off-set tense emotions and conflict. Too somber of a tone to the story for too long can get tedious.
8. Strong and Stable
Although the bad-boy image is still alive and prominent in romance novels, a strong and stable hero is still dominant. Standing strong in the face of insurmountable odds and showing stability in the storm are still qualities that draw readers.
Faults make characters lovable, approachable, more tangible. Let heroes and heroines make mistakes, bad decisions, let them fail. This will also give you the chance to write in some character development.
10. Less than Stellar Material
Even heroes can have a moment of running away from their destiny, or maybe they complain. The chosen one may not want to be chosen. Whining "Why me?" wouldn't have slain Goliath. Let them whine, throw a tantrum, and then show them digging in their heels and getting the job done.
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