October 7, 2020

Protagonists Are Heroes

 Susan Reichert       

The dictionary defines a hero as a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. With this definition we can visualize hero’s (on screen) Batman, Robin Hood, Superman and Captain America to mention just a few. Kids idealized them on screen, and even adults evidently since Superman's Action Comics No. 1 sells for record $3.2 million on eBay, August 2014.

Of course In the movies we see men and women who are portrayed as ordinary people whom we feel are heroes based on what they do such as George Bailey (James Stewart) - It's A Wonderful Life ; Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) - To Kill A Mockingbird; Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) - Schindler's List; Norma Rae Webster (Sally Field) - Norma Rae; Father Edward J. Flanagan (Spencer Tracy) - Boys Town.

In writing heroes for our novels, we need to come to terms with what our definition is for a hero. A hero is an ordinary man or woman when presented with difficulties, misfortunes, and danger. They combat these through summoning their courage, strength, and using ingenuity to eliminate, contain or reduce these adversities.

Sometimes these men and women experience life-changing events that results in changing their lives.

The thing for a writer is to remember the story is a journey for the man or woman who becomes a hero. There are many kinds of heroes and we can find them in all genres.

Many of these heroes experience struggles, and we need to remember those struggles have an affect on their families and friends.

Creating the hero out of a normal character is like shining a light into a dark place. It brings the story to life. We all want to pull for a hero!

P.S. Hoffman said, “There are only three questions you must answer to flesh out your hero:
What does she want?
What will she do for it?
How will she change over the course of your story?

“That's it. That's all that your readers actually care about.”

For more from P.S. Hoffman visit:

Susan Reichert, retired Editor-in-Chief of Southern Writers Magazine, President of Southern Author Services, Editor of Suite T. President of Collierville Christian Writers Group (CCWriters Group).

She is the author of Storms in Life and God's Prayer Power. Susan and her family live in Tennessee.

Contact Susan: ;




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