Aspiring screenwriters must accustom themselves to looking everywhere for inspiration when it comes to developing a believable story arc for their hero. What are the qualities that make a hero heroic, and how can you create a persona that takes on a life of its own beyond the story itself?
The yearly over-the-top observation of St. Patrick’s Day shows what can happen with strong hero development. Even though St. Patrick himself lived about 1600 years ago, his story still resonates with followers and believers to this very day. The basics of his story, from his birth in Britain to wealthy parents, his kidnapping at the age of 16 by Irish raiders, his personal conversion to Christianity, and his eventual devotion to the Irish people, are all well-known. But what was it about his story that transcends time and culture, fostering world-wide love and adoration?
The answer is that he touched peoples’ hearts, and that is what the successful screenwriter must also accomplish with his hero. My book, The Story Solution: 23 Actions All Great Heroes Must Take, provides insights on how to construct an emotional experience that leads readers to discover for themselves the real merit of our unspoken, subtextual themes. In order to be effective, all stories must impart emotion.
The most crucial job when beginning a story is to introduce the lead in a way that fosters immediate character sympathy. An actual recipe exists, a list of nine ingredients that elicit sympathetic responses when connecting readers to your lead. The more of these nine character attributes you include, the more emotionally effective your story becomes:
- Unfair Injury
- In Danger
How many of these attributes were exhibited by St. Patrick, and how many are shown in the characters you are developing? If your character has less than six of these attributes, your story may be in danger. There are other qualities of character that can help create a hero an audience will want to root for, but these are the never-to-be-ignored basic nine. Use them liberally.
To help you understand more about creating heroic characters, I invite you to download a sample chapter from my book or visit Amazon.com for a look inside at some of the chapters and initial pages. The “23 Steps All Great Heroes Must Take” is an easy to understand paradigm that supports writers and filmmakers with the interconnecting, powerful storytelling elements they need. Use my revolutionary Hero Goal Sequences blueprint for writing blockbuster movies.
Here are some videos that will help you avoid writer’s block.
- Toni Morrison talks about her motivation for writing
- Get Results!The best motivation compilation video of 2013
- Motivational quotes from the GREATS on preparation
- Will Smith shares his secrets of success
Thanks for your support of the book, god luck and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Eric Edson and Staff
About The Story Solution: The Story Solution was written by accomplished screenwriter Eric Edson. It reveals the 23 actions used to create dynamic, three dimensional heroes and link all parts of a captivating screenplay. He also covers screenwriting tips, screenwriting resources, and screenwriting books. Visit the website and Facebook page for more screenwriting tips and resources.