The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 76 – Top 10 Traits of a Great Hero
What traits make a great hero? One that will linger in your reader's minds and hearts far after they close the book? Well, get ready for a raucous discussion that breaks down into a bit of a competition between Autumn and Jesper as they debate and compare what characteristics they think goes into the making of a memorable hero!
The 5 Day Writing Challenge Supercharge Your Scene hosted by the awesome J. Thorn that is mentioned in the episode is available for free sign-up at https://theauthorsuccessmastermind.com?aff=Am_Writing_Fantasy (this is an affiliate link and if you do signup for the paid mastermind group, we will receive a small percentage.)
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Read the full transcript below. (Please note that it's automatically generated and while the AI is super cool, it isn't perfect. There may be misspellings or incorrect words on occasion).
You're listening to The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast in today's publishing landscape. You can reach fans all over the world. Query letters are a thing of the past. You don't even need an literary agent. There is nothing standing in the way of making a living from Writing. Join two best selling authors who have self published more than 20 books between them now onto the show with your hosts. Autumn Birt and Jesper Schmidt.
Hello, I am Jesper
and I'm Autumn.
This is episode 76 of The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast and S authors. We want the reader to root for the protagonist because when the last page is turned, the reader needs to wish that it wasn't over. However, it can be mighty hard to understand how one should create a character who is likable competent, realistic. And well-rounded so Autumn, and I will try to share our thoughts on this topic today.
Autumn (1m 3s):
Yes. I've been looking forward to this topic all week. I emailed you earlier that every time I was thinking about it, I had Bonnie Tyler's. I need to Hero go in my head. Uh, so it's been quite a fun and I can't wait to get to it. It, it became almost like, um, felt like I was filling out a dating list form of the, my ideal mate's. I think we had an, I think we've came up with some interesting tips that I hope will help out other readers, but until we get there, how are things on your side of the great ocean Atlantic?
Jesper (1m 39s):
Well, it's pretty good. Um, they've slowly started starting to open things up now. So my youngest son is actually very happy because he's done it. He, he gets to go to soccer practice, uh, two days from now. Yes, he's quite a soccer player. Oh, he loves it. I think to be honest, I think that boy probably loves soccer. Modern, modern is that Oh wow. And your a referee. So that's amazing. Yeah, he likes it a lot. So, but it's funny. We will see how much she's going to enjoy the soccer practice, to be honest, because there's so many restrictions on it, uh, that they have to follow.
Jesper (2m 16s):
You know, they're only allowed to train in fixed groups and they can only do like specific set pieces and there's no matches and Oh, you cannot had the ball. You cannot like, you know, use your chest to, to stop the ball or any, I mean, there's just so many rules that they have to follow in order to be allowed to play. So, um, we'll see if he actually enjoys it or not. I don't know once he gets frustrated, I don't know. But, uh, but they did, they did write out all these, he an email with all these rules and then they basically asked all the parents, uh, you know, can you please let us know if you're even interested in this way of practicing on that?
Jesper (2m 57s):
And then I went to my youngest son and I said, so
Autumn (3m 0s):
This is how it's gonna work. And I sort of laid that out to him and a say, so do you want to, do you want to go to practice? If this is the way it's going to be? And he looked at me for a second, like, I could see like the cock Wilson. He said, Tony, like, what is he asking if he didn't it for a while? And he didn't comprehend what, why I was asking if you want it to go to practice. He was this. And he looks at me like for a while. And then he said, yes, by what do you mean the answer to any part of this involved in it boils down too.
Autumn (3m 32s):
I'm going to practice right now. Yeah. That was also almost like he was expecting me to say something else or something like, you know, what do you want about, what do you mean? What is the question here? Well, I hope he enjoys it. That's great that things are returning to some semblance of a new normal for you guys. Yeah. Well, we'll see. Right? Because now we've been in lockdown mode for what? For a long while now. And, um, once we start opening up again, obviously we don't know what the effect is going to be.
Autumn (4m 4s):
Right. In which case you could go back to lockdown, but I will see, we'll see how it goes. Well, fingers crossed. It will go. Well, your ahead of us. So your experimental country to see how you do, you're the Guinea pig, I guess, but how, how is things on your side? Oh, pretty good. I actually planted by a garden, which is a little, a little will be releasing this later. But for now it's, um, sort of earlier, before the official, last frost date of may, but I figured between climate change and the 10 day forecast, I'm good.
Autumn (4m 39s):
And plus, I mean, I live in this tiny cabin and I actually brought my tomato seedlings in some sweet pepper seedlings out to my cabin just to make room, you know, where they're growing. And I'm sorry, when your screw is sharing, like a 200 square feet with seedlings, a dog and a husband, something has got to go outside. So it was the seedlings. And what was fun is I was getting so impatient is waiting for someone to lend as a teller, but it wasn't coming. It was broken. I finally just Whit and actually hand Doug like a 10 by this baby.
Autumn (5m 12s):
It's an eight by 12 garden spot. Um, and well, I am not 20 anymore. I do not recommend hand digging in a garden, but a lot of energy out over a course of two days. And then the next day I planted my little garden and they're outside. They're doing well, they're surviving, nothing's eaten yet. And I actually harvested some lettuce from STEM stuff I had in cold frame. So I, as much as I did, 16 years, a sustainable agriculture, I, I actually joined CSA as I never really had time to garden.
Autumn (5m 43s):
And my mother has this huge green thumb. So this is my dad by both. My parents are master gardeners. I was, you know, like buying seedlings or buying vegetables from a farm. So now I'm like, I have a garden. It's kind of fun.
Jesper (5m 58s):
It's a lot of work, but it's fun. Yeah. It's people have very different views on God. I mean, I hate it. I like going out into the garden and I like to sit there in the summer, but I do not like to do any gardening work. And the problem is you can't have a garden without doing gardening work so that you need a lot more money to hire other gardeners on that. Remember, I did share with you, I had a dream where we lent someone $20 million for a startup costs for their business.
Jesper (6m 29s):
So yeah, it was like a, I don't know, maybe two years ago was something I did hire a gardener because I just felt like I am not going to do this. I don't, I don't like it. Um, and then, but I couldn't afford like gardening company to do it because then it's very expensive. Right. You have to pay them a monthly fee and all this. So I found this, uh, basically like it probably a retired guy, I think he's retired at least, but he sort of just had his own little company doing some gardening work and all that.
Jesper (7m 4s):
So I hired him and he was doing God and Wagner is like, so half the time he was doing a pretty good job half the time, it was not that good. And then I also had to constantly, uh, you know, okay, so we went like this. So at the beginning, when I hired him, I said, okay, so you can spend, I don't, I don't remember the actual money anymore. And now at the value of it, but it was something like six hours, six hours a month or something. I can't remember something like that. So I said, if there's something to do for six hours, you can just do it.
Jesper (7m 37s):
Uh, if there is less to do to, and of course you just do less and then I'll pay you, pay you every month, uh, up to a maximum of this amount of hours per month. And then I said, and I don't really want to go around my garden and figuring out what needs to be done and give you task lists and stuff. I rather, you just figured out just, you can see what needs to be done. Right. And you just do it. You don't need to check with me, you know, how many hours you can Spencer just do it. Right. And he was like, yeah, that's fine. And it ended up, like I had to go and check everything all the time and say, Well have you done this.
Jesper (8m 10s):
Could you do this? Can you do that? And it just annoyed me so much in the end that I just stopped it because it's like, this is not what I wanted. Right. I just want to pay somebody and they take care of it. And I don't even have to think about it. And that's not what he did that annoyed me at the end. Hopefully we'll get to a better gardener eventually. Who knows? Oh, we got on the internet with the Am Writing Fantasy Podcast so we have something pretty exciting to mention here.
Jesper (8m 42s):
Oh yeah. J Thorn a friend of our show, a fellow author, a certified story grid editor, and the host of several different podcasts. Actually he's offering some free help to anyone who feels they're, Scene just, isn't good enough. And maybe if you are struggling to understand what's wrong with your scenes, then he is going to help you out. Because as we've talked about so many times here on The Am Writing, Fantasy, Podcast Writing is a skill, so it can be learned.
Jesper (9m 16s):
And I am happy to vouch for J thorns a and say that he's a really good teacher. And he has worked with hundreds of authors on thousands of scenes. So he knows his stuff. And what he is offering is something he calls Supercharge Your Scene
Jesper (9m 48s):
You want to write and also how to frame it with a clear purpose and adding in character motivation. And then each stay throughout that week, he will post you a free lesson. Two, walk you through the process of writing and revising compelling scenes, right? This is like, it's a five day challenge. Isn't it? It is. Yes. So if basically he gives you a four, a five day Challenge and everybody who completes those five days will be automatically entered into a price pool drawing.
Jesper (10m 20s):
And there's going to be some really cool prices in there, including one of them being a free 30 minute, one on one consulting with J. I think that's pretty cool that as a really cool, also a mastermind tacked on the end of this free Challenge that's a pay paid mastermind, but there's no requirement for you to go and join the mastermind. Two, you can easily participate in the free challenge if that's all you want to do and just leave it at that. That's no problem at all.
Autumn (10m 49s):
Yes. I mean, I just did. I'm a AMS ads. Challenge a five day challenge with Brian Cohain and there is so much fun now. I mean, I'm totally addicted and we are going to have to do one. I actually forgot to tell you I've been working on a little outline for one for us, but there it's so much fun. You learn things. There's a community there's SUPPORT. So, I mean, I've not that worried about my scenes, but I'm tempted to go Join J to Join this one just because they are so much fun and there's always something to learn and it's so much fun to interact with other authors. So I hope you guys go check it out as well, because it'll be great.
Autumn (11m 23s):
And I'd love to see you there.
Jesper (11m 25s):
Yup. I add on, I will add a link in the show notes here so that you can just go straight from there and check it out. But of course, in full transparency, please know that it's an affiliate link just in case you do decide to join the mastermind afterwards. Then we will get very small kickback here on our side too. The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast, which is quite nice. And it helps us a little too. So anyway, this things live in a week
Autumn (11m 54s):
From the release of this Episode so hurry up and go and join us soon as you listen, if this is something that interests you. Yes. And I've been actually being a good girl and hanging out a little bit more of the Facebook group, which has been so much fun. There is so many post going on. So when shared a world map that reminded me of a West wing episode, which is totally dating me because it was, so that was a show that was on age as I go, but they had won that they changed the projection of a map and flipped it upside down.
Autumn (12m 30s):
And I just remember the one character going, I'm just trying to figure out where Francis'. So if you're we had a little map nerd fast and going on their, so that was a ton of fun. And recently a few people have been breaking down tropes. Like the most recent is, is what does an elf? I think the first one was What is a dragon. A Jason's been posting those. So shout out to some amazing folks who are on their, and the great conversations. And I'm sorry, I took a break, but it's so much fun to dive back into the Am Writing Fantasy Facebook group.
Autumn (13m 5s):
So you can just go to Facebook and Google Am Writing Fantasy and come join us because it is so much fun and everyone is so nice
Narrator (13m 14s):
And onto today's topic.
Autumn (13m 18s):
So there's lots and lots of well-intended tools and techniques out there to help the writer avoid generating a flat character. But we decided to come up with 10 Traits that makes for a Great protectionist. And we all know, yes, we did. It was like I said, I had so much fun thinking about it. Um, I didn't actually get to sit down to write it down to like think a day or so ago. But at that point, I think it took me all a five minutes because I'd been thinking about it. I always think of, ah, there's a story about Frank Lloyd Wright when he designed Fallingwater and the story goes that, you know, he would keep telling the clients who bought falling water that, Oh, I'm working on it, I'm working on it.
Autumn (13m 57s):
And he actually didn't draw all the design until they were on their way to his studio to pick it up. I totally get that. That is me. I totally think about these things over and over and over and over again, and then just write it down. It's perfect. Right. But I can't wait to share these because we both have 10 things. And like I said, it was hard. I wanted to come up with, I mean, I analyzed some of my favorite heroes from the books. I read the ones I've written and I really thought about this for a long time. Nice. Yeah. And I think the interesting part is as well that we on purpose decided not to share things with each other in advance.
Autumn (14m 35s):
So I'm going to be quite curious here to see how much overlap we have if we don't have any overlap on which Traits we find important and I'm not worried. I think at least 50% of the time we will have overlapped. They just might not be on the exact same order. We did order these as well. So it'll be really fun, but we do, we agree on so much and we're writing books together and plotting things. I think we kind of have some overlap on what we think are it makes up a good Hero yes, I think so too.
Autumn (15m 7s):
A I think, I think definitely we will agree on a different things here. I'm not sure that's going to be a 50% overlap, but let's see. Let's see how it goes. I think it's quite interesting, but I don't think there's going to be much that we disagree on the way. That's true. It's true. But let's see. Um, and I guess we should alternate to keep things interesting. You won at a time and a, and then maybe also at a bit of what it's about why we picked eats of the traits. That is probably a good idea. And maybe explain what we mean by it too.
Autumn (15m 38s):
So, alright. I am ready. And we're going to start at number 10 and work our way for the most important, um, yes, let's do that. Let's do that. Excellent. Alright. Do you want to go ahead or you want me to, no, go ahead. Alright. So number 10 on my list of important traits for a great Hero is empathetic. I think it's important for the Hero to feel for others. And this isn't just self absorbed. I cannot stay on reading stories where it's all about the character, his needs, and once, and he never thinks about anyone else who was with him or her know.
Autumn (16m 18s):
I think that that's a, that's a good one. It probably goes well with one of mine as well, but keep it on how much they will that we have here then, because I don't know. All right, well, we'll have to tell, okay. Go for it. Alright. So I will start out with, uh, with One that many, many authors just believed to be universal truth. And when that must be adhered too, at all costs, and that is being likable.
Autumn (16m 50s):
Oh yeah. But to be honest, I'm cheating a bit. It's all the way. I don't think there's going to be 50 if it's, I don't, because after all this is more like one that I'm almost saying that you try to avoid rather than it being a trade to use. Right. Um, and this requires a bit of explanation, doesn't it? Possibly, but I think, uh, I think I know what you're saying, but go for it. Alright.
Autumn (17m 20s):
So I just don't want people to be too concerned with K creating a likable character. Um, it's much more about making sure that the protagonist fits the role of being a protagonist because that there's, there's plenty of characters out there who aren't exactly likeable, but we still route for them. Um, I don't know. Have you seen the TV series black sails? Oh, I've started watching it until we lost our free subscription because of the coronavirus, but yes, like after the first series or the first season.
Autumn (17m 56s):
Very good. Yes.
Jesper (17m 57s):
I really liked black sails, but captain Flint, he's not exactly likable, you know, or you could say, and a can Skywalker Michael Corleone from the godfather. I mean these characters, they're not really, I mean, they do things that at times you would say that's not likable is still a very interesting and compelling characters. Right. So I guess my number 10 is sort of an anti number 10 and
Autumn (18m 26s):
I agree cause I have something very similar. I thought about a way of phrasing this, but I couldn't think I wasn't just trying to stay away from negative. So I have it worded slightly differently, but yes, I think we have overlap on this one too. Oh, okay. Okay. Well, yeah, it's just more like don't be too overly concerned with about, I have to create a likable character because as long as you give the character or the protagonist, a good reason to act the way he or she does, then it's going to be a good character. Yes. I agree.
Autumn (18m 57s):
And I actually have my version quite high on the list. So I'm not going to tell you what number though. Oh, okay. Alright. So it's very important to me. Very important to me. All right. So number nine on my list is I like a Hero who's protective. So it's sort of this person that's always got your back. Even if you are in the middle of a fight or a disagreement with each other there still going to be there to support you. So I kinda like that element that, you know, you, you trust this person, you can rely on them.
Autumn (19m 28s):
I like, Oh, Hero, The, who's reliable, I guess will be a good way to put it.
Jesper (19m 34s):
Yeah, I can see that, but that's a good one. All right. So my number nine, um, well we, we often find a beginning of a novel where the protagonist is showing, going through some kind of hardship. And I feel like a situation like that does elicit sympathy in the reader and sympathy is important too, to make sure that the read the field's sympathy for the character. But my number two is therefore kindness.
Jesper (20m 6s):
Oh, that's so funny. Yeah. Because of a character who for some reason are trying to help out others or out help an animal that always works wonders, but you know, kindness, even though you're going through hardship of your own that's that just works really, really well.
Autumn (20m 24s):
Yes. And I actually have the word kindness on my list. So we will see this one again. What do we get down lower or higher? Should we, yeah, we have probably about 50% already think we are. I think it's only, yeah, we were pretty much there. It's one out of one out of four, so that we'll see if you're going to be right there. It wasn't me, I'm keeping track of, so if you hear any typing, it's just making little notes to on which is which, which are yes, for sure. And if there's any overlap between us. So yeah.
Autumn (20m 54s):
Alright. Okay. So my number eight, I like a sense of humor of one of my characters. He is a total smartass, a captain, Jared RI is from my post-apocalyptic series. He cracks me up, he in the middle of an emergency situation that comes up with a smart ass response, but I also don't mind, you know, like a gentle, joking, just a kind hearted joking. And I have of course, a couple of heroes like that. So just those moments that make you laugh, even if you want to cry, even if you want to run screaming, I just like a character who has that kind of can laugh at themselves, can laugh at a situation that warms me up so much as a reader.
Autumn (21m 35s):
I'm just in love with the character instantly with that. Yeah. I like that. But I just find it really hard to write. I think that you have said that before.
Jesper (21m 44s):
Yeah. Writing humorous characters. I find that really difficult. I always feel like my own jokes are so lame, but a yeah. Okay. So what is it on number eight, number eight. Yours. Alright, so being honorable, that's an easy way to put a character in a positive light. Um, I'm not saying that you ha uh, the character has to be honorable all the time.
Jesper (22m 15s):
Uh, you know, I think throughout all my 10 Traits here is just, it's not that you have to do it for any of these four, all of your characters at all times, but they're going to pick from, um, so being honorable. Yeah. I liked that one.
Autumn (22m 31s):
I have something very similar. So I'm, I think there's a slight overlap. It's a different way of phrasing it on that one. So it'll be interesting. You'll you'll hear my take on it. Alright. So we're up to number seven, uh, intelligence. So this is a, I don't mean a CURO who's a genius, uh, but they have, should be able to be clever or they look at things differently and they can figure things out. So, and especially if you, like I said, so we can see things in a way that others don't.
Autumn (23m 1s):
So they just have a unique perspective, but they're definitely clever. I can't, you know, someone who's just dumb luck in that as dumb as a, an ORC or a something. I just, I don't know. I can't respect a character who makes me, if I'm shouting at a book every other page, what, why don't you see that? I rather be all going, Oh my God, I didn't even see that. So that's mine. Okay. All right. So some overlap. Yeah. I guess we'll see.
Jesper (23m 30s):
Um, okay. So my next one is being proactive.
Autumn (23m 35s):
Jesper (23m 38s):
This one is so, so, so important. And I, yeah, actually I know I just said a minute ago that these are more like things to pick from. And not
Autumn (23m 46s):
Every character always have to have it, but this one, I would say EVERY protectionist always, always, always have to be proactive. Every single one in every single story, you do not want to protect in the us to just react to what's happening in and somebody, you know, if somebody is coming they're and telling the person the age, well, you probably need to do this, this now. Then they go off and do it know you want them to be the ones taking action. The protagonist is the one taking initiative and you always want to do that.
Autumn (24m 17s):
So proactive. Yes. That was a good way. That's a good way of phrasing it. I have something very similar. So I would say there's some overlap on that one, but I didn't phrase that the same way. So I must be able to find one on my list that you don't have. I'm going to keep trying here. Let's see. Let me think. Um, yeah, we'll find something so far. It's maybe I'm stretching my thoughts on it, but will say, alright, so number is six in my list is kind, I don't mean The not the rescue puppies type of kind, but you know, that's fine too, if you want to do that with very Hero, but I mean, thoughtful someone who is we'll do something nice, just because it is a nice thing to do so.
Autumn (24m 56s):
Not every page or every chapter, but once or twice in a book doing an act at a sheer kindness, like leafing, a loaf of bread for a beggar girl, who's been shadowing her since she entered the city, uh, that will totally win my heart. And of course, then you have the bigger girl who wins the bigger girl's heart. And she goes on to save the Hero and later as well. So though, you know, it all works out in the end, but I do like, like that, it's sorta like you're likable. I actually think I was just about to say it's like it, I actually have something a little more similar to likable later, but, um, uh, but definitely kind and not, like I said, it doesn't have to be this overwhelming, you know, saintly kindness, but just every once in a while, just something that shows I've a very good heart.
Autumn (25m 40s):
It's a very nice, okay. All right. Are you ready for my next one? Maybe this one, you don't have one I'm waiting. Alright. So a sense of justice. Oh, we haven't done that yet. I'm not answering then that saying, Oh, okay. Well I think that this is a good trait to use, uh, when you want to show the reader, the protectionist sense of morale. So because it's not that we have to agree with the character and, and the character sense of justice, but it tells a lot about one's personality when you learn what a person perceives as right and wrong.
Autumn (26m 20s):
So that's why I think it's a good one. It was a very excellent one. You wouldn't know how excellent that one is so excellent that you have. That's the next one of my number five is sense of fairness, justice. Oh my God. It's so easy. And I wrote this, One think we have coordinated this stuff. We really, we did not share this at all. It's so funny that they're back to back. So this came from my husband once asked me the question.
Autumn (26m 50s):
If you were a God, what type of God would you be? I love that question. And I chose just, I would be adjust God. I really, I really like a sense of fairness. Um, I love cause and effect. If you do bad things, bad shite should happen to you. Even if you're Hero is the instrument to make the bad people stop doing bad things. So a character that can just let injustices slide just makes me want to shake them or a toss, the book or something. So yes, I totally am in agreement with you.
Autumn (27m 22s):
We have total overlap, but that is a question I'm going to have to ask you at sometime if you were a God, what type of God would you be knowing my chesting a bit about what I do like your answer though. And you're a selection. They about it as well. God of justice. I do like that one, but I would have to think a bit about it. I think I would need to see a list of a domain that think a bit about it. Yes. Because there's probably some choices that I can't think off on top of my head that, that I would like as well. Yeah. That's my husband's ass answer actually made me worry then like, Oh, I don't know if I can like you anymore.
Autumn (27m 59s):
The death wrathful I'm like shit of your personality. I don't want to know. Right. So you all are a number five. All right. So this is actually building off the one I had before, but also its an overlap with Monday the one's that you already said. So this one I have named resourcefulness. So this is more like if the character has a strong sense of justice, then he, or she will feel responsible and also have something that he or she wants to achieve.
Autumn (28m 38s):
And I think resourcefulness is a great trait because if there is something that many readers like, you know, we like when characters can find an ingenious way of solving a problem and that's very few different words, but basically the same thing you said earlier. Yes. That's very true. So that I framed it more as intelligent, but to see a way, way of solving things, we had the exact same kind of meeting underneath of it. That's funny. All right. So Well, you know, I don't think people are going to walk away with a list of 20 what they have different perspectives on some of the same words, I guess though.
Autumn (29m 15s):
That's fair enough. Alright. And this one is sort of similar to one of the one's that you mentioned. Uh, my number four I phrased is, um, you called it proactive, but I kind of called it when the going gets tough. They don't hesitate to dive in. So I like badass hero's that walk around withdrawn swords. And I like the ones that prefer never to fight as well. As long as when the going gets, he gets to that point where something must be done, they haul ass in and they go in and do it.
Autumn (29m 46s):
I like decisive character's that will, Oh, you know, stick to and go for their guns when the need is there. So they don't have to go around swashbuckling all the time. But again, when something needs to be taken care of their are the ones to go and do it and they do it and they don't let them, you know, they don't just sit around, twiddling their thumbs, waiting for someone else to fix their problems. Hmm. Yes. I can hear the way I set that, that day. I have something coming up. Probably almost exactly the same thing. Now, if you doesn't overlap this, why is this hilarious?
Autumn (30m 21s):
If you are a number For alright, so that this one is patients. Um, and to be honest, I do quite like impatient characters who just doesn't know how to behave themselves in a social context. I really do like that. But when I thought about it and when I was creating this list, I always also had to settle on the fact that I think as a protagonist, I think it gets tiring, right? What's quite well with an impatient character. If it's a side character, the main character, I feel like patients is a good thing.
Autumn (30m 55s):
Um, and of course patients can be expressed in many different ways. You know, we could be like, the person is just friendly to avoid a conflict or they use humor to diffuse an escalating situation or something like that. So it can mean different things. But, but I do think patients, that's a, that's a good thing. That is a good one. And I have to say you what now you finally have one. I don't think I have patients. I didn't even think about it. There you go. How do you have like totally that's different. So that's yes.
Autumn (31m 25s):
Awesome. All right. Stop making up the last three, just to find something we haven't, you know, just throw out something you don't even care about. Just really, I think they should be evil on the screen. That's not fair to our listeners. No. Okay. Fair enough. That they're probably laughing right now. This is not a competition. Right? My number is three. I wonder if you have anything similar. We're getting down to the nitty gritty now. So I like it when my Hero, it feels like a bit of an outsider.
Autumn (31m 58s):
They never fit in quite with a general populace. So I'm never rooting for, if you have a Hero that's the jock that everyone in this school envies and the girls are throwing themselves at his feet and we will also happens to be a superhero in disguise. I think I described it as barf wants to somebody. I like the nerd in the corner who has a few friends and also they have to happen to have the key to a multidimensional portal and they are always nice.
Autumn (32m 29s):
Yeah. They have the gumption to use it. And I also think, I think it just acknowledges the feeling that so many of the reader, so many of us have that were not a hundred percent because who is a hundred percent normal, what is normal? And so heroes like that kind of take that secret thing that everyone harbors inside of them and brings it out into the light and shows that this person is amazing and valued and unique and awesome. And so I liked that in my heroes when they also have that sense of, I just don't quite belong here and I'm going to find people who accept me for what I AM.
Autumn (33m 6s):
I like that one. But I think that that might be one more. That is not overlapping. Excellent. I think so. Alright.
Jesper (33m 15s):
Alright. But this one, okay, so this is going to sound very familiar. So I call this One resolve, but it's basically characters who are determined to fight to the end. And those are the one's that we love. Yes. So you just said it basically more or less a a moment ago. Right. But I mean, what if Frodo had given up halfway to Mount doom? Yeah. I mean, I wouldn't blame him to be honest, make for a good story.
Autumn (33m 46s):
No, no. The one where someone else has to, he gives it to his side. So this is on you. Yeah. I'm done with this. No, that's very true. So yes they follow through.
Jesper (33m 58s):
Yeah. I think that's a good one, but, but also I think it's fair enough. Sometimes if, if they're resolved also comes as a result of their side characters or the way they help her. Because I mean, if Sam had not been there, I'm not sure Frodo would have made it two month. That's true. That is very true. And that's killer as a shield. A great point for a why you have some of these side characters. Yeah. Yeah. All right. So final children,
Autumn (34m 22s):
A final two. We are almost there. So my number two is going to sound a little familiar. I like a Hero who is not perfect. I think flaws are important. Seriously. Sirius. They have to be not good at something, whether it's romance they're in denial about some, hang up a they're a loss for their place in the world. So I like surface flaws. Um, they're like, I don't know. I like food analogies.
Autumn (34m 54s):
If anyone read my Patriot on post, that was out recently. I like food analogy. So there, um, these falls are the seasoning and a good recipe and that just needs that little extra kick. So thats and I think I also, I, I have a kind of a toss up between, I also wanted to say that they were skilled, but not in everything. So that's sort of the same thing. They're just not perfect. They have talent, but it requires focus and work. They just not magically gifted with the kingdom. And there are God in their Demi God in a perfect, so that was my number two.
Autumn (35m 25s):
And I think from yours minor exclamations that we should probably believe out is that you have something similar and I was great. No,
Jesper (35m 34s):
I'm not going to comment on that. I refuse to comment. Nope, no further
Autumn (35m 38s):
Fine, fine Well but I thought that was a very similar to your number 10 where they don't have to be likable because that is sort of, sort of the same idea. They don't have to be a hundred percent perfect or like no comments. Okay. Well what's your number two then.
Jesper (35m 53s):
Alright, so, and I did not make this up just to be, try to find something that you don't have to assess this in my notes. So I don't know if you don't, I don't think you'll have this one because this is totally, you know, we had a strange, okay, this is like a joker I'm throwing in a joke. So this one, I just said, pick something the reader did not expect. And I don't know what that is, but, but the point here is just that once you have developed quite some Traits for your protagonist, you already have a good idea of what the character is already.
Jesper (36m 34s):
And then it's very easy to lead yourself down the path of tropes and just, yeah. And then I'll add this and all that, that, uh, because that goes with the, with the white Knight on the white horse or whatever. Right. Um, and I think throwing in one trait into the mix that people just didn't expect, I think that works really well. So I doubt you have that on your list.
Autumn (36m 59s):
Autumn (37m 31s):
And it was hilarious. And yes, it, if anyone has ever read it, it was the one where they're trying to an ogre and I'm sort of swashbuckling Hero. We were trying to fight and all of their roles to fight, roll poorly. So he ends up making a pass. They end up almost like kissing until he makes a pass, enrolls a 10 and they end up getting engaged. And that's how the war ends. And I just crack up whenever I read it. So definitely throw in, throw in the fun ones, but yeah, you in that one too. So that's to that.
Autumn (38m 2s):
I didn't, I didn't think about that one, but it's very true. And I totally agree because that's sort of what goes to my number one, but I don't have it phrased that way. And it wasn't what I was thinking when I said it. So you want to know my number one One is yeah. In a way I feel like it's cheating, but its because we just did this whole list and we just we've got over what 18 different things I want to see, not a list of 18 different things and tropes sorta what you just said.
Autumn (38m 33s):
I don't want to see this list of things that a character should be. I want someone who feels Real a fully developed character who has personality wants desires. Uh, it, it feels like someone who is not created just to fill a role in this story or to hit all the right buttons so that they know rescue puppies and also have a flaw and have to go learn something. And I want something that really feels like an authentic character in person, someone who's going to have has already been through it a thousand stories and it has another thousand to go through assuming they survived the one you're Writing yeah.
Autumn (39m 10s):
Yeah. I think that's a good one. Alright. And then I have to add up how many we had overlap. Yeah. This is probably the most important one of them all I already, yes. It almost pains me. I don't want to say it eventually. I know, but eventually we have to let other, you know, the listeners go back to their lives so they can go create an awesome Hero yeah.
Jesper (39m 39s):
A good protagonist needs floss. Exactly. What's it? Like I put it on number one and you had it on number two. It's just like it's again, Well a two way too close. Yeah. So of course, like you said, it's not a positive trait. A and I know that, but we just couldn't build a list like this without including floss, like you said as well. Yeah. I think that's impossible. A, we need to balance out the positive attributes and also yes, they also have the character arc and the growth, you know, the floss, his what makes the character arch and a growth seems impossible.
Jesper (40m 20s):
That's what we want. So it will make the read a question. Can this type of person even managed to succeed in whatever they're trying to do. And I think that's how legends are made.
Autumn (40m 32s):
Right. I agree. I definitely agree. It's what I like about characters and I think what makes them resinate with us. So it is so funny you that we had them, uh, we til we had two sets, so were back to back. I think we, I think that's why we did not have much, um, of a difficulty creating our Hero for the book we're working on together. Yeah. So you said 50% overlap and I said less than 50 and what did we have? Like 80 make them counting him up. So we had 20 total, um, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13 at a sweater.
Jesper (41m 15s):
So I think we got over 50%. Yes we did. You win. Okay. Well, well I think what can be concluded from these list is how character's they must be balanced. Yes. They need to be interesting enough.
Autumn (41m 34s):
So that readers find the characters compelling yet. I think also they need to be ordinary enough that they are relatable. You know, that's why Superman is not a good character. No, I don't really like Superman at all. Yeah, no, I think this was a lot of fun. Autumn a lot of fun. They really got me thinking about heroes even in my own writing and what I've liked about the characters. Just, you know, they could be so different, but there are some SS essences that foil down, they make a great Hero.
Autumn (42m 7s):
Yeah. So now that we have discussed the good Hero goes off your story. What about the villain? So next Monday will be back with two new lists, but this time concerning the antagonist,
Narrator (42m 18s):
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The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 96 – Pitching Your Story to Hollywood (with Creative Producer Stephen Hodges)
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 95 – A New Way of Thinking About Your Author Website
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 94 – The ONE Word You Should STOP Starting Sentences With!
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 93 – 10 Common Writing Advice We HATE!
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 92 – Leveraging Readers as Co-Creators (a PhD thesis by Lisa-Marie Cabrelli)
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 91 – What is a GOOD Daily Word Count?
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 90 – Tips to Find & Work With a Graphic Designer
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 89 – Launching Non-Fiction Books Wide
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 88 – Running a Successful Kickstarter Campaign (with Chris Fox)
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 87 – Fantasy tropes: Good ones and some BAD ones
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 86 – Should You Give Away Your Book for Free?
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 85 – Should You Create an Online Course?
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 84 – People's Attitude Toward the Fantasy Genre
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 83 – Writing for Star Wars
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 82 – Using Personality types to Create Characters
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 81 – How do You Plan and Write a Series?
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 80 – Where to Find Story Ideas
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 79 – Advice from an Editor (with Kristina Stanley)
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 78 – What Does it Mean to Be a 'Writer?'
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 77 – Top 10 Traits of a Great Villain