We can be heroes…. Just for one day – David Bowie
How Does a Screenwriter Write A Stronger Hero?
Your main character (hero) is the hallmark of your screenplay. They carry most of the story weight and every action they take must count.
Here are my top suggestions for creating stronger heroes to improve your screenplays:
1) THE HERO IS WISE BEYOND THEIR COMPREHENSION
Even if the hero is unwilling, they often don’t appreciate their innate wisdom until the end of the story. They have a broad view of the situation and can see beyond the immediate tasks at hand.
2) THE HERO HAS A DILEMMA
One decision from at least two equally bad choices. There has to be loss or some sacrifice and the hero must suffer for the greater good. Often the choice is perilous to the hero.
3) THE HERO IS FORCED TO MAKE DECISIONS QUICKLY
The hero must make a split second decisions based on the limited information the hero has at their disposal. This often means that bad choices are made and the hero must backtrack to get the mission back on course. Such bad decisions can put your hero in life threatening danger.
4) THE HERO HAS A MENTOR
The hero often has external help to give them knowledge, tools or direct help to help them accomplish their mission. Once the hero is trained and prepared and is capable of completing the mission without further assistance from the mentor, the mentor dies.
5) THE HERO IS PART OF A GROUP
Apart from a mentor, the hero is often part of an immediate group they see on a daily basis. Even if they mainly work alone, there are always one or two colleagues or confidantes to help the hero complete their mission.
6) THERE IS DISAGREEMENT WITHIN THE GROUP
Not all members of the hero’s team always agree on tactics, although they want the same outcome. Sometimes, the hero must break away from they group and carry on part of the mission alone and in secret to ensure its success.
7) THE GROUP CAN TURN HOSTILE
When there are differences in the mission strategy of the group, they can sabotage the hero. They may undertake an opposing tactic and set back the mission, often at great danger to themselves and the hero.
8) THE HERO PUNISHES THE GROUP
The hero can see the big picture and may temporarily subdue the rest of the group to ensure the success of the mission. The hero must be cruel to be kind. The group may or may not see the error of their ways. However, the hero’s main goal is ensure that goals are achieved rather then teaching the group a lesson.
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