Listed in our Top-10 list of “very cool heroes” is none other than Han Solo. Now before you call us “shallow,” stop for a moment and think about this guy — the character brilliantly created by George Lucas for his Star Wars saga. Percolating through his swarthy exterior, we find a boyish vulnerability that oozes with sex appeal. Women LOVE the rogue and men see his character as the kind of guy they could grills steaks with at the next backyard BBQ.
How relatable is that?
What is it about these types of characters that resonate with us? Their humanness. These are the guys-next-door that we all want to hang out with again and again and again. Buried in great books, the Chief Brody’s (Peter Benchley, JAWS) and Neville Longbottom’s (J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter series) are the characters that endear us to the story. Finding that unsung, everyday hero in a great novel is like finding buried treasure — just ask young Jim Hawkins (Robert Lewis Stevenson, Treasure Island).
Writing fiction that contains strong characters is one of the author’s greatest challenges (and most rewarding experiences). As a publisher, it’s always very rewarding to discover a new character that has emerged within a soon-to-be-published work. Occasionally, the author does not recognize the endearing character he or she has created in the backstory until the power of their written work is exposed by readers who “want to know more” about a certain character. That is how a writer know’s he’s done his job — the reader is left wanting more.
There is a way to write compelling characters, which is a learned skill that takes practice. According to David Corbett (Writer’s Digest), the writer pulls from numerous internal resources to create that fully-developed, unforgettable character.
Although it’s clearly a cause for celebration—or at least relief—when a character appears in the mind’s eye fully formed, the reality is that for most of us, this is a rare occurrence. Certain techniques are required to will our characters to life. We need to draw on the unconscious, memory, the imagination and the Muse until our characters quicken, assume clear form and, with hope, begin to act of their own accord.
Doce Blant Publishing wants to help authors get their compelling stories into the hands of ready readers. Contact us today — we are waiting to meet your unsung, “very cool hero.”