Posting this from the Evo blog
(Weekly Wednesday contributor column)
I'm not certain I've had the need to "design" a hero. Most times the hero I see in my mind's eye arrives prior to a plot. He flashes into thought at the end of a work, preparing me for the next story before lingering in the wings to taunt me. He wants existence, substance, and form. He broods with sexy, dark looks from the shadows while I work. Then as I wrap up the former plot, steps into the light with a wicked smile and knowing eyes.
It may not come in so dramatic a way as the above, although that's been known to occur, yet it is the same principle of dominance I see each and every time a new story is in its birthing stages. It's a still and quiet presence or an image, the inkling of a scene or a feeling which holds in the air and for a moment, I am dragged to that suspended wisp from my work in progress to consider it. It's enough to catch my attention, however momentarily, before I go back to the work at hand.
That introduction is necessary, too. If not for the early awareness of him, my subconscious would not begin to fester with the germs of a plot specifically tailored to that hero. But whether it be days or weeks, the plot does come forth. It carries the sense of certainty that it is his plot. To ignore it would be unwise and unbelievable in its development.
Generally I hang on as the rest unfolds. I type what is seen in my mind and because I met him earlier, because I had that chance to get a feel for his personality without his saying a word, because I know him, I know what he would and would not do. I believe this to be the key. In developing a character, you must first know them. Otherwise you are discovering them as the reader does and subject to inconsistencies in behavior and plot.How do I design a hero? I don't.
He designs himself and I simply listen.
Video of note: Want to laugh? Rassles, I specifically think you will enjoy this. Click this link and scroll to the video box on Bronwyn Green's blog. Bonnie Tyler like you've never seen her. Beverage warning.