3 Types of Heroes Everyone Loves
Try designing, crafting or improving your heroes BEFORE you start writing your script.
Writers rarely stop to categorize the many different variations of characters. But categories can be useful if you are at the conception stage BEFORE the writing stage or are stuck in the middle of draft and wondering what the protag should do next.
We all write heroes and we all can improve our game.
Let’s take a look at 3 popular hero types that are a hit with movie-goers.
- The Underdog
There are few variations on a hero as popular as the underdog. Watching a hero struggle to overcome nearly insurmountable odds is one of the purest narrative pleasures ever conceived. Absolutely everyone loves an underdog. Perhaps the greatest underdog film of all time is Rocky (1976). It tells the story of a small-time boxer who is a ‘bum’. But ends up fighting World Heavyweight Champion Apollo Creed.
- The Suffering Hero
The Hunger Games (2012) takes suffering to the extreme. The story features a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world called Panem that demands two children from each district fight to the death in a yearly event.
The film takes hard choices and gives them a knife’s edge — it’s kill or get killed. The thrill of watching our hero Katniss suffer through anguished decisions became a smash at the box office and spawned 3 sequels and (KEY) inspired a fevered following among teen viewers and young women 18 to 34.
- The Haunted Hero
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) Rey is a scavenging loner with a dark past. As a child, she was abandoned by her parents on the desert planet of Jakku. When she receives the call to action, she hesitates — not because she’s unsure of her capabilities but rather because she wants to go back to Jakku and wait for her parents. Only time (and a sequel or two) will tell if Rey is able to overcome her haunted past and become whoever she’s meant to be.
Categorizing heroes in a sense is a little like genre conventions, but it can be more worthwhile if you choose the type of hero you want your protag to be and do it at the concept stage, BEFORE you write the script.
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