How To Build a Hero

Hi everyone! Ed here and today I’m going to talk to you about how to build a hero.

There are a few things that I think you ought to realise when you’re trying to build a protagonist for your story. I’m primarily going to focus on heroes as opposed to anti-heroes in this particular article.

A hero is someone who is going to fix the problem with your world. If you’ve read some of my previous articles or attended my webinar, you will know that the central conflict of the world is the driving factor for your story.

The hero is going to go out and they’re going to fix that central conflict. That’s the fundamental purpose that they have within the world. It’s also why, as I’ve said in other places as well, they are the most important person in this world at this time.

Of course, that doesn’t mean they have to be a good person or a righteous person or a person who wants to be doing it. But it does mean that they’re motivated to fix this problem by some means. Without this drive to fix what’s wrong with the world, your character is not a hero.

N.B. They can still be the protagonist, as I’ve said, but we’re not covering this in this particular piece.

There are a lot of clichés about heroes, and that’s fine. A hero can be slightly cliché without being badly written, so don’t be afraid to look around at heroes that you think you can respect and you think that you’d like to have involved in your universe and base your hero off one of those!

I’ve written a lot and spoken in some of my webinars about how originality is a very difficult thing to do. And, also, how it’s not required for an amazing piece – Neil Gaiman once said that he has effectively made a career by writing Lovecraft fanfiction!

So don’t make your requirement for originality let you miss out on writing a fantastic hero that speaks to you. Because if it speaks to you, it will speak to other people.

Most heroes will have something about them that make them different to other people in the world. This might simply be the motivation to go out and make the difference. It might be also superior abilities of some sort, from an understanding of science in a world which doesn’t, or a gung-ho attitude and the willingness to make a difference where apathy rules, to a genuine superpower such as super strength or superspeed.

The possibilities are fairly limitless, but it’s very common to include something that does make your hero a step above other people in the world by whatever metric is relevant. So when you’ve created your world, think carefully about what metric within that world would make someone genuinely outside of the norm.

Of course, there are huge number of other things you can do, but I’m running out of space for this particular article, so I’m going to leave it here – I think this is a solid start on the subject!

If you’d like to know more about building heroes, then let me know in the comments and I will add a new article regarding heroes.

Don’t forget to check out my Game Ed-inar which is on our YouTube channel ( for more information, and I’ll see you next time for some more interesting tips on how to be creative!

– Ed

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