HOW TO CREATE A LATENT HERO
Mariah Carey says, “You don’t have to be afraid, of what you are.” The latent hero is a hero who has given up. You’ll usually run into her as someone who people used to believe in. She used to be well-respected. She used to be honorable, but not anymore.
Something happened to derail her from the fate that destiny had lined up, and it’s going to take a miracle to get her back on track.
I have to admit that this is one of my favorite types of heroes. It’s the kind of hero who quietly shows us that there is something great in all of us, that we’re not heroes by circumstance, but we were made to be conquerors.
I don’t always write this kind of hero, but it is the one who I most admire.
What are some essential elements to the latent hero?
The reader must find this hero in a broken state, torn down and shoved into a closet. Commonly, you’ll see this hero drinking or gambling, wasting his life away, struggling to make ends meet.
As writers, it is our responsibility to create real situations where the latent hero is in the slumps, with no desire to break out.
The latent hero must see a glimpse of what his life could be. Usually this comes in the form of a question: “What happened to you, man?”
That question never gets old. It’s been asked in countless novels and innumerable films. It’s the question that the reader wants to know, and it’s this question that brings the latent hero out of dormancy.
This hero, once he is shown a glimpse of what he could be, must be forced to face his past. For it is his past that has made him weak, and he has to come to terms with it before he can move forward.
Perhaps he killed an innocent man in the line of duty. Maybe the fame of boxing made the fans view him as someone he was not. What if his lifestyle as a journalist made him see that the stories he reports on are about real people with real problems, and this was too heavy of a burden for him?
When creating a latent hero, if we can add these elements into the story, then we will have a more powerful novel.
I hope this helps. Thanks for stopping by.
Just as a reinvigoration, I will post this blog on FreshInk and StadlerStyle.