Before we can create our hero on the page, whether it be a novel, a comic book, or a movie script; we must first know what makes someone a hero. Merriam-Webster provides two definitions for hero and they are all equally applicable.
What is also important – is what individual people think of as a hero. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think hero?
Was it Steve Rogers? A man that is willing to give up his life for what he believes in? Was it Wanda Maximoff? An anti-hero that gives up everything she loves to save innocent lives? Or maybe Peter Parker? The friendly neighborhood Spider-Man looking out for the little people?
Or did you think of a person in history that contributed their knowledge and skills to progressing society? Someone like: Rosie the Riveter who became a symbol for woman in the workforce; Albert Einstein who gave us laws of nature we still know today; or Martin Luther King Jr. who stood up for what was right and never backed down.
All of these people are heroes in their own ways. But there is more to a hero than just character traits. What about what happens to them? Story is not about what a character does – it is about what happens to that character and the way they react.
STAY TUNED FOR THE HERO’S JOURNEY PART II: AN OVERVIEW OF JOSEPH CAMBELL