Writing Excuses Notes: Heroes & Protagonists

Here are some notes I took after listening to Writing Excuses.

It is an educational podcast that helps novelists/writers.

The topic is about heroes & protagonists.

It comes from Season 1, Episode 5.

Heroes & Protagonists

Heroes & Protagonists

Main characters, heroes, and protagonists are not always the same thing

The hero moves the story forward.

The hero is heroic or someone we want to emulate, displaying the highest attributes.

The main character is the perspective or point of view from which the story is told.

The protagonist has a character arc by moving forward.

The protagonist does not have to be heroic


The Superhero Fallacy

Superman saving the world is easy and boring.

Jimmy Olsen saving the world without powers is more interesting.

There is a level of escapism where we want an infallible hero.

To connect with the story, readers need to see bits of themselves in the characters.

Flaws make heroes stronger, as they overcome their problems.


What is appealing about the every-man?

A normal person without a special background. ordinary abilities/skills.

They have ordinary abilities, skills and talents.

Their interests/skills help them succeed in the extraordinary plots.

Every hero needs to be competent, not where they’re needed, but where they can still help.

Sam from LOTR cannot slay orcs, but he is loyal and still completes his task.

Do not make it too easy

Characters need to struggle to be interesting.

They need to be good at something, but not everything.


Writing Excuses Season One Notes

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