My hero is my father. A simple fact and wholly personal. He died 21 years ago but I'm still finding things out about him of which I wasn't aware! Of course my created hero, Patrick A Steele, is nothing like my Dad.
Steele is complex by design, but then the majority of writers would say that about their creation. It is difficult to whet your appetite enough to read the Steele novels, without revealing too much of the man. There is no great secret in producing a lead character, the blank page is your only barrier, what you need to do is start.
My guy, like all of us, is a product of his upbringing, good and bad. In life we fight to maintain the qualities we've been raised to embrace, or we fight to lose them! If there is a lack of guidance in the beginning we can end up a mess.
You decide which Steele is.
Steele has skills. In trying to develop the character it is important to describe what you want his/her capabilities to be. I believe that it is good to create an element of vulnerability.
What are Steele's weaknesses?
Steele behaves in certain ways according to given situations. It is important that your lead doesn't become predictable.
Is it always clear what Steele will do?
Steele can pass the ball. I believe that characters, like the rest of us in our lives, need to be able to delegate responsibility and show trust. That may set up internal conflicts which need developing so that the reader understands what is going on.
Can Steele delegate?
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Oh! Back to my father. I found out today that he was not just a fitter in the coal mines but a foreman fitter. I don't understand exactly what that means but have the idea that it was somewhat more elevated a position than he led me to believe. That was typical of the modest man my father was.
When we write it is small snippets such as that which indicate character traits and are worthy of inclusion where relevant.
On VG today.
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