Is Your Hero a Celebrity?
©Rachel Carrington - All Rights
Many people have the tendency to put
celebrities on pedestals, to think they can do no wrong because they’re incredible singers or talented
actors. Teens want to be like their favorite star, women wish they could have one date with a hot Hollywood
hunk, and men want just one night alone with a beautiful actress or model. So it’s easy to see why a writer
will use a celebrity’s looks as the basis for a character. I’ve been guilty of that
myself. Looks is where I draw the line, though.
When I create a character, I might use some
of my favorite actor’s facial features, height, or hair color, but I don’t give my hero celebrity traits. I
don’t create him to be idolized. Most people who have celebrity crushes or popular idols don’t want to hear
anything negative about their hero. In fact, they will defend that pop star or actress with fervency when,
in reality, they know very little about the person they’re defending.
Characters, on the other hand, need to be
flawed. You can’t expect everyone to like your hero one hundred percent of the time. He can’t be 100%
perfect nor can he roll out of bed looking like a male Adonis. Yes, he does lose his temper sometimes, or,
at least he should. He doesn’t always understand his wife or girlfriend, and he makes stupid mistakes that
might just cost him the woman he loves with all his heart. Why? Because his life isn’t anymore perfect than
That’s what characterization is all
about—creating characters that are fictionalized but appear real. They could be anyone you meet on the
street, not necessarily someone you’d see on the movie screen. Readers can relate more to those normal
characters than they can to a hero who can do no wrong.
Also, give your hero obstacles to overcome
for if you make his life as perfect as he is, you will only alienate readers. How can they relate to a man
who does no wrong, who charms his way out of every problem, and gets away with murder simply by showing his
perfectly aligned white teeth? Readers need to see a man who faces challenges, perseveres in spite of his
past, and struggles with every day problems. So make him human, give him faults, and make him learn
throughout the story. Then he really will be a hero.
Author: Currently the editor-in-chief of Vinspire
Publishing (www.vinspirepublishing.com), Dawn is a multi-published author and business consultant.