A tragic hero is something you will want to consider to add drama and suspense to your novel.
Why? Because heroes like this are more human and the character can empathize with them.
They also add more drama to the story.
Don’t believe me?
What is more interesting, a father trying to gain custody of his child in a divorce or, a father who is a good and loving man in all other regards, but he’s trying to hide his drug addiction as he fights for custody of his child?
You see what I’m saying now?
Where’s The Dirty Laundry?
Let’s face it. No one likes someone who is just too perfect.
I don’t care whether it is the blond haired, blue eyed, high school quarterback and homecoming king or the rising political star with perfect hair and the perfect marriage.
Whether your hero is tragic or not they need to be human. Being human means having flaws.
They must pick their nose occasionally. They must eat too much chocolate. They must have something that brings them down to reality and tells the reader he or she is one of us.
If It Bleeds It Leads
This is a common phrase in the News Industry. It means you’ll have more of an audience reporting the bad stuff than the good stuff.
Think about it. Would you rather hear about…
- Lance Armstrong and performance enhancing drugs?
- Martha Stewart going to jail for insider trading?
- John Edwards and his extra marital affair?
Or, how many homeless people Mother Theresa saved today?
You get the idea.
It’s Like Watching A Train Wreck
Remember the father who is fighting for custody of his child? Sure, he’s a good and loving man, but when is it all going to come crashing down?
When are they going to find the drug paraphernalia?
When is he going to lose his job?
When is his habit going to jeopardize the life of his child?
Have A Nice Trip, See You Next Fall
Once your hero has fallen they become even more human. The reader empathizes with the hero even more.
And, it leaves the plot open for something else that readers love; redemption.
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