As promised, today we’re looking at how I develop characters. A technique I learned from award-winning author and mentor, Susan May Warren, is to ask what is the lie my hero or heroine believes.
Often the lie is something from his past that changed the way he looks at himself or relationships or the world around him. More than that, it changed his approach to those things.
By uncovering the lie he believes, I can frame a story that will reveal the truth that will set him free.
If the hero (or heroine) believes a lie that resonates with readers, the unfolding of the truth to the hero has the potential to minister to the reader as well. This was my own experience when I began reading Christian fiction, and something I hope my readers will experience.
In Deep Cover, the lie the hero believes is that he alone can, and must, stop the bad guys. So as not to spoil the story for those who haven’t read it, I won’t detail how this plays out in the story.
Instead, let’s brainstorm some ideas for the story concept we talked about last Wednesday.
Let’s go with a fireman hero who was badly burned trying to save the villain’s wife. Perhaps, he hasn’t yet returned to active duty. Perhaps, he blames himself for the woman’s death. Perhaps, he feels he made a poor judgment call in the middle of the rescue.
Your turn: What lie might our hero believe? And/or… have you read a book in which the truth the hero or heroine learned really resonated with you?