Character Development: 9 Steps to Creating Memorable Heroes

Character Development: 9 Steps to Creating Memorable Heroes

It’s how your character handles problems, both inside and outside of themselves, and how they change by the end of the story.

In the most memorable classics, especially those with happy endings, the memorable heroes gain skills and strengths that make them a hero.

The better your story and their arc, the more problems he has to deal with. Don’t give in to the urge to make their life easier. Only the most difficult challenges change people.

Here are 9 steps you can create memorable heroes.

1.    Introduce Them Early And By Name

New writers’ most common mistake is introducing their main characters too late. He should always be the first person on stage, and the reader should be able to picture them from their name.

Choosing a name for your memorable heroes can be almost as hard as choosing a name for a baby. You want something interesting that stands out but not something weird or outlandish. Melodramas like Blaze Starr and Goodnight, Robicheaux should be left to them.

Your goal is to connect the reader and the character, so their name should show something about their background and maybe even about who he is. For example, in The Green Mile, Stephen King gave the name Percy Wetmore to a weak, cowardly character. We treat heroes with more respect, which makes sense.

2.    Give The Readers A Look At Them

You should have a clear picture of your memorable heroes in your mind, but don’t force your reader to see them the same way you do. Height, hair and eye color, and how athletic you are or aren’t are all important. So brief everything.

3.    Give Them A Good Backstory

The backstory is what happened before the first chapter. Dig deep.

What has changed you into the person you are now?

You should know the following, whether you use them in your novel or not:

  1. • Where, when, and to whom they were born.
  2. • The names and ages of their brothers and sisters.
  3. • Where they went to high school, college, and graduate school
  4. • Their political views
  5. • Their job
  6. •Their  income
  7. • Their goals
  8. • Their skills and talents
  9. • Their spiritual life
  10. • Their friends
  11. • Their best friend
  12. • Whether they are single, dating, or married
  13. • Their worldview
  14. • Their personality type
  15. • Their anger triggers
  16. • Their joys, pleasures, and fears
  17. • And anything else that’s important to your story.

4.    Make Sure They Are Real, Weak, And Humanly Flawed

Even memorable heroes have weaknesses and flaws. Kryptonite is what can hurt Superman. There are snakes for people who like to act like Indiana Jones.

It’s hard to relate to the main character, which lacks human traits. But make sure that their flaws don’t stop you from buying them. Instead, they should be easy to understand, easy to forgive, and easy to find.

Be careful not to make your memorable heroes unredeemable, like a wimp, a scaredy cat, a slob, a dunce, or a doofus (like a cop who forgets their gun or ammunition).

You want a character that the reader can connect with, and for that to happen, he needs to be weak. If you want help from professionals, check out book writing services USA so you can avail the best for you. 

5.    Give Them Some Classic, Potentially Heroic Traits As Well

Make sure your main character is heroic, or at least give them a chance to be heroic, while you are trying to make them real and human.

In the end, he must rise to the occasion and score a great moral victory after he has learned all the lessons he needs from their failures to get out of the terrible trouble you put them in.

He can like chocolate or be afraid of snakes, but when the time comes, he has to show up and face the music.

A well-made character should be unique but also easy to understand. Don’t let your protagonist be the one who gets hurt. It’s fine to give them problems and challenges but never make them look like a wimp or a coward.

Make them memorable heroes, and they’ll be easy to remember.

6.    Talk About Their Inner Life As Well As Their Problems On The Outside

What happens in the book in the real world is one thing. Your hero needs trouble, a problem, a quest, a challenge, or something that moves the story forward.

But the main conflict inside your character is just as important. This will determine what they say to themselves. So most of the time, how you change on the inside will add more to your Character Arc than what happens on the surface.

7.    Use Your Own Life To Help Your Character Evolve

Being a novelist is fun because we get to be the people we write about. We can be a young girl, an old man, a boy, a father, a grandmother, a different race, a bad guy, someone with a different political or religious view, and so on. The list goes on and on, and there are many options.

The best way to develop a character is to become that character.

Imagine yourself in every situation he finds yourself in, facing every problem and answering every question. How would you act if you were your character?

If your character is in danger of dying, put yourself in the same situation. You can still imagine it even if you’ve never been through something like they have. Think about the last time you felt like you were in danger, multiply that feeling by a thousand, and that’s what your character is like.

Personal experience is the best way to help you make up memorable heroes.

8.    Don’t Tell, But Show

You’ve heard it before and will hear it again. This the most important rule of fiction.

It also applies to how people grow as people.

Give your readers credit by assuming they can figure out what a character is like based on what they see and hear in your scenes and dialogue. If you have to summarize your character, you have failed your reader.

Your reader has thoughts and ideas. It’s part of what makes reading fun.

9.    Do Thorough Research

Don’t write about something you haven’t done or seen without much research.

You can only get so far with your mind. But you can bet that smart readers will catch you the first time you guess at something.


Character development is like the paper on which your book is printed. Without memorable heroes, you don’t have a book; you just have a bunch of ink smeared between two covers. By doing these things, you can make memorable heroes that people will remember.