Hot Headed Heroes

by Michelle Griep, @MichelleGriep

Rage. Everyone blows a gasket now and then . . . or at least feels like it. But anger can be constructive, especially to a writer. It helps create real characters because characters need to feel and express anger as well as real people. Everyone expects the villain to grump and growl and stomp around, but heroes must roar now and then as well.



The best and most obvious reason for a hero to snarl is when the little guy is getting beaten to a pulp by a bully. That’s when a hero can shine by getting all indignant, swooping in, and dishing it right back to the bully.

This doesn’t have to be used in only violent situations. An injustice can be a legal matter, a matter of the heart, or simply righting some wrong.

Who isn’t frustrated with their own shortcomings? Your hero needs to have flaws, and those flaws need to annoy him. In the long run, he can either overcome them or adapt, but while those flaws are present, he needs to be irritated by them. Think about it . . . what kind of hero is content to be less than perfect?

Not every hero is born with a cape and pearly white teeth. It’s okay for a hero to be angry about his lot in life because that gives him the motivation to change his situation. Or he could also accept that lot. Either way, gives you a great character arc.

Note, however, that you don’t have to inflame your hero over all these situations. In fact, don’t. Be judicious. Readers don’t love a hothead. But do go ahead and have your hero get annoyed with things now and then to make him more believable.


3 REASONS TO ANGER YOUR HERO~ Michelle Griep (Click to Tweet)

But anger can be constructive, especially to a writer.~ Michelle Griep (Click to Tweet)

Author Michelle Griep


Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. Follow her adventures and find out about upcoming new releases at her blog, Writer Off the Leash, or stop by her website. You can also find her at the usual haunts of FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

Like what you read? There’s more. WRITER OFF THE LEASH: GROWING IN THE WRITING CRAFT is a kick in the pants for anyone who wants to write but is stymied by fear, doubt, or simply doesn’t know how to take their writing to the next level.