Ally Carter, Anne Lower, Aragorn, Blake Snyder, Ellen Gregory, Forrest Gump, Garry Marshall, Jack Sparrow, Janice Hall Check, Joan of Arc, Johnny Depp, Lisa Cron, Maggie Stiefvater, Meg Cabot, Neo, Princess Scribe, Save the Cat!, Shannon Messenger, The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, Trinity, Winnie the Pooh, Wired for Story, You!
7 Great Characters = Heroic Inspiration
Two friends recently honored me with the Very Inspirational Blogger Award. I owe a special thank you to Janice Hall Check and Ellen Gregory for this nomination, because they are both true inspirations to me.
The thing is, I feel like a poser accepting this award. Maybe because my inspiration comes from someone else. My heroes to be exact. Let me explain. In a recent blog post Lisa Cron talked about her book “Wired for Story” and the scientific evidence that proves we all are. Wired for story that is. We actually learn from the characters in stories because we…
…turn to story to teach us the way of the world…
So I’m not the least bit ashamed to introduce you to the characters who’ve inspired me the most … the good … the badass … and the ugly.
2. Forrest Gump (played by Tom Hanks) is a modern, humanized version of Pooh, especially as portrayed in the film adaptation of the story. Forrest’s innocence keeps harm at bay, even when he’s thrown into the most dangerous situations at the height of the Vietnam war. His guileless simplicity prevents him from holding grudges or judging others. He loves is friend Jenny no matter what she does or how long she stays away. There’s a lot to be learned from the unconditional love in this character’s actions.
These heroes don’t need much of an introduction. We know and love them because they forsake their personal desires, safety, and gain for the greater good.
The Anti-Hero is a tricky one, because he’s flawed to a fault. So for us to care about this hero, there has to be something about him that we can empathize with on some level. Anne Lower’s blog post about developing the anti-hero in her series explains this character perfectly:
Give ‘em a limp and an eyepatch!” was one of Blake’s favorite phrases. And, by that, he meant try loading your character up with problems, challenges to face, physical quirks, troubled pasts that would work to help the audience identify with or be interested in your hero’s (or heroine’s) journey.
7. Captain Jack Sparrow, played by Johnny Depp in the Pirates of the Caribbean series (Walt Disney Pictures). What he lacks in a limp and an eye patch, he more than makes up for with swagger and a sword. I admit Johnny Depp can never be ugly, even with eyeliner, dread locks, and a braided beard. But Jack Sparrow is a pirate, who by definition pillages, plunders, and even murders when necessary. What’s endearing about Jack Sparrow, is that he acts honorably toward his friends and ship mates, even when he doesn’t really want to.
Blake Snyder and the “Superhero”
Writers That Inspire
The following authors and screenwriters have been a true inspiration to me … what they write, who they are, and their personal writing journeys …
- Meg Cabot
- Ally Carter
- Garry Marshall
- Libba Bray
- Maggie Stiefvater
- Shannon Messenger
- Save the Cat! — Blake Snyder
- The Princess Scribe — Anne Lower