Blake Snyder at The Writers Store
Blake Snyder at The Writers Store

Here’s a checklist to see if your hero needs more oomph:

1. Is your hero’s goal clearly stated in the Set-up? Is what your hero wants obvious to you and to the audience? If not, or if you don’t know what your hero’s goal is, figure it out. And make sure that goal is spoken aloud and restated in action and words throughout the story.

2. Do clues of what to do next just come to your hero or does he seek them out? If it all happens too easily for your hero, something’s wrong. Your hero cannot be handed his destiny, he must work for it at every step.

3. Is your hero active or passive? If the latter, you have a problem. Everything your hero does has to spring from his burning desire and his deeply held need to achieve his goal.

4. Do other characters tell your hero what to do or does he tell them? Here’s a great rule of thumb: A hero never asks questions! The hero knows and others around him look to him for answers, not the other way around. If you see a lot of question marks in your hero’s dialogue, there’s a problem. The hero knows; he never asks.