There are many different types of heroes, each with their own set of motivations and methods. Picking the right protagonist for the story is an important task for a fantasy fiction writer. While I don’t subscribe to the theory that characters can take over a story and rewrite it, I have experienced struggles in writing for Logan Shadowhand based on the hero type I envisioned him as and the themes I wanted to explore in my Chronicles of Jord stories. An anti-hero will follow a different course to reach a goal, or have entirely different goals, than a child of destiny.
A hero can be composed of multiple types, allowing the writer to build a more complex character. I used five different hero types in constructing Logan, with him favoring one particular type more than the others during the various drafts of Shattered Amulet. Read more
Sympathy for the protagonist is a great tool for drawing readers into a story. If the reader can identify with the character’s struggles and desires, they become invested in what happens. That leads to late nights of anxious page-turning.
A sympathetic character has obstacles they must overcome. These can be internal or external, but the key is that the protagonist makes an effort to resolve the conflict. Characters that do nothing but suffer and whine, passively endure, or continually expose their incompetence are not sympathetic. They are pathetic. Read more
Logan Shadowhand presented some challenges for me as he evolved from a roleplaying game character into a fantasy fiction protagonist. I had no literary aspirations for the character until I recreated him as a non-player character for one of my Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. He and his elf partner (who was also destined to become a character in Shattered Amulet) were the leaders of an organization that hunted dragons. As is the case with most fledgling Dungeon Masters, I had way more material on Logan’s background and personality than I would ever use in a game, so I started toying with the idea of writing stories about him.
The plot for Shattered Amulet–and its sequels in the Chronicles of Jord–were actually developed separate and apart from Logan. That is, to say, they were originally a D&D campaign idea that eventually transformed into a fantasy fiction concept. As the plot fell into place, I saw an opportunity for Logan as the protagonist. Read more