On Maass: Who are your heroes?

I love Donald Maass. I don’t mean that in a romantic way. I’ve never even met the man. Then again, I also haven’t met Chace Crawford…

Okay, I’m done thinking about Chace. The way I write changed dramatically after I read Donald Maass’s books, The Fire in Fiction and Writing the Breakout Novel. One of the things I loved most about the latter were the specific exercises. I thought it would be fun (as in compared to gauging out eyeballs with bendy straw, not as in compared to looking at Chace Crawford…)

Where was I? Oh yeah. I thought it would be fun to try some of Maass’s exercises on my blog. The first is the “Who are your heroes” question. The idea is that you name one, write out the qualities that make him/her a hero, and then assign some of these qualities to your protagonist. So here we go:

1) Name of hero: Mother of friend I’ll call Mrs. G

2) Qualities that make me look up to her: she will do anything for the people she loves. If someone is in the hospital, she is at their bedside all day and spends the night cooking their family meals. If someone needs a place to stay, she practically sleeps on her own sofa so they will be comfortable. I once threw a party for her daughter and, not only did she take care of the guest list, invitations, chairs, tables, liquor and food, she also brought over her own potted flowers so my walkway would be pretty.

3) Qualities of hers I gave to my protagonist:  When I created Blythe (the protagonist for my current book and its sequel) I wanted her to be the kind of girl who would do anything for her friends, to the point of hurting herself.

How about you? What heroic qualities have you given your protagonist and why?

Category: On Writing