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Need help with hero story ideas (1 Viewer)

lit30

Member
Hi,

I'm doing a project where I have to create a story with the hero's journey structure. I'm planning on having a byronic hero. Right now I can't seem to think of any good story idea, except for the 'hero goes to find an object/treasure' - which is pretty cheesy. Can someone please help me? Thanks.
 
I did a quick Google search for 'Byronic hero,' and in my understanding this would be a troubled, world-weary, mysterious hero, perhaps with a dark past, but with a hidden tender side. Is that what you're thinking of?

A hero like that could maybe work with a quest that's connected to his/her past in some way. Maybe there's a character from the hero's past who the hero thought was dead, perhaps one of the few people the hero really cares about, and somehow the hero figures out this person is still alive somewhere and goes to look for them. Twist/plot advancement opportunities appear: the person is being used as a trap, or the person is not who they appear to be, or the person has changed since the hero last knew them, or the person is actually the villain, or the person ends up saving the hero instead of the hero saving them, etc. etc. etc.

Another idea: maybe there's a fabled magical place in this universe (like a certain well or river or tree) that few people actually believe in. At least, our jaded, troubled hero certainly doesn't. But something (maybe a past loyalty) compels him to go on what he views as a fruitless quest for it (you would probably need a second, less-reluctant character on the quest with him), but as they overcome various obstacles to find it, he starts to wonder if it could be real. Twist opportunities: the place is real, but it's not what they think it is; the place is real but unreachable; the place is far more real than they could imagine, perhaps inconceivable by a human mind (vaguely Lovecraftian ending though not necessarily nihilistic); etc. etc. etc.

I've also always thought it would be cool to have a quest story that centered entirely around delivering an important message or gift, but I'm not sure how that would play out with this type of hero. It just might be interesting to reverse the 'obtain object' paradigm into 'deliver object.' Or another way to turn around the object plot: the hero knows where the object is, but has to do certain tasks or become worthy before he can get it (the Parzival/Holy Grail plot).

Honestly, I don't see anything wrong with the classic Finding the Object plot, but you're probably right that it's better to think over multiple ideas instead of just jumping to the first thing you think of. If you do end up using that plot, it's important that your object is not some arbitrary treasure but holds story relevance.
 

thepancreas11

New Writers' Mentor
WF Veterans
What if the world weariness that @ArrowInTheBowOfTheLord pointed out is some aspect of modern humanity? The character is sort of sick of their environment for some very, specific reason. I think of "Shaun of the Dead". There's no epic motivator there, but the story is super compelling because it's weirdly relatable: we all know what it's like to be moving through the world like a Corporate Zombie. In this case, I could see the "object" that they find as an idea rather than something physical. That might be a little too abstract for your project, but it would be super fun to read.

I'm actually writing a story kind of like this, now that I think about it. There's a character that lives in a world where no one dies anymore, but they have panic attacks thinking that they're dying (which--if you've ever had a panic attack--is a very real feeling). It turns out that the thing they're most afraid of is living an incomplete life; that is why they're constantly panicking. The novel is basically a journey to find and understand that idea.
 

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