Tuesday, January 20, 2015

From Zero to Hero

This week, we're reading The Power of Six, which is all about super powers.  But a big theme of the book is that they're being hunted for their powers, either by the humans (who don't realize they have powers but are hunting them nonetheless) or the bad guys (who are after them for their powers.)

A reoccurring theme in fantasy books is one of "zero to hero".  In the beginning of the book, our main character often is the outsider, the "other" of the book.  It happens in teen fiction A LOT.  If you read Eragon by Palolini, Eragon is living in a dinky little town in constant fear of the ruler of his land.  It isn't until he finds his dragon that people start to love him, and even then he becomes hunted (mostly because dragons are powerful and said ruler wants to kill him.)

Alex and I recently reviewed Rhapsody, where she starts off as a prostitute, and is hunted by lots of people, an ex-lover included.  By the end of the series she's (spoiler), not only completely loved by the population, they've made her their queen.

So why this nothing to everything theme?  Well, it's a good way to get your reader to love your character.  Since you have to make the characters in your book love your character, you'll inevitably make your reader love them too.

But also, everyone loves a rags to riches story, which is kind of what all of these are.  They're all down and out characters, hunted or ignored and then, suddenly, they're the characters that come and save the world.

What "zero to hero" characters do you love?

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