Every hero needs a goal. When a hero lacks a goal, the story lacks direction and focus. That’s why the hero’s goal must be crystal clear right from the start.
However, the hero’s goal may not always be specific. In “Star Wars,” Luke’s goal is to get off his uncle’s farm and leave his boring planet. His goal is pretty clear but how he’ll achieve this goal is not as clear. In “Little Miss Sunshine,” the hero’s goal is to compete in the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant. The goal is clear, but again, how she’ll get there is not so clear.
What’s important is that a hero must have a goal although that goal doesn’t have to be clear. While the hero wants to achieve a goal, there’s a second element and that’s something the hero needs.
In “Groundhog Day,” the hero wants to get to know Rita, a pretty producer. What the hero really needs is to become a better person.
In “Star Wars,” Luke wants to get off his uncle’s farm and his boring planet. What he really needs to do is learn to trust himself.
In “Little Miss Sunshine,” the hero wants to compete in a beauty pageant. What she really needs is a loving family.
So the key to creating any hero is to identify what your hero wants and what your hero needs. What your hero wants will define the midpoint of your story where the hero achieves a False Victory. In “Groundhog Day,” the hero wants to get to know Rita so by the midpoint, he finally does but she ultimately rejects him. The midpoint is where the hero achieves what he wants, but fails to a chive what he needs. Once the hero achieves what he needs, he’ll often get what he wants.
In “Groundhog Day,” the hero eventually learns to become a better person by helping others. By doing so, he finally gets Rita to feel attracted to him.
In “Star Wars,” Luke thinks his life will be better if he leaves his uncle’s farm and his boring planet. However when he does that, he still needs to learn how to trust himself.
In “Little Miss Sunshine,” the hero thinks her life will be better if she can compete in the beauty pageant. However, she needs to help bring her family together. By bringing her family together, she makes her life better even though she doesn’t even come close to winning the beauty pageant.
Identify what your hero wants and that’s what the hero achieves by the midpoint of your story as a False Victory. Then identify what your hero needs and that’s what your hero achieves in the end.