Maass began by telling us that great novels need a compelling hero or heroine, a person who takes risks for the benefit of others, and to do so, flies in the face of social convention. He asked members of the audience to think of their own personal hero/heroine. Then he asked when we first heard of this person. What was the day, month, or year? Were we alone or with others? What was particularly inspiring about this person? And having witnessed or heard about this individual, how was our behavior affected? Did we say or do anything differently? Maass wanted us to nail down the emotion we felt, what was inspirational and why.
Maass then asked us another question. What were these characteristics and how could we demonstrate them in our protagonist them in the first five pages of our novel? Make a list of the qualities. This character has to make the journey through the novel worthwhile. And Maass repeated, do all this in the first five pages.
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