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Willing, Building and Killing

To write fiction that appeals to men, the protagonist needs to exemplify some main features of a strong man. A strong man, when faced with a problem or challenge imposes his will on that problem. He doesn’t run away from it or just gives in. That would be a dull and uninspiring story. Healthy men like challenges. We like competition and contests. We like to fight against the odds. Men enjoy imposing their creative will on things and situations around them to build and create things of lasting value. That’s the building part. In a story, the protagonist faced with an insurmountable problem will, after going through a reactive stage will become proactive in imposing his will over that terrible set of challenges.

He will then start building creatively towards a series of solutions. In a good plot, these initial solutions fail with escalating tension and necessity for a solution that works. He is not just building solutions, but he is building a following to help him conquer the problem. In some stories, it is just a side-kick, and in others a whole crew of people he has banded together to win the day.

And finally, the hero kills the antagonist and destroys the thing of doom. Sometimes the killing is figurative, with the antagonist’s power and control thoroughly destroyed. But make no mistake, the hero kills the bad guy or terrible problem in the end.

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