Eric who asked:
Do you create characters who are larger-than-life or are your characters more like the average Joe?
First off, I love this topic, so great job, Eric! I'm firmly on the side of the average Joe's. I know there are a lot of great characters who are larger than life: Batman, Ironman, etc. But I think the truly great characters are those who we can relate to. I think that's especially true in YA. If we can't see ourselves in our heroes, then it's difficult to relate to them. And that's what I like to do.
But books would be boring if they were all about normal people doing normal things. I, for one, would never want to read a book about my own life. What a yawner that would be. So I like to take unusual situations and drop unlikely people into them. Force a geek to save the world, a solid D student to disarm a bomb, an unpopular overweight kid to get the girl, a socially awkward kid to go on a crazy road trip. Do those things and you'll begin to see that even the most average of average people is amazing. When readers see that, then they'll see the same things about themselves.
Everyone is a hero to someone else. Sure, we need larger-than-life heroes because it gives us something to aspire to, but we also need to see the hero within ourselves.
Check out the wonderful Michelle's blog for the previous post, and then tomorrow check out the fabulous Cole for her take.