How To Write A Memorable Mentor
Almost every story is made of up the main character, villain, and side characters. On the blog, we’ve covered each of these, but there is one thing that is missing – how to write a memorable mentor.
Mentors are classic characters that many readers fall in love with, so it’s easy to see why so many writers include them in their stories. But the big question is, what sort of mentor should you write to help your main character or villain, and what purpose should they serve?
Well, how about we answer those big questions and help you write the best and most memorable mentor you can for your story!
Let’s get started!
What Is A Mentor?
First things first, what is a mentor?
A mentor can be very similar to a sidekick or even a secondary character, but they serve an even greater purpose. A mentor can be defined as a trusted counsellor or a guide to your protagonist, antagonist, or even both. They are someone that helps to further the protagonist or antagonists character and story, to teach them life lessons and give advice.
Let’s take a look at a mentor that has helped a protagonist. Everyone knows who Dumbledore is from Harry Potter. If you don’t, then don’t worry I won’t disown you, but you should definitely read the books or watch the movies! Dumbledore is Harry Potters Head Master at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He also becomes Harry’s mentor throughout the book and movie series, and essentially guide him, trains him, and prepares him to defeat Voldemort, the antagonist of the story.
Now, let’s take a look at a mentor who is the soul buddy of an antagonist. I’m going to use Star Wars as a reference here because I believe this was really well done. Emperor Palpatine is a political leader in Star War and takes a keen interest in the protagonist, Anakin Skywalker. They form a close bond and Palpatine helps Anakin adjust to life as a Jedi (space policeman) and living away from home. Little does Anakin know that Palpatine is actually a very dark lord and is manipulating him into joining the dark side. SPOILER ALERT!!! Emperor Palpatine succeeds in turning Anakin to the dark side and mentors the young Jedi under his new persona, Darth Vader.
As you can see there are two ways, even three if you wanted to have a mentor that coaches both your protagonist and antagonist, that can fit into your story. So, now that you know what a mentor is, what sort of mentors can you have in your story?
6 Types Of Memorable Mentors
Mentors are a great asset to have in your story and can really help you to develop your protagonist or antagonist. Although each mentor will be vastly different depending on the story you are writing, here are 6 types of memorable mentors you might consider for your story.
Facing challenges is always a great way for your protagonist or antagonist to grow. A mentor can provide those opportunities by telling the character they are wrong, to find a better way, a smarter way. They can make your character analyse the situation more, and don’t sugar-coat it for them when they have tough decisions to make.
Who doesn’t love that wise, old guy in all novels? Although your mentor doesn’t have to be an old guy, a wise mentor can bring insight into your characters life and have wisdom that has been gathered from years of experience in the world. This experience they pass on to your character.
The counsellor mentor is a there to help guide your protagonist or antagonist and is open to listening to their issues and struggles. They are there to provide encouraging advice through those rocky roads and inspires them to keep moving forward instead of teaching them.
Another great mentor that is used in many stories is the educator, or commonly known as the teacher. These sort of mentors are there to teach your protagonist or antagonist, and help them grow with knowledgeable facts, skills, opportunities to gain experience, and provide feedback.
I really like this sort of mentor, and they aren’t used very often. The imaginary is a mentor that helps your protagonist or antagonist tap into their creative side and reminds them not to get lost in the daily struggles of life. They open your character to new experiences and new opportunities.
This type of mentor opens up networks and communications for your protagonist or antagonist. They are motivated by connecting people together for one purpose.
These are just a few of the many types of mentors you can have for your story. Here is my no.1 tip for creating a memorable mentor from the selection above.
Join as many mentor tropes as you like together until something truly amazing has been created.
What Purpose Should Your Mentor Serve?
Now that you know a few different types of mentors to play around with, you might be wondering what sort of purpose your mentor should have? As I’ve always told writers who join our writer’s tribe, every character should serve a purpose to the story. If they don’t then scrap them.
- Here are a few purposes you might consider giving your mentor:
- They provide your protagonist or antagonist with wisdom.
- They can help your character defeat the opposition.
- They can save your protagonist or antagonist when they are in trouble.
- They can act as a physical guide to your main character.
- They can teach your protagonist and antagonist new skills and help them gain experience.
- They can make your main character see the bigger picture.
- They can sacrifice themselves for the protagonist or antagonist.
And that’s it! Before you go I want to remind you of one thing. Your mentor does not have to be the stereotypical old guy with a long beard or the drunken fool who turns out to be really wise.
It’s important to make your mentor authentic as well as your protagonist and antagonist, so really think about how you can write a memorable mentor and make them unique to your story.
What do you think makes a memorable mentor? Hit me up in the comments below and let me know!
Featured Free Resource
Writers come from all walks of life, and just because we walk a different path does not mean that one person should be at more of an advantage than another. That is why all e-books, workbooks, and checklists at Life Of A Storyteller are FREE. Nothing should stand in your way to achieving your dreams, and as a fellow writer, I know the struggles of trying to find informative resources that you can afford.
If cost is a barrier to you, then please feel free to download the guides for free. If you liked to help support Life Of A Storyteller and its mission to help writers from all walks of life, then please consider making a small donation so that I can continue to turn others dreams into a reality!