Every good story has its heros, but what defines a hero? How are some heros greater than others and what can you as a writer do to see that the Reader views him as heroic? The answers are not all that hard but are worth enumerating.
First off, the obvious. A hero has to have some heroic qualities. Or at least some positive qualities. He can be flawed, even have some negative traits, but in the end there has to be a reason why we would root for him in the first place. Or even Care about him.
Then there is the subject of what he faces. Basic rule: The more bad stuff the hero faces, the worse the villain, the more the Reader will applaud when the hero finally overcomes. A mediocre Villain will result in a mediocre Hero. The Hero’s steel must be tempered by the fires of his villain.
Bend but do not break. You can keep shoveling the oppression and troubles onto the hero’s back until he nearly breaks from the strain, but do not break him completely or you will have written yourself into a hole. No matter how bad the villain makes things for him, the Hero must still have at least a single shred of resistance left, something upon which he can build for his comeback.
The Hero’s final comeback should be dramatic, and when he faces his villain such a confrontation is best done one-on-one. This is where you can pull out all the stops and have your Hero give the Villain his comeuppance. If you’ve done it right, then your Readers should be jumping up out of their seats cheering at the result.