The hero of one of my novels - a young adult realistic adventure - practices the Five Tibetan Rites every morning as a means of keeping fit. While the claim that these yoga-like postures are actually Tibetan has been widely and soundly disputed, I wanted B. to have a form of discipline and exercise that matches his elusive and somewhat sketchy background.
The tough part about writing a YA hero is that he's got to have a loveable fault. It reminds me of a job interview. Occasionally, one may be asked, "What is one of your weaknesses?" Of course, the only correct answer is "devotion to accomplishing my work efficiently, on-time and with laudable results." In other words, my only weakness is working so hard that you, my new boss, will look great and love me for it.
YA heroes are often of the same mold. They are so good that there is a bad outcome (think Edward Cullen leaving Bella to save her) only for those same qualities to end up being redemptive. We love these types of heroes.
I'm struggling to give this guy a not entirely likable personality. He's in it for himself - and the Five Tibetan Rites are the beginning of his journey. He wakes up, devotes himself to his physical health, and then renews his quest every day. Can these qualities be redemptive? That is the question I'm exploring.