Hope is when we think that the best is going to happen and that all is going to work out. Our characters need to have this hope in order to make it through the dark times that lay ahead of them. As writers we need to understand what hope is and how it works. We need to know what the emotions are behind that hope when it is realized and when it is crushed. I think we can all rely on those rejection letters in order to understand the hope that is crushed. We can also look to those moments when our work is critiqued and it is liked.
Our readers also rely on us to deliver them these emotional highs and lows by creating a character that feels like they do when hope is involved. By understanding how these emotions work in our own lives we will be able to create the reality in our stories.
Understand your characters so that you know what situations will increase their hope and how far you can push them before they have given up. Know your characters breaking point and at what point you will need to step in with others to help support your characters hope.