Your Protagonist

protagonist-versus-antagonistYour protagonist is the most important character in the novel. He/she will be in every moment, even if not in every scene.

It’s recommended that you have only one main character in your novel. However, some do have more. Romances, for example, usually have two main characters and are for all intents and purposes, two stories running simultaneously.

Things to keep in mind when developing your main character…

  • Introduce them in the beginning. You want your reader to bond with them more than any other character.
  • Make them active. Nobody wants to read about someone sitting on the couch doing nothing all day.
  • Give them a cause greater than themselves. Dream big.
  • Create conflict around them that battles against their flaws.
  • Make your protagonist complex. Nobody wants a goody-goody two shoes that skips through life with no adversity.
  • Keep your protagonist in character. Be consistent. If you show a change in what one would expect the character to do, you must show a reason.
  • Draw on yourself, friends, people you look up to, to build your character.
  • Create sympathy for your character. You want your reader to care about them and what they are going through.
  • Make them virtuous, clever, and generous. You want your reader to like them.
  • Make your character attractive. I know this isn’t politically correct, but it’s what works.

Something to think about.

-Jan R

Your Protagonist