Tuesday, February 14, 2017

What Should You Take into Account When Coming Up with a Protagonist?

by Lucy Adams

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a pen wizard? If you’re on that way, you might know that one of the most effective tricks to get the attention of the audience is a well-thought, well-described protagonist. But is that easy to satisfy the sophisticated reader?

Indeed, the more information about the main character you have before writing the story, the easier it is to disclose his traits and make him like a real living person with goals and dreams, habits and eccentricities, clothing style and taste.

Today, I want to share with you a list of items that in my opinion provide a complete disclose of the character, both physically and spiritually. Of course, if you’re writing a short story, you may remove some items; but if you’re working on a novel, this list will be uniquely useful to you! Moreover, you can use it not only for the protagonist but also for some (or even all) supporting roles.

So what should you take into account?

  1. Intelligence. Show how the hero makes decisions. He can be quick-tempered or indecisive, cunning or frankly stupid – it all depends on the story. However, no matter what line you choose, try to disclose the hero’s way of thinking. By this, you’ll give the reader the opportunity to anticipate the subsequent actions of the character, which will make him love the story even more!
  2. Physiology. Health, age, abnormalities, diseases – all these are important factors that may affect the storyline. You may use the physical features of the protagonist to make him special; for example, blind people always have keen hearing, etc.
  3. Social status. Very often, the origin serves as the base on which the whole story builds. Make your hero wealthy or poor, a world start or unrecognized genius – and then play on contrast, changing his position in society.
  4. Talent. That what distinguishes the protagonist from others: an artist, a crook, a sportsman, etc. The talent may or may not coincide with his work. Until you come up with the name of the main character, stick to the identification of his talent: a student, a baker, businessman, etc. It’s very convenient for you as a writer. Include hobbies and passions as well. Everyone has some hobby – even lying on a couch all day long is quite a noticeable feature that characterizes the protagonist.
  5. Family and sexual life. If you build your story around human relationships, be sure to describe the character’s family (wife, parents, children) and relationship on the side if they are.
  6. Education. Very often it happens that the hero is self-taught and hasn’t finished any educational programs or universities. Again, here his natural talent comes.
  7. Fears. You can use fears as small strokes or build on them a psychological thriller. After all, the hero in the conflict must be confronted with the most severe fears, right?
  8. Credo. This can be a very bright hallmark, if the main character, for example, does everything in defiance.

Also, do not forget that you need to clearly state the goals of each the main character, namely what he wants in general (a cross-cutting task for the whole text) and specific (consecutive series of desires from scene to scene). If you and the reader understand the aims and motives of the characters, there is an emotional evaluation, and ideally empathy.

Very often we read stories in which it is unclear what motives guide the hero, which creates a silly impression that all that happens is a cheap show in which the author stands behind the screen and pulls the strings. That’s why try to show the reader the main goal of the hero as soon as possible. It can be a struggle with an antagonist, saving his life, revenge, desire to find his beloved, etc. I advise you to think about this moment.

I hope my notes will help you in the creation of believable images in your works.


Bio: Lucy Adams is a blogger from one of the best essay writing services from UK. This responsive woman never refuses to cover intriguing topics so that you can always share your craziest ideas. Feel free to message Lucy with a list of themes, and let her choose the best one or a few ones. By the way, the research from Lucy is free!