Search Results for: protagonist

Find Out Why Your Awesome Protagonist Is Boring Readers to Death

Find Out Why Your Awesome Protagonist Is Boring Readers to Death

This week’s video talks about the two reasons you may not be giving a great character enough to do—and how to fix the problem to avoid boring readers. Video Transcript: Your protagonist is fabulously interesting, I have no doubt of that. You wouldn’t be writing about him if he bored you. In fact, you’re probably […]

The Secret to Writing a Protagonist Who's Both Unique and Universal

The Secret to Writing a Protagonist Who’s Both Unique and Universal

All creative writers must strike that terrible balance between the needs of the characters and the needs of the plot. It’s a wretched ping-pong game sometimes, and we can feel as if one will win over the other. But deep down we know it shouldn’t be that way. The elements of character and plot are not in […]

How to Tell if Your Protagonist Needs a Better Goal

How to Tell if Your Protagonist Needs a Better Goal

Did you know your protagonist isn’t as special as you think? Special means unusual or set apart. And amidst all the many awesome characters in your story, your protagonist may well be just one cool dude among many. So why is he the protagonist? Why not your gorgeous love interest? Why not your brainy sidekick? […]

Why Bullying (Your Protagonist) Is a Good Thing

When you watched the class bully shove the school nerd into his locker and hold his notebook out of reach in high school, you were probably the person looking on and wanting to do something to stop the situation. Given enough courage, you would rush into save the victim. On no terms would you actually […]

why heroes must suffer to be interesting

Why Protagonists Must Suffer to Be Interesting

“Stories are about things happening to protagonists.” Would you agree with that statement? I’d agree. But we’d have to add a further statement: “Interesting stories are about things that matter happening to protagonists.” Not just things that matter generically—but things that matter very specifically to this specific character. Sometimes these things will be wonderful things: […]

has your protagonist gone mia

Has Your Protagonist Gone MIA?

Pop quiz! Who’s the most important character in your book? I’ll give you a couple seconds to think about that. … Okay, so if you didn’t say your protagonist, then we probably need to talk. But since you’re all smarties, we can just assume you got it right. So with the premise of the protagonist’s […]

I Hate Your Protagonist! Want to Know Why?

I Hate Your Protagonist! Want to Know Why?

This week’s video explains why readers may hate your protagonist because they feel betrayed by his unlikability. Video Transcript: A long time ago, when this was a baby blog, I wrote a post called “Character Likability Is Overrated.” The point of this post was that characters do not have to be perfect little goody two […]

What's Your Protagonist's Special Trait?

What’s Your Protagonist’s “Special” Trait?

This week’s video uses Lesson #3 from Pacific Rim to remind us to look for ways to set our protagonists apart from his peers. Video Transcript: Here we go with Lesson #3 from Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. No doubt you’re familiar with the idea of ordinary/extraordinary in a story. We often find ordinary characters […]

Why Your Protagonist Might Not Always Be Your Hero

This week’s video uses the Disney classic Sleeping Beauty to help writers think outside the box when choosing protagonists. Video Transcript: We often use the word “protagonist” interchangeably with “hero” or “heroine.” And this tends to conjure images of ogre-slaying, cape-wearing, entirely-dazzling-why-can’t-I-look-that-good people. But this is a little misleading. Sometimes the requirements of certain plots are going to lead you […]

Signs You’ve Chosen the Wrong Protagonist

This week’s video discusses the qualifications of a protagonist and what to do when minor characters try to take over. Video Transcript: Most of the time we start writing because a particular character has caught our fancy and we want to get to know him better. The guidelines for confirming that a character is protagonist material usually go something […]