Search Results for: protagonist

Why Your Protagonist and Antagonist Should Be Stuck Like Glue

When you think of the relationship between your hero and his antagonist, the first thing to pop to mind usually isn’t their being bonded at the hip. They’re different from one another. They don’t want to stick together. They want to get as far away from one another as possible. That’s what creates the conflict! […]

The Perils of a Passive Protagonist

This week’s video warns about the pitfalls of creating a passive protagonist who isn’t able to take readers into the thick of the action. Video Transcription: Whether your book is a high-speed espionage thriller or a cozy romance, the element at its heart—the fuel that makes it run—is action. Something is happening to your protagonist—presumably, […]

Has Your Protagonist Changed His Ways? Prove It!

This week’s video demonstrates how to implement the all-important protagonist transformation by using examples from the recent superhero blockbuster Thor. Video Transcription: Personal transformations are always at the heart of strong character arcs. Our protagonists are faced with trials that force them to acknowledge their own inadequacies and then, usually, change their ways in a […]

Why Every Protagonist Needs a Dialogue Buddy

Although some successful novels feature lone-wolf characters who face the world and its challenges by themselves, clever authors will sidestep the pitfall of leaving a main character without someone to talk to for the majority of the book. Your protagonist’s fellow conversationalists can be varied and multitudinous over the course of the book—but usually, you’ll […]

Ant-Man and the Wasp Big

4 Ways to Choose a Better Theme for Your Book

Part 20 of The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel Writers often have a complicated relationship with theme. We love it. It loves us back. But reaching a harmonious happily-ever-after with theme sometimes turns into as much of a soap opera as a long-running CW drama. Just writing a story that has a theme is […]

How to Write Unique Themes

How to Write Unique Themes

Here’s a mind-bender for you: the best story themes are both universal and unique. But how does that even work? How can you learn to how write unique themes that say something fresh and new—and yet are resonant to every person on the planet? Good question. This is something I’ve been mulling lately after a […]

Use Plot, Character, and Theme in Every Scene

How to Intertwine Plot, Character, and Theme in Every Scene

If plot, character, and theme are the foundational underpinnings of story itself, then they must be present in every scene as well, right? But that gets tricky. How can you make sure these elements are doing their job in every scene? And if they’re not present in every scene, does that necessarily mean the scene is […]

Age of Innocence Edith Wharton

The Age of Innocence

Book: By Edith Wharton. Inciting Event: When a party is to be thrown to welcome the Countess Ellen Olenska back to New York City, high society initially resists, finding her too controversial and scandalous a figure. The protagonist Archer defends Ellen—who is a childhood friend and his fiancée’s cousin. This turning point introduces both aspects […]

5 Steps to Writing Great Character Chemistry

5 Steps to Writing Great Character Chemistry

What is character chemistry? And how can you use it to make your story un-put-down-able? We most often hear about character chemistry in reference to actors—particularly those playing love interests to each other. Chemistry is hard to define but easy to spot. When two people show up on stage together and the result is a […]

Little Women 1994 Winona Ryder

Little Women (1994)

Movie: Directed by Gillian Armstrong. Inciting Event: While skulking a ball, Jo finally meets the neighbor boy Laurie, with whom she immediately hits it off. This is a coming-of-age story that is specifically about the protagonist’s relationship with and resistance to the idea of change. Although she doesn’t know it—and, indeed, it isn’t even immediately […]