By: Lauren Schmelz
You’re writing a book, and you have a main character you love. You take this character on a journey, and you think your plot is solid. All the hard work shows as you reread your story and give yourself a pat on the back. When you send your manuscript to beta readers or a critique group, you get feedback you weren’t expecting: Your protagonist is weak. The horror! How could this possibly be? It could be reasonable that you are missing some key points when developing a strong main character. I’m here to break down five things every protagonist needs to help keep your main character on point.
Is your character comfortable? In other words, are you writing a character the reader will be comfortable getting to know? Is your character likable or interesting? A dull main character is not going to engage your reader if you don’t make him or her favorable enough to carry the book. Make sure that your MC has qualities that will let the reader cheer for them when faced with difficult situations or empathize with them when they don’t achieve their goals. Your MC needs to be your reader’s “friend.”
2. Clear Goals
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If you missed my writing & marketing tweets and retweets yesterday, here they are again:
- The Writing Café, Fears About Ideas Being Stolen http://ow.ly/S7zI9
- 10 Ways To Create A Near-Future World That Won't Look Too Dated http://ow.ly/S7Ctb
- How to Raise the Creative Bar | ArtistThink http://ow.ly/S7Cwq
- Writing the Cozy Mystery: The Suspects - Elizabeth Spann Craig http://ow.ly/S7CB0
- Five Things Every Protagonist Needs - Write Divas http://ow.ly/S7CCz
- Writing Questions Answered http://ow.ly/S7CRX Advice: Budgeting Your Time
- Five Keys to an Effective Query « http://ow.ly/S7CXr
- Print Book Production for indie authors | Self-Publishing Advice from The Alliance of Independent Authors http://ow.ly/S7D9Q
P.S. I have a twenty-week training schedule for the New York City Marathon on November 1 that I stick to religiously. Yesterday was a long run day – 14 miles. When I finished the run, I spent the remainder of the day on the sofa resting. Today is a day off and tomorrow starts week #14.