A little bit more about your main character

First up, with the writing competition deadline fast approaching, we’re going to delve a little deeper into our main character – our protagonist. There’s still time to enter – go to SASCWC.co.za to find out more, or contact me directly.


What makes a great protagonist?

We talked a little about the protagonist 2 weeks ago, but how can you make your main character great. Remember, the protagonist is your hero and can take any form – person, vampire, goblin, dog, lion, fish, building, vehicle, or just about anything you can think of.

What will you character be like?

We all have different personalities, but there are some key personally traits that your main character should have. Your protagonist is your hero and should be a leader.

Your protagonist is most likely going to have to solve a problem during the course of your story. That problem might be in the form of an evil being, a threat or a puzzle, so your character should be curious and interested in the events that are happening around them. The problem should be challenging and throughout your story, your protagonist may experience a change for the better.

Ideally, the reader should like your protagonist and should be supporting them as they go through their journey. They should have a sense of moral right and want to do good.

As a leader, your main character should want to look after the characters around them. They should care for their friends and helpers in their journey. How they interact and talk to the other characters is also important.

Your main character should be believable, in that they should act consistently. If you say they won’t eat broccoli but then later on in the story they eat broccoli then that’s an inconsistency. Ideally you should write a backstory for your character, where they came from, what they did, what are their likes and dislikes, what are their physical attributes. Once you know who your protagonist is, you will know how they will act in a given situation.

Your character should have a clear objective of what it is they need to do and a good reason for it.

Your character should make choices, they should be the one to fix the problem.