What is the Blogging from A to Z challenge and where can I find more participants? Right here.
We covered the bad guys, but what about the Good Guys? And yes, I'm going to acknowledge that we've met our requirement for G and go forward calling them protagonists to save what little sanity I have.
You know your protagonist well. They've been speaking in your head for months/years. You know they're favorite color, that they have a secret craving for salty foods, and prefer comfortable clothes over fashion. But you may not have noticed that they shrug all the time and say half their dialogue with a smile. That they have paragraphs of dialogue lines and everyone else is relegated to three word responses. We seem to know every detail of what they are wearing but everyone else is just a talking head. You may be showing a smidge of favoritism to your protagonist and may need to take a pass or two to spread the love to your other characters.
On the other end of the spectrum, you may know your protagonist so well, that you're not taking the time to share some of those endearing facts with the rest of us. This can make your protagonist hard to like as they ram their way through the plot "because I'm telling you they're super awesome!". We need to be shown what kind of person they are throughout the story, especially in the opening chapters where we should be getting attached to them.
Some things that make a protagonist relatable - a.k.a things you can do to make readers not hate your protagonist (because I don't know about you, but I've read a few books where I'm cheering for the antagonist to win by chapter three).
- Give them a flaw or three
- Let them doubt themselves now and then
- Let them make mistakes
- On occasion, have them say what's on their mind rather than just think what they should say.
- Make sure they are taking an active role in accomplishing their goal rather than relying on others
- Give them one thing they are good at, even if its just being in the wrong place at the wrong time
- Don't be afraid to make them a bit quirky, funny, odd, sad...anything that makes them feel real.