Creating the Perfect Protagonist

Katniss Everdeen

Katniss Everdeen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, you love reading books and now you want to write one of your own.  Where do you start?  Sometimes writers start with an idea or premise while others start with creating a character first.

Stephanie Meyers said she came up with the idea of Twilight after having a dream.  She had a dream about a girl and a boy who were talking about falling in love.  The only problem was that the boy was a vampire and he was trying to keep himself from killing the girl.

Whether it’s the story idea or a character that comes first, you have to create a protagonist that readers will care about.  People have so many different dimensions to who they are, so your character should have a lot of dimensions too.  People want love; to overcome their fears or sometimes get revenge, so create a character with many dimensions and interests.

Everyone has a least one special talent that sets him or her apart from the rest like Katniss Everdeen from Suzanne Collin’s book The Hunger Games. Katniss was a great hunter, great with the bow and arrow but not so great with dealing with boys or dealing with public relations.  Bella from the Twilight series might be a clumsy human but she had special skill that even vampires couldn’t fight against.  Flaws make characters interesting and their special skills helps to keep them active.

Last but not least, once you create a character and have an idea for a story next you need to make your character active as her or she sets off to overcome their problems. No one would be interested in Harry Potter if he just sat around thinking about fighting Voldemort; it was more fun actually seeing him do it.

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