Over the next few posts, we will examine the importance of building the characters who will carry your novel’s storyline. (Short stories may not have all these characters due to the length and focus of the storyline.)
There are FOUR-character types, (the Protagonist, the Antagonist, the Love Interest, and Other Characters) who will populate the place you create in your novel. But today, we will start by looking at the goals of the Protagonist.
The main character of your novel is the Protagonist. It is this character who drives your plot. Their story goal is to find a solution to a problem posed at the beginning of the book. (Without a problem, there is NO story.)
So, how do you go about making your Protagonist shine like the STAR they are?
Incorporating the following key points into building your Protagonist will help your readers remember your Protagonist AND your novel.
- All novels must have a Protagonist. Without them, the storyline feels like a movie without a star. With this central character, the readers MUST empathize with and therefore keep the reader turning the page.
- When setting the scene for the novel, the Protagonist’s role expands. Writers need to use this character to build the scenery around. Additionally, the storyline’s viewpoint is usually told from the Protagonist’s perspective (but not always.)
- All of us are flawed. So are protagonists. Writing the ‘perfect’ person without any character flaws will create someone with who most readers will not empathize. Your Protagonist needs to act or react to some sort of problem, and perfect people rarely face issues. The Antagonist (we will discuss them later) usually creates the problem while will define your Protagonist. (Without an adversary for your main character, there is little reason behind the storyline of a novel.)
- Your Protagonist is usually likable because most readers won’t want to read a novel about someone they despise. Still, a skillful writer can also make the reader root for the Antagonist – it does happen.
- And while the Protagonist is the STAR of the story, just like any good movie, the novel will also need some supporting roles. The Antagonist causes stumbling blocks and walls. A Confidant acts as a friend who is there as support. There should be some sort of romantic involvement to further complicate life. And lastly, other characters will make shorter appearances in the novel. These characters can be unforgettable, but they cannot steal the show.