A great protagonist drives the plot by being proactive about his or her goals. In today’s video I discuss how you can write a main character who acts as the primary driving force behind the novel’s action.
- The protagonist should be the main driving force behind your novel. The bulk of the story isn’t happening “to” them, but rather they are driving the story.
- The protagonist needs to take active steps towards his or her goal, even if those steps are interfered with or aren’t helpful.
- Your protagonist’s flaw will most likely cause him or her to get into more trouble when the protagonist’s proactive behavior is counterproductive.
- Even characters who avoid conflict can take active steps in their avoidance.
- Victims of abuse, bullying, or circumstances are particularly vulnerable to becoming inactive. It’s important to make sure a victimized character is still taking steps towards a goal.
Questions to Ask About Your Novel
1. What proactive steps does your protagonist take towards his/her goals?
It’s vital that the protagonist put effort into pursuing her goals so she doesn’t sit on the sidelines waiting for someone else to solve her problems. The protagonist must be striving to accomplish her goals by taking concrete actions.
2. Is your character overly reliant on other characters?
Make sure your character has enough bravery and tenacity to move towards his goals. He might have lots of negative traits and his actions might move him deeper into trouble, but he shouldn’t only be taking orders from other characters or relying on others to solve his problems. He has to put on the big boy boots and do most things by himself.
If you have any questions about creating a character who drives the plot, please post it in the comments below.
Comment Question: Does your character take charge or does he or she have a tendency to watch from the sidelines?
Workshop #1 critiques will be posted later today and every day this week. If you didn’t get a chance to submit last week, the submission form is still open!
Want to connect with other Novel Boot Camp Participants?
For more writing tips, follow or subscribe: