We all have a favourite character. Some we read about and others we write for ourselves, but what makes that special protagonist stand out from the rest? Undoubtedly, every reader/writer will have their own opinion on what it takes to create a character the rest of the world will fall in love with, but here are my own tips on doing just that.
1. It's All in the Name
Naming your characters can almost be as difficult as naming your children. After all, their name is generally the first thing our readers will discover about our protagonist. When choosing that all-important name, consider who you want your character to be. They say that people judge books by their covers, but subconsciously, we can also judge characters on their names.
2. Flaws are Beautiful
A flawed personality is always going to be more intriguing than a perfect one. If our protagonist is perfect and destined to continue to be perfect, there isn't a story to discover. There isn't any intrigue or suspense in what led the character to become the way they are. The mystery surrounding our protagonist can be big or small, but we don't want our characters to be perfect, we want them to be real.
3. Be Relatable
The majority of readers want to see a part of themselves in the book they are immersed in and creating a character that is relatable is the best way to do that. Reflecting some of your own personality traits onto the protagonist can help to ensure that the character has attributes other people will connect with.
4. Ordinary can be Extraordinary
Not all narratives require a protagonist that is superhuman and so out of this world that they become unbelievable. Sometimes, simply developing a main character that is as normal as you and me is enough.
5. Potential is Key
For me, this is the most important factor. Having a character that has the potential to grow with the narrative is essential. We all mature over time and our characters are no different. When you first pen your protagonist, keep one eye on the future and leave room in their character to evolve over time. After all, time changes all of us, in both good ways and bad. This natural evolution opens doors to storylines we never believed possible when we first put pen to paper, so don't limit yourself when laying the groundwork for your protagonist.
Creating a protagonist is both exciting and nerve-wrecking. Making your readers fall in love with your main character is the first step in writing a successful book, therefore, getting the protagonist spot on is essential. So, get your thinking cap on and create a whole new person for the world to want a piece of!