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How to Write a Kickass Main Character Readers Will LOVE


Readers will present as much as your metaphorical yard for a great story…however they’ll come again for a very good protagonist…

And we’ll train you the right way to write a foremost character your readers will love, root for, and even cry for.

You will have the story you need to inform. You already know precisely the way to write the novel…nevertheless, you’re unsure methods to make your protagonist stand out—learn how to make readers love them.

And that’s the important thing, in any case…

When your e-book is years previous and readers have lengthy since learn it, it’s the primary character they’ll keep in mind, the enjoyment and worry and happiness they skilled on behalf of that protagonist that may make them keep in mind your e-book—and also you!


Listed here are the steps for writing a protagonist and important character:

  1. Study what a protagonist is
  2. Perceive a protagonist vs antagonist
  3. Study from protagonist examples
  4. Make your essential character likable
  5. Give them a humorousness
  6. Make your protagonist highly effective
  7. Give your protagonist hassle
  8. Give them a number of of those qualities
  9. Keep away from making a passive protagonist

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Study extra about it right here

What’s a protagonist?

The protagonist of a narrative is the main or most important character in a guide, film, brief story, play, or different works of fiction. They’re the individual the story facilities round and the character readers will root for to succeed.

Primarily, the protagonist of a ebook is the one whose objectives and ambitions are part of the primary plot, typically thwarted by the antagonist, who needs to see them fail for their very own private motives to succeed.

Your primary character possesses traits which are redeemable and lovable—they’re who your readers will develop most hooked up to and need to see win and succeed of their ventures all through the plot of your novel.

What’s the distinction between a protagonist and a most important character?

Protagonists and the primary character could be the identical, nevertheless, not each primary character is a protagonist.

For instance, when writing cut up perspective novels, the protagonist may simply be a single character, however the different factors of view are additionally fundamental characters.

A essential character is any character that performs a pivotal half within the plot and journey of the protagonist.

Listed here are a couple of examples of protagonists versus fundamental characters:

Protagonist (and the primary character):

  • Jon Snow
  • Harry Potter
  • Katniss Everdeen
  • Tobias Kaya

Fundamental character (however NOT the protagonist):

  • Cersei Lannister
  • Ron Weasley
  • Peeta Mellark
  • The Savior

What counts as a important character in a narrative?

The primary character in a narrative is somebody who performs an lively position within the development of the plot and story. This consists of each the protagonist, antagonist, and different lively characters.

For instance, your protagonist’s greatest good friend could be a essential character (like Ron Weasley), however so can the antagonist (like Voldemort).

You possibly can have a number of totally different primary characters however often just one protagonist in your novel.

The distinction between most important characters and aspect characters is that a aspect character sometimes serves a unique objective in your novel. They may not be instantly impacting the plot, however might function comedian aid, a foil character sort to your important character, and even play a selected position to tie totally different characters collectively.

An instance of a aspect character is Nick Fury in The Marvel Comics. Most frequently, the superheroes are the primary characters (and protagonists), however Fury is usually a aspect character with the aim of connecting plot factors, however not essentially shifting them ahead on his personal.

protagonist main charactersprotagonist main characters

Protagonist Versus Antagonist

The protagonist is the character who’s making an attempt to perform a selected objective whereas the antagonist is any character or group opposing them.

The antagonist is usually discovered to be synonymous with “villain,” however this isn’t all the time the case.

The antagonist of a narrative is something or anybody opposing your protagonist. Their aim is to cease them for no matter purpose, often as a result of their very own motivations and objectives contradict theirs.

Take Cersei Lannister, for instance. The favored franchise Recreation of Thrones unveiled a really particular sort of antagonist in Cersei as a result of in case you learn or watch from her personal perspective, she is the protagonist of her personal story.

This is among the golden guidelines of writing antagonists and any type of “villainous” character.

George R.R. Martin pulled this off superbly by making Cersei Lannister the antagonist to different principal characters like Jon Snow, the Starks, and Daenerys Targaryen, however as a result of (within the books) we’re provided her perspective, she’s truly the protagonist of her personal life journey.

However, she continues to be thought-about the antagonist—as are the White Walkers.

Protagonist Examples

The rationale why so many widespread books are a collection of books (aside from the writer eager to make a dwelling writing a number of books). All of us need to see the subsequent journey of a personality we love.

Sooner or later, should you just like the character sufficient, you cease caring what they’re even getting as much as (virtually) and also you simply need to know extra about them and their life.

Consider any partaking character you’ve encountered up to now decade. These characters might have stopped after one go, however they maintain coming again with new and fascinating issues to do. Typically they interact in stand-alone tales, different occasions their persevering with adventures are a part of an arc that exhibits off their progress over a collection.

character development arccharacter development arc

Listed here are some examples of nice protagonists:

Easy methods to Write a Good Protagonist Your Readers Will Keep in mind

Not each character is value coming again for. The endurance of a personality comes from greater than merely surviving the plot (although that often helps).

It’s essential do intense character improvement and provides them some particular high quality and/or make them likable. In different phrases, make them kickass.

Whereas that’s simpler stated than carried out, it isn’t too exhausting to do. Listed here are six methods to place some kick in your character.

#1 – Make Your Protagonist Likable

Individuals wish to spend time with likable
characters. Very similar to in actual life, the off-putting individuals are likely to get skipped
over and left to the aspect.

Consider any Tom Hanks character in any of his romantic comedies. He all the time performs a likeable man, a man you’d fortunately have over for dinner, spend the day with, cling with.

His charisma and appeal prolong from there, making his characters in dramas extra approachable.

In the identical approach, in case your make a personality likable and personable, the reader will stick by them within the robust spots. They’ll care concerning the occasions that occur as a result of they just like the character.

Think about the best way a slasher flick units up
the characters. You understand from the introduction who’s going to outlive the
night time and who isn’t. The heroes (often a pair) stand for a similar values as
the viewers. They’re type, good, and ethical. They appear out for his or her fellow
characters in occasions of hazard.

A likable character sticks up for the little man and provides a human high quality to their supporting forged, even when that forged isn’t remotely human.

When a personality looks like a information, it
makes the reader really feel protected. Particularly in horror or thriller tales, you need
the reader to be extra excited to show the web page and see the subsequent scene than they
are hesitant.

Examples of those likable fundamental characters embrace:

#2 – Make Them Humorous

Not fairly the identical as likable and never fairly the other both. Humorous characters can get away with greater than unfunny ones, however they will get annoying if pushed.

Like several good joke, timing and supply matter.

Biting wit and a jocular take a look at the risks throughout make for some memorable character moments. Make writing dialogue for this sort of character value some outbursts of laughter and also you’ll have your reader turning the pages with gleeful delight.

Humorous isn’t simply jokes consisting of arrange and punchline. You undoubtedly don’t need to depend on a string of catchphrase utterance, regardless of how a lot a Groot may work once in a while.

The essence of wit is brevity. Quips work when they’re insightful but in addition come from an actual place.

Be additional cautious in establishing the background of a metacharacter. Deadpool’s humor doesn’t fly in all tales always.

Humorous may also imply awkward or by chance humorous.

Assume Ron in Harry Potter. He doesn’t imply to be humorous… he’s awkward, however in a lovable, hilarious means and we love him for it.

The falls into hassle and falls again out of it fashion of character goes method again to Greek comedies. The setup for a comedy of errors depends on a likable fellow getting in over their heads and making an attempt to not make a multitude as they work it out.

Examples of humorous characters:

  • Starlord and Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Sherlock Holmes within the newest reboots
  • Tyrian Lannister in Recreation of Thrones
  • Simon Pegg’s Scotty

#three – Make Your Protagonist Highly effective

A personality that lacks the power to have an effect on the world round them turns into tiresome. We would like heroes challenged, positive, however we additionally need to know they will succeed. That when confronted with the risks of the plot and the villains they’ve a shot that, when it comes right down to it, they will kick some ass.

Tony Stark isn’t only a billionaire. He’s a billionaire genius. Take away his armor and he’s nonetheless a beloved determine with cash, brains, fame and the notice to level all of it that out, if pressed on the topic.

good protagonistgood protagonist

The rationale we love underdog characters is
as a result of they’re secretly probably the most highly effective. They’ve the facility to stand up and
supersede the challenges, they only aren’t there but. The likable, humorous
exterior makes you root for a personality, however you need them to win in the long run
as a result of they’re higher than the competitors.

In case your character is a lawyer, they’re the
greatest lawyer on the town. If they’re getting into an academy to turn out to be a pilot, they
are on the trail to be the perfect pilot.

A strong character (ie- one of the best at one thing) garners respect from the reader.

Keep in mind to maintain the character likable, a strong character that makes use of their energy to do hurt turns into a villain. Redemption arcs apart, you need to keep away from each a snotty character and a personality that may’t be challenged.

Highly effective doesn’t imply good.

One of many bonuses of being nice at one thing is that individuals are fast to forgive them a few of flaws. Tony Stark is boastful. We forgive him that as a result of there’s a good purpose why he’s conceited.

Genius characters can get away with being delinquent, healthful characters may be naïve, and efficient characters might be forgiven some ethical gray areas.

Until you’re writing noir, you need to
maintain the positives outshining the negatives. That stability can flip a bit for
antiheroes (ie Deadpool, John Wick) however typically takes a darker world to be

#four – Give Your Protagonist Hassle and Battle

Battle makes character. Battle that
stems from the characters inner conflicts results in a special emotional
response than battle that stems from inevitable outdoors forces.

Working example, we instantly really feel sorry for Jack and Rose as a result of we all know the Titanic goes down and there isn’t something that both character might do to keep away from that destiny.

We really feel quite a bit much less for Superman and Batman of their Doomsday battle once they want a tool they casually tossed apart an hour in the past.

The extra a battle resonates with the reader, the extra they will determine with the character.

Whereas saving the world from the horrible forces of an awesome alien order is enjoyable, it isn’t relatable. It isn’t the sort of factor you’re more likely to face in a day.

You personalize it by bringing it right down to the granular. You make it a few specific private loss, not all of the losses.

Examples of nice battle with protagonists:

  • We empathize with Harry Potter as a result of he’s an orphan, not as a result of he’s a wizard within the fallacious world.
  • We perceive what it’s like to not be believed, not a lot dying and being resurrected by magic like Jon Snow.
  • We need to make a distinction like Hawkeye, figuring out that what we do issues even when we aren’t Thor degree highly effective.

Be warned: there’s a distinction between the reader empathizing with a personality and pitying them.

  • Jack and Rose are good individuals
    having fun with life. They take advantage of their final days.
  • Harry Potter is a faculty child
    making an attempt his greatest. He (virtually) by no means wallows in self-pity over his trials and
  • Thor loses his hammer and his
    eye. He makes jokes about his issues whereas making an attempt to unravel them as an alternative of
    giving up.

#5 – Give Them Numerous Traits

Character’s shouldn’t be one dimensional cardboard cut-outs. You need to make them wealthy and full.

To this finish, you don’t want to stay to at least one method.

Because the previous examples overlapped fairly a bit, you see that mixing and matching works higher than solo purposes.

write a main characterwrite a main character

Combine and match your protagonist’s traits like these examples:

  • Tony Stark is highly effective, likable, and humorous
  • Harry Potter is likable, in a state of affairs that’s relatable however outdoors his management
  • Kirk is likable, typically in peril outdoors himself, and has the talent to outpace his faults

You don’t need to overdo it. A personality that’s making an attempt to be too many issues can turn into cluttered and complicated. Typically this can be a results of the Superman drawback, you possibly can’t instantly problem a personality designed to be too good.

Flaws make for an anchor for a reader to undertaking themselves into a personality.

Additionally, no one likes a narrative the place the plot dictates the effectiveness of the character from web page to web page.

You additionally don’t need to alienate an viewers by making a dreaded Mary Sue (which is a “good” character who can by no means do mistaken)…

Depart room for flaws in your protagonist like these examples:

  • Tony Stark is conceited and a drunk
  • Harry Potter lacks self-confidence and doesn’t get the woman
  • Deadpool has most cancers, is a jerk, and may’t appear to die
  • The Forged of Recreation of Thrones is all too mortal, and largely unprotected by plot armor

#6 – Keep away from Making a Passive Character

A standard mistake of first-time writers is to make characters reactive, in any other case generally known as passive.

And you understand simply how a lot passive voice is a no-no in writing, passive characters are additionally frowned upon.

Whereas they could have to roll with the punches once they first splash into the deep finish, you need them to drive the motion quickly after.

An amazing character is proactive. They take cost, make a plan, and assault an issue with their expertise and supporting forged.

Typically, you need to use the above methods to outline their strategy to proactivity.

Listed here are some inquiries to ask with a view to discover ways to keep away from a passive character:

  • Do they face their issues with a joke?
  • Do they enlist the assistance of their forged of associates?
  • Do they remedy it with their energy?
  • Do they remedy the issue by acknowledging that any effort issues as a result of the place they discover themselves isn’t their fault?

Remember what fuels your character and they’ll all the time have a strategy to transfer ahead. Not solely that, the reader will probably be rooting on your constitution as nicely.

Nice characters come from relatability and influence a reader by interesting to what we like to consider ourselves. A likable character engages a reader and could be a vector into a wierd world.

Likable characters humanize battle and provides readers a cause to care.

Humorous characters use their quips and whit
to assault issues and hold the darkness at bay. We like to go away our fiction
with a superb feeling and jokes are how we deal with the worst of our points.

Highly effective characters embody proactive
approaches. A reader likes to see a personality succeed and likes to know what a
character is able to to allow them to be in on the motion, not blindsided by
troubles and des ex machina.

A reader likes to see actual battle. That
is battle that issues to a personality and challenges the character. They
don’t wish to see pity and interpersonal wallowing.

Consider your character like a pal. Do your greatest to advocate for them however keep in mind that they aren’t you. Hold writing and let your characters converse for themselves.

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