As readers, we love a well-written story with a protagonist we can root for. We want to be pulled into the character’s journey and empathize with their struggles and successes. However, crafting a compelling protagonist is no easy feat. It requires a deep understanding of character development and storytelling. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at some successful novels and what we can learn from them about creating memorable protagonists.

1. Show, Don’t Tell 🎭🛍️

One of the most important lessons to learn when crafting a protagonist is to show their character traits, rather than telling about them. Instead of straightforwardly telling the reader what a character is like, use their actions, dialogue, and thoughts to reveal their personality and motivations. This creates a more engaging reading experience and allows the reader to form their own conclusions about the character.

 A picture of an actor emoting on stage

2. Give them flaws 🤫🔍💣

As much as we want our protagonists to be perfect, flaws are what make them relatable and human. Your character should have weaknesses and make mistakes, just like anyone else. It’s important to remember that flaws don’t need to be physical – they can be personality traits or emotional vulnerabilities. By giving your protagonist flaws, you create tension and conflict in the story, and your character has room to grow and develop.

 A picture of a person with a chink in their armor

3. Make them active participants ✊🚀🏭

Another key element in developing a compelling protagonist is to make them an active participant in their own story. Rather than being a passive bystander, the protagonist should be the driving force of their own journey. They should make their own decisions, take risks, and pursue their goals with determination. When the protagonist is actively participating, the reader is more invested in their journey and feels a sense of satisfaction when they achieve their goals.

 A picture of a person taking a bold step forward

4. Show their progression 🌄🧭🚶‍♀️

No protagonist is complete without a character arc. The journey your character takes should change them in some way, whether it be emotionally, intellectually, or physically. The arc is what turns an ordinary character into a memorable one. The reader should be able to see the growth and change in the protagonist as they progress through the story.

 A picture of a person climbing a mountain, showing the progression

5. Balance strengths and weaknesses 🥊🎭🌞

A well-crafted protagonist has both strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to have a balance between the two, so the character feels realistic and human. While the protagonist should have admirable qualities that make them likeable, it’s their flaws and weaknesses that make them interesting and relatable.

 A picture of a person juggling different balls to show balance

Crafting a compelling protagonist is a complex and nuanced task. By taking the lessons from successful novels, we can create characters that readers will root for and remember long after the story is over. Show, don’t tell, give them flaws, make them active participants, show their progression, and balance strengths and weaknesses. These tips will set you on your way to crafting a protagonist that readers will love. ❤️

 A picture of a person sitting at a desk, typing on a computer, with books and notes scattered around