Confessions of a Book Addict

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Ten Things I Wish I Could Say to Fictional Characters.

1:
Really? You're going to fall for that?

2:
COME ON!! IT'S NOT THAT HARD TO PICK A PERSON--ONE OF THEM IS CLEARLY EVIL!

3:
How are you so calm right now? Why am I the only one that has an issue with how people are treating you? You're. So. Calm.

4:
Oh yeah, your mortal enemy is totally going to keep his/her word (shakes head, while whispering, "Noooooooo.")

5:
Of course that person likes you, are you completely blind?

6:
I bet you're regretting that choice you made, huh?

7:
You know you're in trouble when your creator (the author) has given voice to another character as well as you. (Hey, Allegiant, this one's for you!)

8:
No, no, character, I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing with you. I swear.

9:
WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!?! Great, now you're making me cry. Thanks.

10:
See, you should have just said "I love you" when you had the chance, now you've given the author the chance to screw up your life and write a sequel.


What would you say to the characters from the books you've read?

When a love triangle is obviously unnecessary, yet the protagonist can't see it.

Female Protagonist:
I like them both!

Male Character 1:
I'm an asshole, but you should pick me!

Male Character 2:
I have all the awesome qualities you need in a man! Pick me!

Male Character 1:
I make you feel weak and doubt yourself, but I know you still love me.

Male Character 2:
I've known you forever. I love YOU for you.

Female Protagonist:
Oh, life is so hard! All of these choices to make!

Character:
Hi, I just met you, and I'm going to mess with your head!

Character:
I'm blind right now to all the obvious negatives in my world.

Character:
I'm incredibly naive.

Character:
I secretly know my crush likes me, but I'm just going to doubt myself throughout the book, just because I can.

Character:
I know I'm not as normal as I say I am--

Character:
I just want to keep denying the fact that the things in my world exist, making the story drag until I finally accept what's up.

Character:
I might be a little naggy, annoying, and at times boring.

Character:
And I'm also part of extremely popular books.

Character:
Readers just love my personality, don't they?

Me:
No.

4 Tips For Creating A Protagonist

Okay, you’re probably thinking: Why do I need to even think about this? Can’t I just start writing a character in and call him/her a protagonist? 

Well, no—unless you’re one of those people who are incredibly awesome and can imagine everything as you go—some of us need to plan first, then get going with our writing. A protagonist is more than just a character. S/he is the main character, meaning that s/he will be the first person (usually) the reader meets. Sometimes, s/he is even the first person YOU meet as the story forms in your mind. 

The following tips are just guidelines—not something you are obligated to follow. I’ve used these tips with my own writing and I hope it works for you!

____________________

1. Get the Basics Down

By basics, I mean the obvious stuff: Gender & age, for example. 

This is kind of where “write what you know” can either affect you positively or negatively. Your protagonist can be ANY gender you want, just remember that if you create a protagonist that is your opposite sex, you have to have appropriate dialogue. 

My suggestion for this would be to people-watch, or to secretly examine your friends’ mannerisms and/or speech pattern. 

Also, deciding an age is pretty important, especially since now we have Young Adult fiction and Adult fiction.

Also, you have to be careful that your character isn’t a sixteen year-old with the mind of forty year-old. Be believable, be relatable—no matter how complex your story is.

2. Create Some History

You have to ask yourself: What has my character gone through to become the person s/he is now? 

Treat your protagonist like a real person: What was his/her childhood like? What are his/her parents like? Why is my character so mad/happy/sad/quiet/mysterious all the time? What events have acted as catalysts in my character’s life?

The more you know about your character’s past, the more you can draw on. Your protagonist needs to have depth and not just a facade of emotion.

Rather than telling your reader what your protagonist is feeling, why not show why your protagonist is the way s/he is?

3. Add Some Growth 

Your protagonist should grow as a character.

It can be a positive or negative growth, what matters is that your protagonist gets from point A at the start of the novel, to point B at the conclusion. 

The tricky part of character growth is that it can’t be an overt change. As the action increases in your novel, there should be instances of character growth that come with your protagonist’s experiences. These changes can be shown by how s/he interacts with someone, or how s/he acts around others. For example: If your character is normally quiet, maybe a certain event can cause him/her to speak up. 

Of course, there are tons of ways you can show character growth. The point is to not be obvious about it and to not have your character suddenly change. If s/he is a shy person in one chapter, s/he can’t start running around buck naked in the next chapter. You have to build up to the changes your protagonist goes through. 

4. Set A Goal

What do you want your protagonist to achieve? 

Do you want him/her to win a game, earn respect, or even save the world? 

If you don’t have a goal for your character, then you should create one. The story will be propelled forward by your protagonist’s need to achieve the goal you’ve set. 

If anything, creating a goal for your character will also help YOU write the novel.

Why?

Well, if you know where you want your protagonist to go, then the path to getting to the conclusion might be a little easier. 

____________________

I hope these tips help you out! 

Happy writing!

Me:
This character sounds alright.

Me:
Okay, you did something cool there character!

Me:
Main character, why are you not like this character?

Me:
That's right, character, you tell them!

Me:
This book is awesome and it's all thanks to this chara--

Me:
Wait.

Me:
What just happened?

Me:
The character just died?

Me:
What?

Me:
How?

Me:
WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS, AUTHOR?!?!

Me:
That's it, I'm done.

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