In literature, when writing your protagonist make sure that they are “active.”
What do I mean by active? I mean that your protagonist, whatever situations s/he may be facing, must take action to attempt to solve them. Your main character cannot be a passive onlooker. Be they of heroic, antiheroic, or villainous qualities, the character who is the primary focus of your book needs to move things forward through aggressive actions.
I want to get into a bit of an aside…in April 2013, I quit my job as an educator at Monroe College. I loved working at Monroe. I had a great rapport with students and colleagues alike. The administration was quite high on me, wanting to promote me. I enjoyed the culture of the institution. However, I was determined to make it as a writer and when the initial catalyst arrived – my first publication in a literary journal – I set out on a new path, taking action to get my writing published and delving into the worlds of acting, filmmaking, and entrepreneurship. I have faced many challenges along the way, but regardless, I continue to push forward on my path until I have achieved everything I set out to do.
Now if someone someday might view me as an inspiration for the lead character in their book, I can work as a protagonist because I always have a bias towards action in my own life, working to move things forward through all obstacles. Your protagonist needs to do the same.
Of course, there are exceptions. You can choose to write a book about a character paralyzed by inaction; however, most writers write active protagonists and should remember to make sure that their lead character is always pushing the plot forward through their actions.
The takeaway: Make sure that your protagonist is a doer. S/he is not someone merely acted on by others, s/he is the one leading through their actions.
I had the pleasure to edit Backs Against The Wall, the debut novel of KD McGregor, a talented indie writer. KD has agreed to be interviewed by The Literary Game to discuss his perspective on many issues of importance to aspiring writers. We’ll have the interview up soon.
In the meantime, I highly recommend that anyone interested in a fast-paced, gritty, character and plot-driven work of fiction pick up a copy of KD’s book, now available on Amazon. Click here to purchase a copy (free for users of Kindle Unlimited).
If you too are looking for an affordable novel editor, please click here.
The beginning of your novel is easy. The ideas flow out and you’re writing at least 3,000 words a day.
The middle of your novel starts to become arduous, but you still know where you’re going with your story. Maybe you’re down to about 1,000 words a day.
Now you’re at the finish line and it has become a nightmare because you have no idea how to artfully end your book. Sound like a situation you’ve faced before? If so, read on for a few different ways to conclude your novel or short story.
Open Ended – In this approach, readers determine what happened because the writer intentionally leaves the ending open to interpretation.
Traditional – A clear cut ending with no ambiguity. Readers know exactly what happened and why.
Back To The Beginning – The writer revisits the same/similar image or situation as at the beginning of the story.
Thoughts – A character, usually the protagonist, sinks into reflection.
Dialogue – Characters have a conversation.
Symbolism – Details that allude to something important are presented.
Which approach have you used in your novel/s or short stories? Why did you choose that approach?