A few months ago I wrote quite a bit about different types of protagonists. This post by Denise D. Young explores traits of compelling characters, which I not only agree with, but that I aspire to follow. Highly recommended read.
As writers, we know we have to create characters our readers will love—even if that means creating characters our readers will love to hate. I think Dolores Umbridge in J.K. Rowling’s “The Order of the Phoenix” is a great character. That doesn’t mean I want to have tea with her (afraid she’ll slip me some of Snapes’s veritaserum). But I love reading about her.
Earlier this year, I blogged about creating villains that aren’t cardboard cutouts. But what about our protagonists? If readers are going to follow this person for hundreds of pages—or across multiple books, if we’re writing a series—hopefully that person is someone they enjoy reading about.
Here are a few must-have qualities that I admire in protagonists. Every reader is different, obviously, but these are the important ones for me.
No. 1: They’re clever.
One of my favorite characters is Bilbo Baggins in “The Hobbit.” Bilbo’s…
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