How to Craft Your Protagonist’s Internal Growth: 9 Questions to Consider

How to Craft Your Protagonist’s Internal Growth: 9 Questions to Consider + a Free Download

It’s important for your protagonist to have some form of growth through your story—especially internal growth. Internal growth will help you create a well-rounded character, which is one step in the right direction of crafting a character that lifts off the pages.

I’ve compiled a list of questions in this blog post (and a workbook in which you can answer the questions). These are questions that may help you craft the internal growth of your protagonist.

But first, let’s take a quick look at why growth is important.

Free Download: How to Craft Your Protagonist’s Internal Growth Worksheets
 

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Why Growth is Important and How to Do It

For a protagonist to be a well-rounded and heroic character, he will often need to be marked by internal growth—particularly in terms of moral understanding or insight of the world, life, etc.

Many times, the protagonist’s internal growth happens because his mental and emotional strength or his moral values are tested with pain or temptation or conflicting beliefs. Eventually, the protagonist proves his heroism and integrity, which is part of his internal growth.

The protagonist’s journey to insight is more powerful if it takes effort, and his journey needs to be a struggle for him to grow. Have him face situations and tests that take him out of his comfort zone. Have him fail some of his struggles so that he’ll learn what not to do next time he faces a similar struggle. But the key is to make him struggle. Make him suffer.

Another way to create conflict is if the protagonist simply refuses to change—whether that’s mentally, emotionally, or even as simply as refusing to change his view of the world. This may send him down a path of more torment, which may very well be the only way for him to grow.

 

Your Character’s Internal Growth

You can use this list of questions for all of your main characters if you wish, but I would first and foremost focus my attention on the protagonist.

Here’s the list of questions:

  • Begin by describing the protagonist at the beginning of the story. Then, describe him at the end of the story.
  • How will the protagonist’s insight of himself change through the story?
  • How will the protagonist’s understanding and view of the world change through the story?
  • How will the protagonist’s mental and emotional strength be tested through the story? What type of tests will he go through? How will these tests make him change on his journey from the beginning to the end?
  • In what ways does the protagonist resist his internal growth?
  • What type of scenes do you need to challenge the protagonist to develop insight, understanding, and test his mental and emotional strength?
  • What type of scenes do you need to have the protagonist resist his development?
  • Who or what does the protagonist encounter to offer him insight and understanding? Why does this provoke the change?
  • Describe the protagonist’s starting point and ending again if your answers above have changed your initial view (the answer to the first question) of the protagonist’s internal growth.

 

There you have it. I hope this blog post has helped!

 

Free Download: How to Craft Your Protagonist’s Internal Growth
 

Do you want a ready-made set of worksheets to craft your protagonist's internal growth?

 
How to Craft Your Protagonist’s Internal Growth: 9 Questions to Consider

How do you make sure your character shows internal growth? Have you anything to add to the list of questions above? Please do share in the comments below.

 

How to Craft Your Protagonist’s Internal Growth: 9 Questions to Consider + a Free Download
How to Craft Your Protagonist’s Internal Growth: 9 Questions to Consider + a Free Download