I don’t think it can be stressed enough that a writer need to craft a protagonist the reader will care about one way or another. Your protagonist can be the make or break of your story.
Crafting a great protagonist is hard, but there are ways that may help you get a better understanding of how to proceed. I have therefore compiled a list of questions that will help you dive deeper into why your readers should care about your protagonist.
Why Should Your Readers Care About Your Protagonist?
You can use the following questions on all your characters, but I would advise you to focus on your protagonist. He is the character the reader will spend most time with throughout the story.
Here are the questions:
Why do you care about your protagonist?
Why should others care about your protagonist?
What is your protagonist’s deepest desire, goal, and driving need (motivation)? Will this make the reader care about the protagonist? Will the reader root for the protagonist to achieve her goal?
What happens when you protagonist is about to lose everything? Will he react in a way that makes the reader care?
What is your protagonist’s biggest flaw? Reader’s often connect with the flaws of characters. And remember that no living person is perfect, neither should your character be.
In what way does your protagonist show vulnerability? How does this affect the reader?
When does your protagonist show redeeming qualities like courage, forgiveness, etc.?
If your character has no, or few, redeeming qualities, how will your reader care for him? Is there something unique about his perspective or in his voice that make readers willing to stick with him through the entire story?
How is your protagonist different from your antagonist? Why will your reader root for the protagonist instead of the antagonist?
What is the most fascinating thing about your protagonist? It can be a characteristic as well as voice or backstory, etc.
What scenes do you need in your story to get your reader to root for your protagonist?
There you have them. I hope they will help you!
What are your tips to crafting a protagonist readers will care about? Is there something you would like to add to this list of questions? Please do share in the comments below.
Do you want a Scrivener or Microsoft Word template that will help you with your characters?
The Character Focused Template is designed to help you create and develop your characters.
It includes character archetype templates, templates to help establish your characters' backstories, templates to develop their voices, and more.