Tips for Writers – Creating a Protagonist

Hello to all.

Last time, we looked at creating the characters that bring our story to life. Over the next few post, we’ll take a look at more specific character types, starting with everyone’s favorite : the protagonist!


The protagonist is the hero of your story, and the one your readers will be rooting for. They are the one the story follows, who lives through the events you lay out for them.

More often than not, the protagonist will be the good guy of the story, facing off against the villain to force him to pay for his crimes. However, this is not always the case.

There are many stories where the main character is someone very far from a traditional good guy. This is sometimes referred to as “a villain protagonist.” Which ever one you use in your story is ultimately up to you.

When it comes to creating your protagonist, you have to consider their role in the story. Put more simply, their motivation.

Every main character has to want something, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. This goal is going to be their driving force throughout the story you are crafting.

A small bit off advice that a lot of newbie writers may mess up on, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, make your protagonist perfect in every way.

This is referred to as a Mary Sue, or Gary Stu, depending on the character’s gender. A character who is perfect in every way possible will make for a very boring read, since their won’t be any struggle for them, and thus, no reason for readers to root for them.

All in all, you want a protagonist that readers of your story will relate to and feel an emotional connection with. A good way to do this is to look at people in your own life, and people you relate to yourself. What about them can describe off the top of your head? What qualities about them make you want them to succeed? Most importantly, what flaws do they have?

Flaws are must for any character. Personally, I believe a character without any noticeable flaws would be completely unlikeable.

A good method I use for creating characters, as well as protagonists, is looking at the qualities and flaws of people I see in dreams.

As I said in my post on Inspiration, all writers are different, so try to find your own method as to what works for you. We all have our own methods.

Next time, we’ll look into creating the antagonist, the character to go against our beloved hero.

Until then, stay awesome!


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