Home > The Good Guy's Vault, Tips for the Spontaneous Writer > Good Vs. Evil Series: Being the Better Man

Good Vs. Evil Series: Being the Better Man

If you want the most out of your novel, take the time to understand and plan a strong protagonist, antagonist, and supporting cast. What this means, is have your character intents, motives, and development rates at the front of your mind. Doing this will open a lot of creative approach for you, and even reduce those grungy instances of writer’s block as you begin.

You’ve heard it over and over, but I’ll say it again. A character can formulate or it can deteriorate, everything. You can have a really strong plot idea, but throw in the wrong set of characters, and bam. You just wasted the first few months on crappy dialogue and character development. Well, back to page one you go. (Ugh, that hurt.) But don’t worry; I’m here to set you in the right direction.

Let’s begin with the protagonist/main character who drives the story all the way to the bittersweet end. This character can be good or bad, tall or short. The most important thing that needs to happen here is that our readers follow the story through his point of view.

Try not to be so stereotypical with his appearance. There are no rules that state, the hero must be dashing, or excessively handsome. Give him some grunge, a bit of less-than-average feel. You’ll still have a winner. In this approach, you’re character stands out among other designs, and that will help you get a feel for your creative ability. On the plus side, your main character will be like nothing anyone has seen before, right?

A few questions to ask yourself:

What does my hero have that makes him “grand”?

This doesn’t necessarily have to be special abilities, but whatever the attribute, it should give him a descent upper hand. Think of it this way. All heroes have undeniable will power, courage, and love. Use that and take it a step above and out of the norm. Maybe give him a massive intellect or a duel personality. Remember, this will make him unique to the other characters, and opposing force to the bad guy.

Is he writable and if so will my readers enjoy him?

You should consider this above all other questions you may have when designing your protagonist, because the reader has to coexist with them through to the end. A likable protagonist is one who will be relate-able, lovable, and allow for an emotional connection.

Does he fit well with the setting and story?

Sometimes a character becomes out of place. He might be gallant, but a knight in a science laboratory seems far-fetched, right? Even if, make sure his elements mesh with the world around him. The reason the knight is in the lab might be understood with back story.

There are lots of examples and places to find research. Don’t always create story parts that can be better off more realistic. Enjoy yourself and be spontaneous. Designing this character is important, but should always be fun.

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