Tag Archives | Protagonists

The YA Sass Attack

You know what gets old really fast? Sass. I don’t mean, of course, the occasional well-timed quip, or a certain strong friendship dynamic that provides fun banter throughout a story. I mean sass present in every word of prose and dialogue that should read as clever, but instead comes across as whiny. Here’s the thing about sass. Many YA books live for sass, but a lot of teens are way better at being whiny and […]


Villains Who Would Make Great Protagonists

I love, love, love a good dark character. I think most people do. There’s a reason why some of the show-stealing characters in our favorite stories tend to be the shadowy ones. However, there’s also a reason why most of these folks tend to not be the protagonist: even with complex character development, it is simply not easy to relate to a baddie. In general, we need to be inside the mind of the one […]


Best of: Antiheros

Antihero: n. a central character who lacks conventional heroic attributes (such as being morally good, idealistic, and/or courageous) There is nothing I love more than a well-drawn antihero. In fact, some of my all-time favorite characters fit into this archetype. I’m not sure what it is about watching a morally ambiguous protagonist navigate their way through life that is so captivating. Maybe I can relate to them better than I can a traditional hero? Their […]


Your Character has a Secret

Psst! Guess what? Your main character has a secret! In fact, it’s a pretty safe bet that all of your characters have something that they are keeping to themselves. Something they desperately want to keep hidden. Something they don’t want any of the other characters to know about. Your task is to discover what each character’s secret is. You don’t necessarily have to get your characters to tell everyone else their secrets. In fact, it […]


WWMCD: Creating Depth and Motivation in Your Characters

I’ve always admired those people who know what their main character eats for breakfast. I don’t. I’ve never had the stamina to fill out long questionnaires aimed at getting to know your main character better. For some people, it’s that kind of intimacy that brings their characters to life. For others, it takes out the mystery. No matter what your approach, you need to know what drives your main character, and enough about him or her […]