Hello heros,

If you're thinking on how to create a good protagonist here's a good starting point.

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Your protagonist is the centre of your story, so it need to have interest and likeable (optional).
An easy way to make your character likeable is thinking of the people you like being with and give to your character the same traits. You can also think of the traits you don't like so you can avoid them.
Although it's a very good idea your character doesn't need to be likeable but in this case, you want to make sure it's interesting.
A very good example is following the journey of a killer. You probably won't like him/her, but it might be an interesting point of view.

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A Hero has Flaws

Let's admit: nobody is perfect! And, just like us, your characters shouldn't be either. People like to read about characters they identify themselves with and a hero that has no flaws isn't very relatable. Give your hero a trait that keeps getting them in trouble. E.g. a sharp tongue.

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If your character has a major flaw, then your character should be aware of it or will be at some point of your story. Once they're aware of it then show your character trying their best to overcome it, if they don't they might become unlikable.
Readers care about someone that try to do what it's right, even if their actions don’t always have the pretended effect.

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A Hero is Special

Once I was asked why the protagonist always has to be the one with something special. It doesn't, but would you want to read about them?
Basically, readers are waiting for the character to stand out from the crowd. Give them some confidence that the character has the potential for greatness within them.

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A Hero needs to Change

The protagonist needs to experience some growth or deterioration as the story evolves. No one stays the same for a long period of time, we are constantly changing as we learn about life. Make your character evolve as your story develops.

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The best way to do this is to push their pressure points. As the author you know every weak spot your character has. Break your protagonist so you can see what they're made of. There are two ways out of the situation you'll put your character through: he/she will successfully overcome the challenge, showing development or he/she will succumb to their weakness, they will recover and come back stronger than ever.

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The protagonist will face several different challenges throughout the story, and change will happen in those moments as well. The more they go through, the stronger they will become. Be careful though to not push them too far. Your goal is to push them to the edge of what they can handle and see what they do.

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Lots of Love
Vânia Santos

In the next article: Secondary Characters
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