On this blog every Tuesday and Friday I write about story techniques, structure, and/or publishing. Comments and questions are welcome. I also have a personal blog, Amy Deardon, on which I write about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy.

I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research.

My book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story, is now available in both hard-copy and e-book formats. I also coach would-be novelists and screenwriters to develop their story. YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Who is Your Protagonist?

While you may have complex story ideas, it’s important to identify one, and only one, protagonist for your story. The technical definition of the protagonist is that he is the character who most emotionally changes in the story: he learns how to repair an emotional void or need in his life so that he can live more freely. This character change, or arc, describes a journey of fulfillment.

This protagonist will have an emotional HIDDEN NEED that needs to be fixed during the course of the story. This Hidden Need will be related in some way to the overall theme or moral that you want to use for your story. While your story might be about many of your characters, the protagonist will be the one whose story it is.

You need to decide whose story this will be. List all the characters you may want to include in your story, and describe your thoughts around them. How will each change, or will he change? Then look through your list to decide on which character you most want to focus. If there are two (or more) characters that make major changes, that’s okay, but one has to be dominant. Make a choice.

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