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Let them struggle

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger on Jun 19, 2017 5:39:58 AM

Your protagonist shouldn't have all the answers. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that it's imperative that your protagonist doesn't have all the answers. In other words, he or she shouldn't always be winning. If your story features the protagonist always getting the upper hand, your story has three problems.

1. It's boring.

2. It's predictable.

3. Your protagonist isn't experiencing any growth.

Don't be afraid to let your protagonist fail. That's when the story has meaning because it forces introspection, action, and change. That's what keeps a reader hooked. The more challenges your protagonist fails to conquer, the greater your opportunity as a writer to create a more compelling story with a multidimensional protagonist.

Readers identify with struggle because they've experienced struggle. They've failed to conquer challenges in their lives, so they can relate to a protagonist who does the same. When a reader relates to a protagonist, they become more than a reader. They become a fan.

Of course, I'm talking about struggles that occur all the way to the point of the conclusion of the main conflict. Having your protagonist not come out on top at the end of your book would be highly unusual. Losing a few battles here and there is one thing, but having them lose the war is something else entirely. I don't know if a reader can get over that. I'm not saying it can't be done, but I'm having a hard time recalling a book I enjoyed that featured the protagonist losing the final conflict.

Give your protagonist the opportunity to lose a few battles along the way, so they can grow and learn. Your readers will thank you for it.

-Richard Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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