by Tim Kane
Often , as we concentrate on churning out pages, we’re unaware of how the reader will respond to our writing. Specifically, our protagonist. Ever have that situation where your readers or critique group bonds more with the secondary characters than your protagonist? Here are some tips to remedy this issue.
Track Who Is More Endearing
It’s okay that your protagonist isn’t the star all the time. She shouldn’t be. It’s not a monologue. Yet, most of the manuscript should revolve around her and her interests. Track who’s the star in each scene. The character who readers bond to will switch, sometimes multiple times in a scene. Yet if you track it, you can be sure that your protagonist is wracking up more reader affection than the others.
Send Your Protagonist to Therapy
Often, readers won’t believe your character because you don’t understand him yourself. You need to dig deep. Find his inner fears. Childhood crushes. Favorite dessert. Often these details never make it into any scene in the manuscript, but they are essential to a well-rounded character.
Hey, maybe if everyone likes the sidekick, then perhaps he should step to the front. I’ve had this. I simply could not get into the head of my protagonist. Yet I had his best friend down. So much so, that when I was tasked with rewriting this manuscript, I ditched the main character and made it all about the friend.