A primer on the passive protagonist from threekookaburras:
"In stories for children and teenagers, the child protagonist will be passive. Adult characters will be brought in again and again to solve problems for the child protagonist, who not only remains passive but isn’t even reactive."
"Treat your characters cruelly." Good advice from one of Gail's favorite writing blogs, Editor's Blog.
Thoughts on enlivening the passive protagonist from Gotham Writers:
"Get your passive character out of the house. She can’t meet people if she’s sitting at home, thinking."
From guest blogger Ian Weir on writing the first draft:
"And the draft continued to lie there like a dead mackerel on a plank, until I finally understood that I was telling the wrong story about the wrong characters, completely."
We are so often unsure who our protagonist really is. The questions to ask again: what story do I really want to tell? Who is in the best position to tell the story? Then, what do they want/need/desire? What's stopping them? What are they willing to do to reach their goal?
And last, but not least, from another of Gail's favorite writing blog (language warning), terribleminds:
"Readers are masochists, and that’s good, because most writers are sadists. It is the writer’s job to cause pain and misery to the main characters and to constantly throw peril in their way so that you block them from getting what they want."
While you're here, check out the guest blogs by many of Canada's best established and emerging writers by clicking on Resources.
Registration is now open for Gail's summer session: four-month mentorships, two-month intensives (for teachers!), developmental edits, blue pencil sessions and retreats on Manitoulin Island, ON, and in the Shuswap, BC. Click on Work with Gail for details.