Posted in โœ๏ธ Writing Tips & Resources

ALL Characters are the Protagonist

Or at least, they think they areย ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  Come on, nobody grows up wanting to be the sidekick–and this includes your antagonists and supporting characters.

This is a concept that I recently read in Chuck Wendig’sย Damn Fine Story,ย and right away, something just clicked.damn fine story

My supporting characters went from “I’m here to support” to fully-fledged complex people with lives.ย  I’m serious!

Once I began to think of these “other” characters in this way, I got out of a rut in a particular story where the side-character was just… there.ย  Like a placeholder.

Like a nail just stuck in the wall.

When you consider that all your characters think they are the protagonist, it helps you better visualize their wants, needs, and (smaller) arcs.

It helps you breathe life into them, so that they’re not just a nail in a wall.

blazing-2024298_640And when it comes to antagonists, it truly puts you in their shoes, so that you (and the reader) knows why they’re doing what they’re doing.ย  Better yet, so that the reader may sympathize with the bad guy and feel that conflicting moral pull.

(You know, the conflicting moral pull you felt when you read Snape or Voldemort’s back story, and you thought… well, they do have a point…).

So, try it.ย  How do your antagonists and supporting characters change when you consider that they think they’re right, just, and the star of the show?

Write on,

Yari Garcia

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5 thoughts on “ALL Characters are the Protagonist

  1. Yes! That’s one thing I really dislike in YA books – there are funky side character who get maybe a few lines, while the MC does everything else, because apparently they are the only people in this fictional world who are smartest to be able to solve the mystery of the plot.

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  2. I’m writing about a little seven year old girl and an ex-athlete. She steals the scenes but the ex-athlete doesn’t seem to mind. As long as he’s okay with it I’ll let her do whatever she wants.

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