What makes a good protagonist?

A good protagonist is important. For me there are ways to tell whether the main character is well chosen, or it isn’t.

It isn’t necessarily to have a likeable main character, but one which is relatable and undetectable. One where we comprehend their thoughts. To me, here are some of them.

#1 Agency

The word protagonist has pro in it. And that can be translated to be proactive. A passive protagonist can be difficult to read as he/she doesn’t do anything. They simply wait for things to come and don’t seek it.

Having a protagonist with their own motivations is often the core thing. It makes things a lot more realistic, but also complicated. It can be harder to work with, but at the same time can be intriguing.

Because then the plot would need to fit his motivations, and his actions reflect his own personal reasons and philosophies.

And in its own way, created how my protagonist would influence the story. The plot changed a lot, for the better. As it is fluid, with my protagonist serving as my compass as I navigate the world I created with the one character I know very very well.

#2 Goals

A character’s desires or wants, or or can be something they set out to do. A goal helps to shape the protagonist or at least the direction. The story will have something to progress to, or perhaps a lesson for them to learn.

Goals for a protagonist can be simple, or it can be complicated. Even if they have none, then they should want or have something in life. And that’s the reason for this.

Having something we all want is something we all strive to. I created two very small scale, personal goals for my own protagonist. One simply wants to find a friend he owes a debt to and the other is simply a girl who wants to travel. It doesn’t exactly go into why they like them, but it helps to push them forward.

And also, complicate their life when things happen.

#3 Flaws

The last of them all is flaws. A character needs them. It can be something small, but for me it is always something that comes to bite them back.

In some form or another. And when I create it, I tend to keep it in mind as much as possible. It can be small things, like not being aware of his own surroundings, pettiness and perhaps the lack of any real idea on follow through.

Flaws are what makes our characters human. And for our protagonists, it is this which keeps them grounded and relatable. They can be good at everything and you would have a problem. Flaws are what makes them interesting.

Especially when they fail and struggle, and see what they do to get up.

Overall, these are what I think makes a strong protagonist.