Donald Maas book The Fire in Fiction is a writing tool with techniques to help authors become more detailed and creative writers. With regards to building characters, especially protagonists, Maas asks a question which really got my attention….actually it’s two related questions. Check this out:
“What draws you to people in like? An even better question is to what degree are you drawn to people in life?” What catches your attention about the people around you? It’s a good thought to ponder while creating that masterful protagonist for your novel. Even if you’re using the ‘average Joe’ – what about Joe makes him memorable? makes him stick out from the crowd? Draws your attention? There has to be something, or he’s not going to be that memorable or enticing for readers.
Readers must have a reason to care. From the first page of the novel, there has to be some element of connection between the reader and the character…create questions in the readers’ minds that must be answered.