What makes a good protagonist?
A good lead character for me is a absolute must as it as requirement that I can connect with them on some emotional level. For me disliking a character is like having to read the journey of some kid at school that you just want to punch in the face each time you see them, which as you can tell isn't very pleasant. I don't know about you but I'm very impatient so when something irks me in a book then it's most likely going to end up as a DNF. So being the picky person I am, here are the things that I think make a good protagonist
- They have to be likeable: As I said before, I really don't enjoy reading from the perspective of someone I don't like and I feel it is a really big turn off when reading.
- A good protagonist is one you can relate to: If you can relate to a character then ultimately a connection happens and being able to understand the emotions and values of your protagonist is something I think is really important.
- Strong and flawed: For me I need realistic characters who don't buckle under pressure or play the damsel in distress act. You don't need to be rude or arrogant but I don't like people that are easily stepped on. And whilst perfection is exciting, flaws are realistic and something I believe every protagonist should have as well as a little bit of vulnerability at times.
- Intelligent Characters: You don't need to be a genius but I like characters who are switched on and straight-forward. That are open minded and not blind sided. I also love a bit of witty humour.
- Originality and Character Development: I really don't like characters that are the same as all the others you read about. While I understand they can't all be 100% different, I as a reader crave originality. It's almost important for some situations that there is a certain percentage of Character Development. Especially in a genre like dystopia where you're obviously not going to be the same person if you home is bombed.
What makes a good antagonist (villain)?
- Back story as to why the villain is so manipulated: I love hearing the reason behind the manipulated and damaged characteristics of the villain and the motivation behind their destruction. Perhaps they were mistreated as a kid or just hate people in general.. but I feel that that back story makes the antagonist more villainy and more structured.
- That moment when the antagonist ends up being the least person you expected: I love it when you can't exactly pinpoint who the villain is and when you find out who it is, it's not who you thought it would be. And I really like it when the antagonist doesn't look like your typical villain because then they are obviously going to stand out more.
- The clever villain: I love it when the villain is just so smart and clever that you can't help but praise him for his intelligence. That moment when your so in awe of his/her's well thought actions that you can't even be frustrated.
- The end of the villain is well thought out: I hate it when your villain is finally destructed and it's by something as easy as a gun when they are made out to be indestructible. I think that for someone who is known as undefeatable and pure evil, they should be killed with difficulty and well thought out action.
- Emotional: I guess this ties in with the whole needing a back story but I think the villain's story should then be the emotional reason towards his motivation. If that makes sense.
I hope you enjoyed what I like in my characters and maybe you feel the same way. So let me know through comment or tweet what characteristics you like your villains and leads to have. Please stop by Francoise's post because whilst we are collaborating and discussing the same topic, our content is different and individually written.
What do you think makes a good protagonist and or antagonist?