And wow is this a hard pill to swallow. But it’s true.
A good protagonist is going to have character, that menas they’re going to have opinions, stances, and we all know how that goes.
This is also just fun life advice, you got an opinion? That’s great! It also means someone somewhere doesn’t like you for it, like it or not.
As usual, I’m going to use an example.
So, I believe in writing not only as a way to tell stories but as a way to cope and deal with reality. One thing I had to deal with a lot in reality is an upbringing that taught me to be quiet. If I cried, I was being dramatic. If I said I was in pain, it was never as bad as I made it out to be. When I said I was being bullied, they were probably just messing around.
A lot of kids go through this. It’s not right but it is what it is. We can do little more than learn form our parent’s mistakes.
Because of this, when I went into my book Dear Dragon, I knew I wanted to stray far from that. I made a parental figure who was always open to listening, never invalidating and always ready to help. Don’t get me wrong, he makes plenty of mistakes, but this isn’t one of them.
Because of this I have a protagonist (Itazu) who is extremely open about her feelings and opinions. Most people I find have enjoyed her, in fact I’ve had several people tell me their fave part of the book was her and that made me infinitely happy. However, I did have a couple of people who found her unbearable.
And I totally get where they’re coming from. There’s a point in the book where Itazu is kind of restricted, and she is not happy. And she is expressing that frustration while most of the other characters under the same restrictions either never bring up their feelings, do it on rare occasions or in agreement with her as a pose to commencing the conversation.
They saw her as selfish, as self-center. Everything is about her.
And I get where they are coming from, she never invalidates anybody else’s feelings and she expressed understanding of contrary opinions to hers. But she still is expressing her feelings.
And I love that about her. I love how she is unforgivingly honest and open. I love that she’s got feelings.
Itazu is a good protagonist because she’s open, because she’s expressive and because she is opinionated. She’s also not going to be for everybody precisely because of that. And that’s fine.
A good protagonist isn’t for everybody.
Plus, don’t think that an unlikable protagonist takes away from a book. I’ve read plenty of books with protagonists I couldn’t’ stand, but had to acknowledge were good characters and part of a good story. Sometimes it can even be a breath of fresh air.
So, stop worrying about what other think about you, your protagonist, your character and heck even your book. If it’s good enough for you, it’s good enough for other people, you just have to find those people.
As usual, check out my book, stories I’ve written plus other social medias: here.
I’m sorry if the example wasn’t great. A lot of my writing advice is just me mumbling over problems I find when writing, but I also can’t spoil future books while talking about it so I had to perhaps simplify too much.
But anyways, can you think of any books you didn’t like the protagonist off despite it being a good character? Give me some controversial MC book recommendations please!