31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 20

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 20 Day 20: What character traits or flaws will get in the way of your protagonist achieving their goals? Your Protagonist. We’ve gone over your character’s strengths, but what sorts of characteristics are actively or passively sabotaging their efforts? Consider also at this stage the ratio of strengths to weaknesses at the outset of the novel vs. halfway through or at the end. Such weaknesses are often defining characteristics that make the character who they are and sympathetic to the audience. To brainstorm ways to make your protagonist relatable, ask...

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 18

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 18 Day 18: What kinds of people or things might help your protagonist achieve their goals? Your Protagonist. You’ve looked at the internal traits the character brings with them to the crisis at hand, but what do you they have externally to draw upon for support? Who are your protagonist’s allies, their sidekicks, their fairy godparents? What sorts of factions, resources, or magic items do they have to bring to bear against the things standing in their way? What do they start out with, and what will they need to earn along the way in order to go the distance and...

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 16

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 16 Day 16: What character traits or talents will help your protagonist achieve their goals? Your Protagonist. You know what your main character wants, now ask yourself what are the character’s strengths—the positive modifiers to their skill checks/dice rolls, if you will: What skills does the protagonist have in their arsenal that will help them accomplish their goal? Consider physical as well as emotional strengths: do they have excellent reflexes or impressive strength? What sorts of people skills or coping mechanisms do they already do well? Do they have any...

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 6

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 6 Day 6: What does your protagonist want most in the world, and why? Your Protagonist. Your protagonist’s goal is the most important element of their character. It’s what the story is going to be fundamentally about: your audience is going to be primarily concerned with whether or not the protagonist succeeds or fails—whether they get what they wanted or get something else (perhaps what they needed). At this point you should ask yourself what achieving the goal looks like from within (emotionally) and without (tangibly, physically). What happened to your...

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 5

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 5 Day 5: Who is your protagonist? Your Protagonist. While you were coming up your premise, theme, and genre, it’s likely you started to think about the main character in your story, your protagonist. If you’re not sure who it should be yet, ask yourself what kind of person would be the most affected or changed by the idea at the heart of your premise. Who would you play as if you were going to play through your premise in a role-playing game or video game? Are they an underdog, a super hero, or an average Jane? What kind of personality would they have? What...

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