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Tell me, my protagonist, who are you, deep inside? Whisper to me. Paint a picture. What one word would describe your soul?

What lie do you believe that will propel you into uncharted territory? At your core, what is your dramatic truth?


What dreams haunt you, demand you obey? Tell me, what will you give up to seek them?

What makes you laugh? What is the one secret you refuse to tell? What is your darkest regret? Your greatest joy?

What part of you is broken? I won’t judge, I promise. I’m broken too.

Who are you beneath the mask,  the hair color, the eyes that sparkle and shine? Tell me please, so I can know.



I’ve been asking these questions of my protagonist, Tipper Jones. Only with draft number three and answering these questions, do I have a feel for this elusive character. 

What about you? How do you develop your protagonists? What questions do you ask of them? Care to share? I’d love to hear from you!

Happy writing-



10 thoughts on “a dozen tiny questions…for my protagonist

  1. I start with a character wheel, filling in info that paints a picture of my characters, but you’ve gotten to the tough questions, and those take me a while. First, you almost have to write the character enough to see him in action, to hear his voice, and feel his internal struggles. But your questions are great!


    1. I agree- only after I wrote the first draft did I realize so much was missing. I’d love to see one of your wheels- I’m sure it’s wonderful! Thanks for the awesome comment. As always, you’re the best!


  2. This is something I’m still struggling with a bit. I don’t have a good process that works for me, and I’m trying to develop one. So far, my best characters have started out as a bit of dialogue and a scene. From that, I can often build a compelling and unique personality. For me, that bit of speaking and action gives a spark of who that person is and what their motivations are. From that point, I fill in the back story to fit their voice and personality. it It doesn’t always work though, especially for my main characters. My problem tends to be that I hold back on those characters who I want to evolve through the story, and then they feel somewhat flat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have had the same problem! Trying to hold back because I don’t want to reveal too much in the beginning of the story. The more I write the Bette I am at knowing what to share and what to wait to reveal. That’s a great tip- starting with a bit of dialogue and scene. It’s interesting what jumps from such a simple start! Thanks for sharing- I always find it helpful to know how others approach their writing.


  3. Tipper is such a cute name! 🙂
    I love thinking about all this stuff about my protagonist as well… I love dreaming about them and making them more and more real by adding teeny tiny habits and dreams…
    Last year I came across a great blog and found Character Profile sheets. It helped me a lot (but only while starting.) Now I’m just letting my imagination take over… (I’m just in the initial stages but I do love my protagonist already…heheh…) I’ll let you in on a secret… She is based almost entirely on my… hahahah! That’s the reason I love her 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you love yourself and your protagonist! What a blessing! Yes, they get more real with each draft- and it’s so much fun imagining them and all their hopes and dreams. Keep on writing and don’t forget to share! I’d love to hear more about your story.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hhehe… ohhh yea! I totally love both of us and also you ❤
        I'll surely share, once it looks good enough… I'm trying to learn from all the author friends I have (including you.) I love writing and hopefully I'll be done with the first draft by May'15…
        I'll be running to you whenever I'll be stuck some where… please let me know if anytime you think that I'm bugging you.
        On a side note, I'd like to request you to do a post (whenever you can) on your first draft experience and it's dos and don'ts… it'll really help your readers like me and will also serve as a huge source of inspiration 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Good luck on that first draft deadline- I always find it helpful to work with a set goal in mind (makes it easier to break it down into doable parts).
        I would be happy to share my thoughts on first drafts- it’s something near and dear to my heart! Thanks for the suggestion and “come running” whenever you want- I’m not going anywhere!


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