Make Your Protagonist Problematic Tip 2: Trouble Magnet

Trouble should stalk your hero. And this trouble should of course cause trouble for those nearest to your protagonist. Trouble breeds trouble. When his trouble is contagious, this growing conflict makes for a more interesting story.

Naturally, we humans are drawn to conflict. We don’t just like drama for the sake of it, but because we desire to experience the solution. HOW are things going to get better? WHEN are things going to get better? Especially if matters become complicated and messier, we REALLY can’t wait to see how the mess gets cleaned up.

When Peeta is kidnapped and then gets brainwashed, and then is given back to Katniss, and then is having PTSD episodes, the audience is itching to discover how in the blazes this couple is going to get through it all. The trouble he brings causes trouble within Katniss’ team and as the story continues, the drama thickens, again, increasing our desire for a solution.

Now, don’t make all the troubles caused by some foolish decisions on your protagonist’s part. Audiences hate a dumb hero, especially if the mistake made was one we knew was contrived to render cheap, additional conflict. Let the troubles come on their own, more for who your character is rather than what he does, unless it’s a GENUINELY tough decision and a sacrifice must be made–that’s different and interesting.

So go on and make your hero a troublemaker !

 

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