Right Character; Wrong Story?

Silhouette hands with fingertips touching

It all begins with the character.  The genesis of the story is the lead character.  No protagonist, no story.   An intriguing character makes for an exciting story – or does it?

Nicky Jett was the second character to ever appear to me.  She was a lot like my “invisible” childhood friend, Laura.  Laura was beautiful, bold, and bodacious. I’m sure Nicky Jett might have been the same, but she found herself in the wrong story.   The story, in some ways, turned her into a passive character.

No one wants to read or even watch a story with a passive protagonist. Once you get past the literary description, the very definition of protagonist indicates the character is an action-packed leader, champion of a cause, a supporter.

The protagonist and antagonist are both active characters.  They don’t let things happen to them.   The protagonist is moving along, and the next thing you know, the antagonist acts upon the protagonist.

The story unfolds like Newton’s laws of motion.

  1. The protagonist remains at rest or continues on her normal path unless something forces her to move.
  2. The protagonist is jolted out of her comfort zone and finds the antagonist’s force moves her off her course and maybe even off-balance.
  3. The protagonist may find herself pushing directly against the antagonist and will move in an equal but opposite direction.

In the story Nicky found herself in, she never measured up to her antagonist.

According to Newton’s law of motion – the two forces have to be equal, so the only way the protagonist can overcome the antagonist is to knock her off balance.

The antagonist became the star of Nicky’s story. Nicky will have to either find a backbone or her writer, a new career.