Want to Write A Novel- Developing the Protagonist

21 Jul

By blogging about this topic, I do not intend to teach anyone how to write a novel.  There are plenty of classes, by qualified teachers, you can attend and of course, you can read every single book about writing a novel you can get your hands on, like me.

 I am following a book on how to write a mystery – chapter-by-chapter – step- by- step.  The last few days, I spent developing my sleuth.  She is a romance writer whose career is failing.  Her publisher has said they don’t plan to offer her another contract.  Her agent is encouraging her to complete a novel she seems to be struggling with trying to get finished.  In the meantime, her fiancé dies in the arms of another woman.

 My character’s name is Rachel Miller/Rachel St. James.  Her motivation is to continue her writing career even though she is feeling blocked with the current project.  Now she is also mad and hurt because Bradley, her fiancé is now dead and had obviously been cheating on her before he died.  I do know that Bradley’s death will not be of natural causes, as everyone initially assumes and that Rachel will become a suspect in his murder.  That is why she is the sleuth.  She has to solve the mystery as to who killed Bradley and is it the same person who eventually starts threatening her.  She is early 30’s and I picture Sandra Bullock as I am writing the story.

 On another note about naming the character, the book I’m using suggested you use a list of eight qualities this character has and then pick five first and last names that reflect those qualities.  The next step was to go to the internet and Google the names.  See how many people have that name.  If there are too many, maybe you should pick another name.  The only problem with doing this was that every name I chose was out there, a lot.  So in the end, I chose a name that I liked and thought I wouldn’t get tired of writing down frequently.  If you have any suggestions about naming characters, check in and let me know how you do it.

 That is about all I can share with you so far about this character.

 Now I am on to developing the crime and victim’s secrets.

 Another note about your premise, from my last post, if you write it tightly enough, you could use it later for an elevator pitch.  If you don’t know what an elevator pitch is, let me know and I will explain.

 So, to recap, we have an idea that we developed into a premise and we have created a protagonist (for me, a sleuth), and we will be developing other characters.  If you are writing a mystery like me, you will be working on your crime, victims and their secrets.  If you are working on another genre, now would be a good time to develop other characters.

 I will catch up with you again after this step.

 Keep checking in frequently, I will be adding author interviews to this site.  Come back and meet Carla Cassidy soon.

 In the meantime, keep writing and have some fun.



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2 responses to “Want to Write A Novel- Developing the Protagonist

  1. virginiagruver

    July 23, 2009 at 12:11 am

    Thanks for checking out my blog. Stop by often.



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