Often when we write a character for our books, we tend to put more effort into everything but the character development of our hero. This lack of affection toward our beloved protagonist can even spill out into our secondary characters, which is definitely unwanted! As writers and authors, we want our readers to be drawn in by the characters and the world we have imagined... But this won't happen unless the characters and the world are both as gripping as if Tolkien or Lewis had created it themselves. So, I wish to share the seven big "No No's" I have found when writing and revising my first book. (Disclaimer! These tips mainly apply to adventure/fantasy books, though it could be useful in any other category.)
1. The Inhuman
Yes, our creation is supposed to be dashing and brave. They are courageous enough to bring an empire to its knees, as well as tender enough to aid an infant or grandma out of their distress. The citizens of the country praise the name of their hero, rejoicing in the victory! But, wait... The protagonist didn't do anything! Catastrophic events transpired, and the hero jumped over the hurdles as if they do this every other day! Why is the hero of this story even trying to save the world? What is the purpose of everything? Yes, I firmly believe we've all written this kind of story at some point in our lives. How do we avoid this type of character that will only succeed in making our book seem like rubbish? The answer is simple, though the application is a bit more intense. Give him/her a powerful reason to be fighting! Give them a weakness, a tender spot which the villain will use against them. This process may require a rewrite, or it may just need a few tweaks! Either way, try to avoid the Inhuman Protagonist.
2. The Yes-Man
Get a backbone, mate! This protagonist, or even secondary character, is one of the worst things you could create. They seem mindless, will-less, and lack courage. Despite everything that has happened, this person willingly follows the lead of whoever is in charge. Something is bound to make them disagree with their leader or companion, right? Why then do they not disagree on anything? Avoid this poisonous character by using a cheat sheet!Write down three or more things that your character likes, dislikes, believes and doesn't believe. Doing this will not only help you with your overall story, but it will also add more depth and life to your characters.