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  • Writer's pictureDan

Constructing a Sympathetic Protagonist


Holy Moly! Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass is a real gem. I’ve had another eureka moment while studying it.

He points out two surefire ways to win readers over to your protagonist. Have your protagonist show forgiveness and make a sacrifice. This really got me thinking. In the novel I am rewriting I’ve been working on making the protagonist more sympathetic. It struck me I have a perfect scene for having the protagonist show forgiveness; I just haven’t been properly utilizing it. This is really awesome. With just a tad of rewriting to a single scene, I can have a powerful moment of forgiveness that, with any luck, will win the readers over to my character.

Now, the sacrifice bit won’t be quite as straightforward as modifying a single scene. But, I do have a story arc that will benefit from having the protagonist make or, at least, be willing to make a life-altering type of sacrifice.

Anyway, all you writers out there should do yourself a favor by checking out Donald Maass’ craft books.


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