a main character who is the focus of attention
Characteristics of a protagonist in a good story
a realistic, complicated human being with just enough strengths, weaknesses, and contradictions to remind us of ourselves
the character or force that blocks the protagonist from achieving his or her goal
occurs between the protagonist and the antagonist, hooks our interest, creates suspense, and drives the plot of most stories
Two types of conflict:
external and internal
involves a conflict between the protagonist and some outside force (the outside force might be another character or group, society as a whole, or even something in nature)
The protagonist wrestles with his or her own fear or worry or the need to make a decision.
friends, neighbors, family members, passing strangers who may not seem as important as the protagonist but are in the story for a reason
Main character's relationship with subordinate character
helps to reveal the protagonist's character and may also help develop the story's conflict
someone who changes in an important way during the course of the story (the protagonist is almost always this type of character)
Characteristics of a dynamic chararacter
by the story's end, has gained a new understanding, made an important decision, or taken a crucial action, capable of growing, learning, and changing
Subordinate characters are almost always this type of character, exactly the same at the end of the story as they are at the beginning.
Characteristics of a static character
do not necessarily represent failures of the writer's art (in good fiction, static characters are supposed to be static because too many characters undergoing important changes would be distracting, especially in a short story where the focus should be on what is happening to the main character)
Change that a dynamic character undergoes
must be BELIEVABLE, should not be some miraculous, magic-wand transformation that neatly wraps up the plot
When the dynamic character's change is believable, it provides the key to understanding the character and also the best clue to the story's meaning.
One way writers make characters believable
by showing what MOTIVATES them to act as they do (writers rarely state a character's motives directly but, instead, may scatter clues throughout the story)