Every good protagonist needs a way for the reader to find them endearing. Even the worst anti-heroes, with the greyest of moral, have that one thing. Maybe they send their money back to their lovely elderly parents, or they support an orphanage in Gambia. Always on the side, of course, because it would hurt their image if everyone were to find out about it. Or sometimes it’s just that they do a job as a pillar of the community, something simple and benign.
I need something like that for Max, the main character of my new book. Zander in my last book went over great with my reading audience; he did underwater welding, and people lapped up his interesting-yet-daring choice of job. I’ve seen people here in Oakleigh who do tree removal…maybe Max could do something along those lines? He’s a manly man, and there’s a certain charm to the lumberjack type that could make him a big hit with my female audience.
Alright, that’ll be it then. Max is a tree lopper, a local boy and he’s devilishly well-liked by all. Except the bad guy. And of course, he struggles with a secret case of vertigo, and maybe a phobia of something innocuous and silly, like peanut butter. He’s not allergic to peanut butter, mind you…he just finds it very frightening, and he can’t tell his tough tree removal friends for fear of ostricization from the community.
He’s looking pretty well-rounded, I feel. So moving onto Denise, his fiancé and something of a worrywart who constantly objects to Max being in a profession where a tree branch could fall on him at any time and then he’d get amnesia and forget about their relationship and become obsessed with all the tree removal in Bentleigh forever more, and their love will be a distant memory (or not a memory at all, as the case may be).
Yep, perfect. Characters are done. Now I just need a plot…