Monday, July 19, 2010

Strong Protagonists

I can't think of one wimpy starring character I ever cared about, can you?

Protagonists need to be strong, willing to face all odds, dangers, and blows to their egos, families and themselves. Readers want a hero or heroine they can't help but root for.

Indiana Jones, Luke Skywalker, Scarlet O'Hara. These are invincible characters we want to succeed.

Strong characters do something. They take risks. They are highly motivated. They determine their own outcomes. Fate has nothing to do with the achievement of their goals.

In my book “Laura’s Lost Love” the title character, Laura Windsor, wants more than anything to find the familial love she lost at age thirteen when her parents died. Ten years after her loss, she has decided to become a mother by taking in a girl from the orphan train. She thinks she’s got everything in order, and she’s ready to find love once again.

The hero of the novel, Gavin Maitland, then drops a bomb on her plans. He informs her the community of Heart Junction, South Dakota will allow only married couples to take in children from the orphan train.

His declaration will not deter our determined heroine. Contrary to what might happen in some romance novels, Laura does not go looking for a husband so she can adopt her little girl. She resolutely sets about finding a way around the laws she considers terribly old fashioned for the early Twentieth Century.

Falling in love with Gavin, doesn’t weaken her resolve to become little Angelina’s mother in her own way. Even having Angelina taken away from her after she is initially awarded temporary custody doesn’t deter her from meeting her goal.

If she has to break convention, hearts and even a few laws, Laura will let nothing stop her from becoming Angelina’s mother permanently.

Laura is a kick-butt heroine, in a sweet, otherwise very proper package.

Active, motivated, determined protagonists who are willing to risk everything to reach their goals are characters readers will never forget.

Fran Shaff, Award-Winning Author


Sandy Cody said...

Nice post, Fran - and so true. Your books sounds wonderful.

Loretta C. Rogers said...

I'm with you--don't know of any wimpy protagonist I've enjoyed reading about or watching on TV. Nice article. Your book sounds great, too.

Fran Shaff said...

Sandy and Loretta, Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the blog. I appreciate your kind words about "Laura's Lost Love."

JoanneR said...

Fran, Love how strong your Laura sounds. Have really only recently had a heroine do that for me. The Nocturne City series by Caitlin Kittredge and her main character, Luna Wilde. She was very strong and driven.
Am definitely putting Laura's Lost Love on my TBR list as of today.

Fran Shaff said...

Thanks, Joanne, for the info about Caitlin's books and for stopping by. I hope you enjoy "Laura's Lost Love"


Jane Myers Perrine said...

Fran, the orphan train is such an interesting part of history. I've started a historical which uses that--but doubt if I'll finish it.

Your novel and characters sound great!

Fran Shaff said...

Jane, Thanks for stopping by and for leaving the kind words. Good luck on your "orphan train" novel. Maybe you will finish it!