Good morning writer friends! Not just a writing tip this week, but a writing exercise as well. 🙂

Do you have an alter ego from a much-loved childhood story? I bet you enjoyed reading as a child, or you wouldn’t be reading this! I’m wondering: was there a book, or series of books, you kept going back to? If so, was that at least in part because you could identify with the characters?

Would you have loved to have tagged along with Enid Blyton’s Famous Five on their adventures, when you were a child? Or sailed with brave Jim Hawkins to Treasure Island? Or lived with Laura Ingalls in that little house on the prairie? [Insert your own favourite novel/protagonist here – go on, who would you have liked to have been? :-)]

Does your protagonist inspire such feelings, do you think? Is he or she someone your readers would love to be, or have as a best friend (flaws and all, of course!)?

girl and dog

If your answer to that is yes, great! If your answer is maybe not, it would be worth taking some time to think your story through. You don’t want a whingey, whiney, selfish protagonist – nobody wants to spend time with people like that, not in fiction, or in real life!

To fully engage your readers, you need an inspirational character your readers can identify with and feel for, who ends up overcoming obstacles, saving the day and becoming a better person along the way. (If only it were that easy to become a hero in real life! :-)).

There is so much to this topic, I could be here all day! We go much deeper into characters in the Write for a Reason course, which starts next month, so if this has whet your appetite, do take a look and see if it may be for you.

In the meantime, here’s an exercise for you: write a paragraph about your protagonist from the point of view of their best friend. Then take a long, hard look at what you have written – have you got your characters right? If not, what changes need to be made? If you need any help, let me know. 🙂

Janet Wilson, founder of Dernier Publishing and Write for a Reason
Janet Wilson, founder of Dernier Publishing and Write for a Reason


Look forward to being in touch again soon,




Your Alter Ego?
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