Introducing Your Protagonist: A Mystery to Be Solved

For the book I’m writing, and forgive me if I’m short on details, because I’m still discovering them for myself, I wanted my main character to have a low-key introduction. It wasn’t going to be a dramatic reveal. There are a group of characters having a conversation, with the protagonist being one of them. I want it to be a slow burn as the reader gets to like this person, and realizes they’re the focus of the book. By that point the reader should want to keep following them around through the story. I know that’s an incredibly difficult way of introducing your protagonist, but I’m determined to make it work.

Introducing Your Protagonist

Like the opening scene, the first appearance of the protagonist should draw the reader in. As with my opinion on opening scenes, that has to be the beginning and not the end. I don’t want the reader to drop out after 50 or 100 pages. You need to draw them in deeper with every scene. I think that my main character’s first appearance has to set an expectation. The character is a mystery to be solved, and people will want to keep reading as they learn more about them.

Progress Report: Day 5

  • Today is day 5 of 90 on my journey to write the first draft of a novel.
  • Yesterday I wrote 793 words, bringing the total to 4,577.
  • That puts me 2,177 words ahead of my target goal, based on writing 600 word per day.
  • I’m currently working on the second scene of the first act, establishing the setting and introducing an important supporting character.


  • I am starting to get a comfort level with both this online journal and the novel. This is why I didn’t do this as a NaNoWriMo project. As with my day job, deadline-driven work, it goes by so quickly. I don’t feel like I have the time to build an attachment. I have to be able to process things on a deeper level.
  • Long-range goals: Today is #PitMad. I am putting a stick in the ground and setting a soft goal to have a complete, polished manuscript and a solid 280-character pitch ready for next December’s event.

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