I’m guest posting at Writers in the Storm today, with 5 Ways to Keep Your Protagonist Proactive and your plot moving.
If your protagonist isn’t making the story happen, then why are they the protagonist?
A protagonist who sits around waiting for things to happen or just goes along for the ride when things do happen, isn’t doing anything to help advance the story. It might seem like it because they’re in the middle of everything, but if you took them out and put any other character in there, would things still unfold the same way?
With a reactive protagonist, the answer is often “Yes,” because the plot is happening to them, not because of them. They’re not making any decisions that only they could make, based on motivations unique to them. Anyone faced with X problem would make Y choice, because the author set it up that way so Z would happen. The character is irrelevant to how the plot turns out.