How to Force Your Protagonist to Take Charge of the Story

It’s common for first drafts to be a mess as they’re simply meant for placing the foundations of the story and getting our ideas down. You’ll probably find your first draft falls into one of two categories: character-focused with lots of internalization and little action, or plot-focused with lots of action and very little internalization. For the story to feel balanced, it needs a combination of both internalization and action. All of which needs to be driven by the protagonist.

How to Strengthen Your Narrative Drive

A story can fall flat when your story does not have the momentum to push the reader forward page by page. A strong narrative drive directs everything in your story toward one point and keeps the plot from wandering and focused in the direction it needs to go. We grab the reader’s attention by presenting the protagonist with heavy consequences for failure to reach their goals. Each action builds upon the last until we finally reach the end. Cause and effect. Plain and simple. Anything that doesn’t fit into this cause-and-effect relationship doesn’t belong in the story, unless it is part of a parallel plot or subplot.