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What makes a protagonist “strong”?

Next week I’m going to be leading a Topic of the Week over at The Enchanted Inkpot about “strong” heroes and heroines. While I’m gathering my thoughts on the subject, I thought it’d be interesting to do a quick poll and see what qualities you all feel makes a character “strong” (strong purposely in quotations since your definition of the word may be different from someone else’s). Feel free to comment if you think I’ve missed something or you want to clarify your answers!

What qualities make you consider a character a “strong” protagonist (pick as many as apply)?
Physical strength
Will power/perseverance
Physical skills (e.g., good at archery, runs fast, ties good knots)
Mental skills (e.g., quick thinking, creativity, lots of knowledge in a particular area)
Social skills (e.g., persuasive, charsmatic, gets people to trust them)
Passion (cares deeply about another person/a place/an ideal/etc.)
Courage (faces people/situations that scare them)
Trustworthiness (sticks to their word, doesn’t purposefully deceive allies)
Emotional awareness (in tune with feelings, at ease with them)
Physical attractiveness
Imperfection (has weaknesses, not everything comes easy)
Something else I’ll explain in the comments

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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Originally published at Megan Crewe - another world, not quite ours. You can comment here or there.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 2nd, 2009 02:31 pm (UTC)
If a character is witty or funny, I am very drawn to him or her.
Nov. 2nd, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
Very interesting -- I think it's especially interesting that only one person voted for physical strength (and yes, it was me) -- but seriously, for me, when I think of truly strong characters (especially heroines), they have to have some kind of physical strength or physical ability (flexibility or something) in order for the story to pull it off. Can't wait to read the conclusions from all this :)
Nov. 2nd, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
The strongest people I've ever met are the ones who can overcome adversity. They pick themselves up when they get knocked down and continue on. The survivors.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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Earth & Sky
(Earth & Sky #1, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2014

The Clouded Sky
(Earth & Sky #2, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

A Sky Unbroken
(Earth & Sky #3, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

The Way We Fall
(Fallen World #1, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2012

The Lives We Lost
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Disney-Hyperion, 2013

The Worlds We Make
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Disney-Hyperion, 2014

Those Who Lived: Fallen World Stories
(Fallen World #3.5, apocalyptic YA)
self pubbed, 2014

Give Up the Ghost
(paranormal YA)
Henry Holt, 2009

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