30 Days of Writing–Day 17: Fave Protagonist


Bottled in Blonde

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Another day with a cryptically added exclamation point at the end. Just to reiterate, I did not change one word or punctuation mark in the original daily topics. I’ve cut and pasted each and every one as I found it.

17. Favorite protagonist and why!

I have high hopes for Neely, my protag from my upcoming NaNo novel.  She’s very flawed, makes many grievous mistakes but fights her way back to some sort of normalcy each time.  She just can’t seem to learn any other way.  Needless to say, once I start peeling back the layers and layers of scar tissue, she’ll have quite a few interesting hard knocks stories.  However, she’s currently disqualified from being my favorite protagonist because she’s only a wisp of an idea so far.

Today’s honor must go to a fleshed out character from a completed novel.  By that definition, my favorite protagonist so far has been Gayle Lindley from The PURE. She’s this little blonde dynamo with a touch of foot-in-mouth disease, an insatiable curiosity and a take-no-prisoners attitude. She was the youngest with three very large brothers, one of whom was her twin.

She doesn’t put up with much crap and has no clue how to navigate the turbulent waters of corporate politics. Her experiences with men have mostly been with her brothers (who were not over-protective), their crude and foul-mouthed friends, a series of boyfriends who weren’t all that nice to her, and co-workers she had enough work savvy to see as off limits.

Despite being raised around so many boys, she’s still kind of a girly-girl but knows a few tricks her brothers taught her for shock value. She’s the girl who, in her Jimmy Choo high heels, wins the bar contest for loudest burp, insists on paying for her share while on a date but secretly hopes her date forbids her from doing so.

I enjoyed writing Gayle, because of the extremes she vacillated between. One minute she’s wondering if her co-worker will ever kiss her, but when he finally does, she’s ripping his clothes off. (Okay not quite but she wanted to). In a later scene, she’s hiding from a thief she discovers in her apartment, but when she sees him taking her $600 purse, she chases then bludgeons him with her shower curtain rod. When the big baddie is hunting to kill her, she’s in tears and nearly paralyzed with fear… until she discovers a toilet plunger, bleach and ammonia.  Chlorine gas anyone?

I’d love to write more about Gayle’s sleuthing adventures.  At the end of The PURE, she’s relocated to DC, the capital of political correctness, probably not the best fit given her tendencies.  She could easily find herself in a lot of trouble if her curiosity took her to the wrong place at the wrong time.  Watergate anyone?  Hmmm…maybe one day.

4 thoughts on “30 Days of Writing–Day 17: Fave Protagonist

    • True, they are similar in many respects. Dori’s more timid than Gayle and definitely more pessimistic. My goal will be to make Neely as different from them as night is to day.

  1. You’re already planning for NaNo? Um… Yeah, I’m sure rushing into it blindly won’t hurt my effort at all… Really…


    I probably should have some idea by now, but my mind isn’t up to populating a work with characters and incidents at the moment. November the first is when the magic happens, and not a day before.

    • Hey, whatever works for ya! Me, I’ll get a lot more words down, with less panicky frustration, if I do as much of my thinking as possible beforehand. Then I only have to think about word choices and characterization more so than plot choices. Otherwise, I get bogged down noodling stuff. Still do some of that, just not the major stuff. Good luck with NaNo this year!

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