Suffer Like a Heroine
"You speak like a heroine...we shall see if you can suffer like one." - The Mysteries of Udulpho by Ann Ward Radcliffe.
I love this quote. It says so much about our human condition as well as writing a good protagonist. We want someone we can root for. Someone who is a hero or anti-hero in all his or her glory, but also someone who grows and changes through the novel. How will what they suffer make them a better person? As an author, you have to walk a very fine line between making your protagonist suffer just the right amount. Too much and your audience is rolling their eyes at the drama. Too little and your audience is sighing with boredom. How do you know if you've struck that right balance? Lots of revisions and lots honest from the people you trust to read and edit our book ahead of time.
Great reads for suffering protagonists? Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino, Me Before You: A Novel by JoJo Moyes, Making Faces by Amy Harmon, and Almost by Anne Eliot.