authors / characters / descriptors / writers resources

113 Ways to Characterize Your Protagonist

writingThere are a lot of words that describe you and I at different times during the day. Our job as writers is to notice what those moods and attitudes are and put a word to them so readers will feel them. ‘Sad’ doesn’t have enough depth, but ‘bitter’, ‘stricken’, ‘grieved’, and heartsick’ all tell us more about the way the character is handling ‘sad’. They are much more compelling to the reader, likely to draw us in and make us like the character (which keeps us reading).

Here are more words with color you might like:

  1. absent-minded
  2. active
  3. affable
  4. ambitious
  5. amiable
  6. animated
  7. annoyed
  8. argumentative
  9. arrogant
  10. attentive
  11. bossy
  12. candid
  13. capable
  14. care-free
  15. careful
  16. caustic
  17. cautious
  18. charismatic
  19. charming
  20. clever
  21. cold-hearted
  22. compassionate
  23. complacent
  24. conceited
  25. concerned confused
  26. confident
  27. considerate
  28. cooperative
  29. crafty
  30. cruel
  31. cultured
  32. curious
  33. finicky
  34. frank
  35. fussy
  36. generous
  37. intelligent
  38. determined
  39. eager
  40. easygoing
  41. effervescent
  42. efficient
  43. embarrassed
  44. excited
  45. exuberant
  46. facetious
  47. fair
  48. fanciful
  49. fidgety
  50. fighter
  51. grumpy loquacious
  52. gentle intrepid
  53. hard-working
  54. harried
  55. hardy
  56. harsh
  57. humorous
  58. ill-bred
  59. immature
  60. impartial
  61. impolite
  62. impudent
  63. impulsive
  64. independent
  65. industrious
  66. inimitable
  67. inventive
  68. insipid
  69. insistent
  70. lackadaisical
  71. leader
  72. lovable
  73. loyal reckless
  74. relaxed
  75. resourceful
  76. restless
  77. insolent
  78. decisive
  79. babyish
  80. dependable
  81. bewildered
  82. determined
  83. giddy
  84. jealous
  85. blasé
  86. diligent
  87. giving
  88. jovial
  89. boorish
  90. discouraged
  91. naive
  92. hospitable
  93. negligent
  94. lucky
  95. daring
  96. demanding
  97. doubtful
  98. dutiful
  99. malicious
  100. mature
  101. bossy
  102. dishonest
  103. glum
  104. languid
  105. disparaging
  106. greedy
  107. lively
  108. busy
  109. disrespectful
  110. gregarious
  111. logical
  112. dissatisfied
  113. grouchy



Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, a freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and a monthly contributor to Today’s Author. In her free time, she is  editor of a K-8 technology curriculum and technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. Currently, she’s editing a thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

Follow me.

About these ads

22 thoughts on “113 Ways to Characterize Your Protagonist

  1. Pingback: 13 Tips from Evan Marshall | WordDreams...

  2. Pingback: How Your Characters Might Recognize an Emotion Part I | WordDreams...

  3. Pingback: Characteristics That Make Your Character Memorable | WordDreams...

  4. Pingback: How To Describe Your Character’s Appearance in a Phrase | WordDreams...

What do you think? Leave a comment and I'll reply.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s