Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P Is For Protagonist, Prison, Perils and...

P is for Protagonist, Prison, Perils and The Pink Lady Slipper

What would a murder mystery be without the threat of prison or death row, hanging over the antagonist's head? Prison, peril, the beautiful, but deadly, Pink Lady Slipper, and a protagonist suited to the challenge—all have to do with mystery.

Naming a book, The Pink Lady Slipper evokes many ideas in the reader's mind, the least of which is probably the perils it presents to the participants. The bed and breakfast motel creates feelings of safety and leisure, a rather down-home-kind of atmosphere. That is only the stage front, the mask, if you will; the mystery writer has portrayed to lure you into feelings of security, and safety.  

A death has occurred but it was from natural causes, or was it? Perils turn the pages of The Pink Lady Slipper. Prison may be too good for the antagonist. 

The protagonist must be equal to the challenge the antagonist presents. The protagonist must solve the mystery. She/he can have help, of course, but the solution must be inherent in the profile you (you the writer) have created for your main character. 

Whether your mystery is for middle grade, young adult, or the adult reader, your protagonist must be up to the challenge and the answer must come from him or her in an age and character appropriate solution.
Ex-rodeo clown, or thirteen year old pioneer boy, bed and breakfast owner or homeless teenager, it doesn't matter—the crime must be solvable by the protagonist.

Protagonist (Main Character, leading role) is your key to a good story. Antagonist (adversary, opponent, enemy) is the challenge and the conflict that equals story. 
Set these two against each other and get them moving, conflict, action and a good story will result.

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