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IWSG: Making the Protagonist Go to the Extreme

Logo for the Insecure Writer's Support Group with a lighthouse in the background.


It’s the first Wednesday of the month and so it’s time for another Insecure Writers Support Group (IWSG) post! In an IWSG post, we writers bring our writing challenges and problems out into the open to share with each other and try to offer solutions.

Question of the Month

The optional question of the month for April is: Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?

Overall, I’m already set in my own style of writing which I can’t really define, it’s just that it’s my own personal style. So, I wouldn’t say I normally take risks. There are times where I will go to an extreme in writing a scene, making it perhaps more sexual or more graphically violent than I normally would. However, I think the most risks, or what comes close to them, that I take in my fiction is with my protagonists. I’ll sometimes have them do anti-heroic things just to develop the character and so make it more believable. But, like with going the extreme with whole scenes, I normally do this with my main character on the first draft. When I revise for the second draft I may tone down the extreme actions of my protagonist if they don’t enhance the story or character. 

My Current Writing Status

The past month or so (from the beginning of March to date) has been a really challenging one for my writing. I was ill last month and so had to be in the hospital for several days. While in there, I didn’t have any of my writing projects with me and so I was limited to journal writing. I’ve been back home for the last several weeks but still recovering. So, the writing’s been slow. I had to put my Patreon page on hiatus and, although I still post on my blog and am continuing to work on my fiction projects, I’ve had to do only a little at a time rather than go full blast like I had been. 

I did finally launch my monthly newsletter on the last day of March. If you haven’t signed up for it yet you can do so here. However, the logo had to be postponed to the next issue and so you won’t see it in the March/April newsletter. So, I’ve been working with my writing but haven’t been setting up deadlines as much because I’m trying not to overdo myself while trying to recover. But I’m getting back to normal more each day and so will be back to my regular writing routine soon enough. 

Do you prefer heroic protagonists or anti-heroic protagonists?

Today’s IWSG is brought to you by these super co-hosts: PK Hrezo, Pat Garcia, SE White, Lisa Buie Collard, and Diane Burton! IWSG was founded by awesome author Alex Cavanaugh, writer of the Cassa Series of novels! 

Until next time . . .


  1. Definitely take it easy and don't beat yourself up when progress is slow. Glad you are out of the hospital and on the road to recovery.

  2. The best laid plans of mice and men . . . Hope you are back up to speed soon. I'm a terrible patient myself, as in I completely lack patience for the process, so I empathize! @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

  3. Take it easy. You don't want to work yourself back into being sick again!

    1. Thanks! I'm just trying to do what I can get done comfortably enough for now.

  4. Like everyone else says here, Steven, please take care of yourself. I'm a terrible patient, too. I get depressed when it's taking so long to get better. Writing and creating protagonists and story takes time. I keep trying to tell myself. Although I lose patience with myself in that regard, too. All the luck with your future endeavors!


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