Saturday evening, my daughter’s Brownie scout troop drove to Huntersville (about 45 minutes away) to tour a historic home dating back to 1797. Latta Plantation was having a Christmas celebration, so we were learning how Christmas was celebrated long ago.
Since I’m the Brownie leader, I was put in the position of leading. You wouldn’t think this would be a problem for someone who somehow found herself in a leadership role (I was conscripted), but I’m used to leading children.
I don’t like leading adults. I’d rather they be responsible for themselves. They were all asking me which building we were going to next (the kitchen? the blacksmith?) and I just wanted to wander around. They also expected me to know my way around the property. I didn’t and asked them to refer to their map. Would there be costumed recreation? At what time? I had no idea off the top of my head…but it was on the program they were given, if they wanted to read their program.
The children, thankfully, are much less-demanding of their leader each week. I was delighted when the adults decided to form small groups and do a self-tour with their children. Excellent! No leading of adults. I’d gotten myself fired. :)
I’ll admit I don’t enjoy being a leader. I don’t enjoy being a follower, actually, either. I like being an observer.
But…my protagonists are both natural leaders. When they’re put in difficult situations, they jump into action.
I think that most protagonists are that way. That’s what makes them interesting. I would never write a protagonist like me—nothing interesting would ever happen! They’d sit around watching people and taking notes instead of tackling the world head-on. In fact, in my books, someone like me would likely be the next murder victim.
I like writing leaders. Strong, self-assured, take-charge. They think their way through their challenges. Even protagonists who aren’t natural leaders are interesting if they rise to the occasion when challenged.
Do you write leaders? Or followers? If you write a protagonist who is a follower, how do you portray them? Which are you?