Welcome back to another Tea Time Talk! It’s been a while, huh? So grab your tea/coffee/drink of your choice, sit back and enjoy.
Today I wanted to talk about some of my favorite things, which are protagonists and introverts. In particular, introverted protagonists. These seems to be a rare type of character, especially in YA fantasy. It’s true, you do see a few of them in contemporary, such as Cath from Fangirl, but in a contemporary setting, introverts make sense.
However, when thrown into a brand new world full magic and mythical creatures, we always see protagonists who are ready to go on an adventure and can easily bond with new people around them. So, what would happen when you chuck an introvert (who probably much rather stay home reading) into a world like this?
I’ve got no idea what would happen in a situation like that, and authors don’t seem to know either, because withdrawn and introverted protagonists just don’t seem to exist. Now let’s think about why that is.
Is it because they’d make boring characters?
Are introverts more difficult to write than their extroverted counterparts?
Or are they afraid their protagonist would appear weak?
On the contrary, I don’t believe it would be any of those. A protagonist with these characteristics would be far from boring to read. It would create such a relatable character for so many people out there in a setting where characters may not always be relatable (fantasy/fiction).
Now, while I have little experience in terms of writing introverted vs. extroverted characters, it doesn’t seem like they’d be any harder to write. I’ve always found that introverts truly know who they are as a person, and having a well fleshed out protagonist could easily eliminate the issue of difficulty.
In a general sense, society always generalizes introverts into being weak, shy, and stoic humans. In reality this is so far from the truth that it’s almost funny. In no way is someone who is more reserved weak, they simply enjoy spending time by themselves. I would absolutely love to read a story about someone saving the world, while not losing touch of their introverted side.
By no means am I saying that extroverted protagonists are bad, I’d just like to highlight that fact that they make up the majority of protagonists, especially in fantasy. Introversion is not extroversion, but it is also not weak, and that needs to be shown in the books that we read.