Protagonists need reader identification and allegiance, but that alone doesn’t make them standout characters. A great character needs to evoke a strong emotion within readers. And there are three main qualities that allow such effect.
The defining trait of a protagonist is that the reader identifies with them, and there are two essentials that facilitate that identification.
Weak dialogue portrays exchanges of information that leave the energy of the scene flat. Compelling dialogue does these two things.
Turning points are why scenes exist. So it’s essential to understand how and why they work within your story to propel both plot and character.
Freytag’s Pyramid provides the most ubiquitous plot diagram for story structure, but is hated by many. Here’s why the pyramid doesn’t deserve the hate.
Writing “by the seat of your pants,” aka “discovery writing” works better for some writers than outlining does. Read about the rationale for pantsing here.