[Write On Wednesday] – The Ambiguous Protagonist

I/Eye illustration

I/Eye illustrationMy nine-year-old son recently volunteered that he hates “I” stories, because you can’t know the main character’s name until someone else says it.

I found it interesting that he finds this lack of information about a character annoying. Perhaps I did, at age nine. Now, however, I enjoy the gaps in a short story, in the descriptions. I relish the mystery, the sense of discovery. Sometimes the discovery is simply the true character of the protagonist. Sometimes, the character turns out to be not human at all.

The Prompt

Write a story in which the reader does not know a key piece of information about one of the characters. It can be as simple as making the story a first-person narrative, or you can offer a twist in the tale.


  • Don’t worry about your audience and who might read it
  • Make sure your story travels from start to end: don’t just write a scene, make someone or something change between the first word and the last.

The Rules:

  1. You should use the prompt in your story (however tenuous the connection).
  2. You must write the story in one 24 hr period – the faster the better.
  3. Post the story in the comments — if you’re brave enough.
  4. Find something nice to say about someone else’s story and leave a comment. Everybody needs a little support!

Optional Extras:

Share this challenge on Twitter or Facebook

Some tweets/updates you might use:

Don’t miss my short story about the a mysterious character:  #WriteOnWed #storyaday http://wp.me/p1PnSG-oJ

This week’s #WriteOnWed short story prompt is “the ambiguous protagonist”! #storyaday http://wp.me/p1PnSG-oJ

Come and write with us:  #WriteOnWed #storyaday http://wp.me/p1PnSG-oJ

See my story – and write your own, today:  #WriteOnWed #storyaday http://wp.me/p1PnSG-oJ

If you would like to be the Guest Prompter, click here.

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