Problems creating a troubled protagonist.

Question I'm working on an urban fantasy novel in which the main character and protagonist is a 17 year old male who's father unexpectedly left him and his mother when he was only a few months old. This has caused him to grow up to be very angry and distrusting.

The problem I'm having is showing that side of him. The only conversations that I have written have been with his few friends, his mother, and my Impact Character, who he feels an immediate bond with, so he seems too friendly to me, but I'm not sure how to make him seem less so.

Answer: It makes a big difference how you introduce this character. For instance, consider creating an event at the beginning of the story that will illustrate just how angry and distrusting the main character is.

Perhaps he cannot trust male authority figures, so he lashes out when a teacher or coach tries to bond with him? (Just a thought.) Perhaps he has a run in with a policeman which, because of his attitude, goes badly? Perhaps he causes nothing but trouble for his mother's new boyfriend?

The idea is to establish the main character's current approach to handling problems, so that the impact character can then pressure him to change.

Also, consider the possibility that his relationship with the Impact character may not go completely smooth. Maybe it starts out good, but is tested before reaching its own climax.

Best of luck.

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