Here’s another one from the Argh Vault. No idea why I didn’t post this; it links to a really good post that we should talk about.
Charlie Jane Ander’s list is really for an “escapist hero,” but I think she’s nailed it for hero protagonists in general (not anti-heroes, they take a different bus), male and female. I’m thinking numbers 1 and 9 are pretty much the same thing, but I would argue that if you’re writing popular fiction (that would be the stuff that’s fun to read and actually sells), Anders’ list is a good place to start. (Actually, pretty much everything Anders says about writing is a good place start; I’m a big Anders fan.) Pull out the super-hero context, and it all still applies.
So what are your requirements for a great protagonist (non-anti-hero)? Does this list work for you? If not, what’s missing? What should be ignored? Let’s talk about the-person-the-whole-story-hinges-on, Our Girl or Guy.