Guest Post – An open letter to my protagonist

Guest Blog

Louis Miles

Dear Winston,

I have nothing but love for you. I hope that in whatever world you exist, you know and understand that.

My love for you is complete, it is total, it is unyielding. From the moment of your inception, scarcely a day goes by without me thinking of you.

As it stands now, you are unfinished, you are unrealized. Yes, I have begun the lengthy process of characterizing you, telling of your daring tales and painting the pictures of your relationships, but I’m not done.

And I don’t know if I ever will be.

While you scratch a tally of the days into a jail cell wall of my mind, waiting to make your courageous escape, I fear that day may never come.

I am undisciplined. I want so badly for you to reach the audience you deserve, but I’m struggling with the work that would it take to get you there. I want you to know that every time I engage in one of the many leisurely activities I engage in, I’m thinking about you, and feeling horrible that I’m not working more towards you reaching your audience.

You are my first child. You are the first person that I’ve conceived. You started as a means to an end, a simple component of a greater entity. I had a story to write and you were going to be the vessel that took my audience to a predetermined destination.

But as I started writing the story, you quickly became more interesting than all of the other components. You became interesting Winston, because you see, I did a terrible thing, I gave you flaws.

I still feel guilty about it, but I know it was the right choice. I want people to care about you, and who would care about a perfect person? I had to do it, I really did. I had to at least try to make you relatable. You’re mine, you’re still my baby, but one day I began to realize, like most parents do, you would eventually leave me. If I do my job correctly, after all, you will be read by a large audience, not just me. I’ll need to let you leave the house.

I wouldn’t be doing you any favors by coddling you with a perfect personality, flawless parents, and perfect relationships.

And not only that, horrible things are about to happen to you Winston. So far, it’s all been sunshine and roses. You’ve obtained incredible powers, everyone loves you, and you’re hanging out at summer camp. It’s not going to stay like that.

Kurt Vonnegut said that to be a good author one must be a sadist. That you have to expose your characters, no matter how much you may love them, to horrible things so that the audience may see what they are made of.

Now, I’m no Kurt Vonnegut, and I’m sorry he didn’t create you, as he could have done you greater justice than me, but I’m not one to ignore the advice of my influences.

So, if I don’t finish the story, I apologize for you remaining an inmate of my mind, and if I do, I apologize for the imminent doom you are about to face.

I love you Winston. Regardless of what occurs.

I needed you to know.


You can read more of Louis Miles’ work at his blog.

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