Most writers have some method for character creation, even if that method is just ‘hang out a sign and see who shows up.’ How do you know, though, if a character is the right choice for a particular story?
There’s a song by Matchbox 20 called “Real World.” (Stop. I know what you’re probably thinking, if you know my fondness for certain fantasy novels as well as my fondness for making bad puns… but don’t. Really trying hard to avoid those particular jokes right now, y’know?) In the chorus to this song is a line that goes, “If I was someone else, would this all fall apart?”
To me, this seems like a pretty good way to tell if you have the right protagonist for the story you’re writing: Could you tell the same story with someone else as the main character? If the answer is Yes, you probably have the wrong person for the job.
They say that a bad fit between story and main character is one of the leading reasons for the writing to stall. It’s certainly happened to me enough times… What about you? Have you ever started writing a story only to realize that the protagonist was the wrong character for the job? What happened? Did you move that character to a supporting role and give the lead to another character already in the story? Did you scrap that story and start a different one that the character was right for? Try to make the character fit what you were already writing?