Tracy Marchini

Freelance editor, children's writer and occasional word inventor.

Who Is Your Protagonist’s Daemon?


I’m on the third and last book of Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, and I was thinking about his concept of daemons — the animal form of the owner’s soul. In Pullman’s trilogy, children’s daemons can change form, until they settle into their one true form once puberty hits. The form of the person’s daemon indicates the nature of the person.

And so I thought — that could be an interesting exercise for character development! (Hooray, I’m giving you homework on a Friday!) We’ll give it a snazzy name too:

Tracy’s Daemon Exercise

or maybe snazzier:

Tracy’s Super-Fun-Aren’t-You-Glad-You-Read-Her-Blog-Today-And-Now-You’ve-Got-An-Assignment Daemon Exercise!

1.) Write down the names of all your main characters, antagonists and protagonists.

2.) Next to each name, put down what their animal daemon would be.

3.) Next to that, list the personality traits that the character and their daemon would have in common.

**Extra Credit** Look at the daemons/character traits of your protagonist and antagonist — how would they compare against each other? What do they have in common? How will their traits foil or help the other?

Phew! That wasn’t so bad, was it? And now you can use this list to help with character and plot development. Happy writing/Friday!

Oh, and before I let you go, check out Carolyn Abiad’s blog for an interview with me and to tell her “Congratulations!” on her 100th post!

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2 comments on “Who Is Your Protagonist’s Daemon?

  1. J.C. Martin
    November 12, 2010

    Protagonist: Detective Inspector Charlotte Frost
    Daemon: Honeybee (bear with me here!)
    Characteristics: Small in stature but packs a sting, can be tough yet fuzzy, longs for family (hive)

    Antagonist: Arthur Irwin
    Daemon: Elephant
    Characteristics: Largely ignored/ridiculed, but when pushed too far will go rogue (as is the case here). When that happens, will go on a rampage that will not stop until all is avenged. Like an elephant, he never forgets! ;)

    Interaction:
    The mighty elephant is not worried about a little honeybee bothering him, but the thought of an entire swarm (i.e. police force) trying to stop his plans scares him. Like an elephant, the antagonist will not waste his time on a honeybee, but if it gets too close and stings him, or gets in the way of his rampage, then it will become collateral damage.

  2. Carolyn Abiad
    November 12, 2010

    Fantastic assignment! My djinn have corresponding animals, but I haven’t done this for the rest of the characters.

    Thanks for the excellent Q&A too!

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This entry was posted on November 12, 2010 by in Publishing and tagged , , .

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