Hello all. I have an interesting problem in my writing career. I can flesh out settings, supporting characters, and antagonists with no problem, but I am always finding my protagonists hard to define, hard to pin down into someone interesting. I don't know if it has to do with how I perceive other protagonists I've read about or if I just don't have the right guy for the job. I have a general idea of the character, but other than making them smart, able, and full of a few flaws, I don't know how to see them. Maybe I have the "Bella" problem, a protagonist that is an empty shell for the readers to place themselves into. My protagonists are always surrounded by more colorful characters, and yet, they are the steady ones, the ones that keep others in check and keep on the path of the plot. I sometimes give them flaws, but don't realize how to use these flaws. For instance, one of my protagonists is a ghost hunter who happens to be a scaredy-cat thrust into the business to save his family. How the heck do I write that? I just don't know. I think my problem is, I want to write middle grade and I don't know how to write the main kid. They just all end up sounding like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson, or any of the other countless protagonists that seem too casual or common, even though they have awesome strengths and weaknesses. It seems to me that those other characters are pretty plain, that their stories and abilities are what are interesting, not their personalities. Does anyone else know what I'm talking about or what I can do to improve my protagonists and pin down who they are? Thank you for any help! It's quite frustrating to feel like everything works but my main character!