I was flipping TV channels one day when I came across the beginning of a movie. A small boy was ordered to fix breakfast by his aunt and uncle while his selfish cousin bullied him. I immediately cared for this orphaned kid with the big round glasses. I wanted to know what happened to him. He ended up at a strange school, with a mystery to solve and a villain determined to kill him. By the end of the movie, I was applauding him.
Apparently, other people liked him, too. I watched more movies about him, and when I ran out of movies, I read the last two books of the series. I wanted to see how he prevailed against this villain. I eventually bought all the books and all the movies. I even went to a midnight premiere showing of the last film. All because I cared about this character.
Such is the power of a sympathetic hero. So, have you guessed who he is? He’s the famous Harry Potter. And the movie that started it all? Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Your protagonist must have something your readers can relate to, sympathize with, care about. Without it, why would they finish your story? They need someone to cheer for to the end. Who knows what can happen after that?