One of the things I've realized about most of the protagonists I've written (in The Last Bucelarii, Queen of Thieves, and my short stories) is that they all tend to be very gritty, determined people. When faced with an obstacle or challenge, they "buckle down and get on with it". Even after the initial hesitation or trepidation, they rise to the challenge. I like to think of myself of a gritty person. No, not that I am sandy or pebbly, but that I have the resolve to take on daunting challenges. I found an interesting article on Psychology Today that looks at the four traits of a gritty person: Interest – In order to succeed, there has to be something you're interested in. But more than that, you need to be passionate about it. The passion is what helps you to keep pushing forward when your motivation fails. Your love for something is often the only thing that stops you from giving up. Purpose – This is sort of a companion to interest or passion. We all have a reason for doing something; not just the immediate, short-term benefits, but the long-term payoff. By understanding how our present efforts will benefit us (and possibly others) in the long run, it's easier to have something to cling to when the going gets tough. Practice – Gritty people are always practicing, but not only to keep doing the same thing day in and out. They are conscious of what they're doing and trying to improve every day. This helps them to capitalize on their existing skills, develop new skills, and combine the two to become a master at their craft. Hope – This is an abstract concept, but it's possibly the most important one of the four. They say, "You're only beat when you don't get back up." We keep getting back up because we hope things will get better with time, or that our efforts will improve our or someone else's life. Without that hope, grit fails. Hope can carry us through the greatest hardships.