Not literally, obviously, but your protagonist’s development through the arc of your story will (or it should) closely follow your plot points.
In the four part story arc (more here), your story moves from Setup (Act 1) to the First Plot Point. At the First Plot Point your hero/protagonist is jarred out of their status quo and is forced into a Response (1st part of Act 2). The response phase happens until the story reaches the Midpoint (the turning point that “changes everything”). The Midpoint shifts the story into Attack mode (2nd part of Act 2) through to the Second Plot point, where it shifts to Resolution (Act 3).
That’s the story arc.
Your hero needs to change similarly.
The Protagonist of your story is essentially an Orphan in Act 1. Not necessarily literally, but figuratively. They are in their status quo state, living their life, blithely unaware of the shit storm that’s about to come.
Once that First Plot Point hits them, forcing them across the threshold and into the meat of the story, your protagonist becomes a Wanderer. They’re not sure why this thing has happened to them. They are in an exploratory state, wandering from one thing to another, trying to figure things out.
Then the Midpoint strikes and the protagonist is in possession of a new piece of information. An awakening occurs, and the protagonist now must force the story. They are now a Warrior. They may not know all the answers yet — in fact, they shouldn’t know all the answers yet — but they know the direction they have to travel. As they proactively try new things, and ultimately fail, they are still attacking, vainly, in an attempt to solve the problem.
But they’re missing that one final piece of the puzzle. The Second Plot Point delivers that piece, and now your hero knows what they need to do, and they are willing to Martyr themselves to achieve it.
This is a very important point. Your hero needs to be the hero, and they must be willing to die (literally or figuratively) to reach their goal.
Next up (in a week) we’ll examine how stories are circular, with some examples that appear extremely obvious once you see them.