1. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    A question about Viewpoint characters

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Tesoro, Jun 14, 2012.

    I tried to figure out why it feels like there's something that is missing with my story, and realized one of my (2) viewpoint characters is just there to make the reader see the central conflict of the other pov character from a different angle, but his own interests in the matter are pretty vague and undefined. I guess you could say that he's more of an irritant than an antagonist. He does make life a little more complicated for the mc, and in fact he's the reason to the central conflict of the mc. He is kind of an obstacle on the road to the goal, but in the end his role is going to switch (because this is chick lit and has a ironic twist)Which lead me to the question:
    Does every viewpoint character need to have their own goal and conflict or can it (the pov) be there just to add some spice = seing the issue from a different perspective, like in my case?
    Do I have to rewrite part of it so that he has an agenda of his own regarding the conflict of the mc? I guess making life cpmplicated for the mc isn't enough of a goal...
     
  2. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    How important is he? If he's one of the main characters and your gut instinct is that he should have a goal , maybe he needs one - even just something small , or maybe just weave in some revelations as to why he's behaving the way he is.
     
  3. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks for answering. he does have a few little goals, but none of them is dominating or explicit and I guess that is what I (he) needs. I guess you can call him some kind of "secondary mc" (I know, there is no such thing, haha), so he probably deserves a goal. :) I would love to make his pov more important but do I really need to for the story to make sense?
     
  4. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I guess I would go with your gut feeling , if you feel he needs something , I'd give him something. But I don't necessarily think it's absolutely necessary for him to have a major goal. Also you could leave him sort of open ended , giving him a bit of mystery.
     
  5. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    thank you for your advice. Actually the thought hit me today, as I was scanning the ms for weak spots. I'll give it some more thought, but it would be nice to hear if somebody else has an opinion on this too.
     
  6. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I still need more opinions on this as I am in the revision phase of this very novel and I wonder If I have to give this character a goal of his own other than just being some kind of irritant. What do you guys think?
     
  7. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't know if he needs a goal and conflict that's directly linked with your main plot, but he needs goals - he needs to be a fully developed character who's leading his life and pursuing his goals and has a good reason for being involved with that main plot.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A plot is defined by its actor, goal, motivation, and opposition. Conflict is the tension between motivation and opposition. Therefore, there MUST be a goal and conflict directly associated with the main plot.
     
  9. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    That was what I was afraid of. He IS directly associated with the main plot in the way that he is an obstacle on the mcs way to her goal, and he also have his own viewpoint but I understand from your answers that he must have a goal of his own. It will make the stakes higher too, I guess. Thanks for advicing me on this. I will come up with a worthy goal for him. :)
     

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