1. Justin Rocket 2
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    Justin Rocket 2 Contributing Member

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    A tardy protagonist

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Justin Rocket 2, Aug 27, 2015.

    The way my novel lays out, the first, second, and maybe third scenes focus on character 1. The fourth and fifth focus on character 2. The sixth focuses on character 1. The seventh, eighth, and maybe ninth focus on character 2. Then, the first act ends with character 1 saving character 2's life. Midway through the second act, character 2 kills character 1 and it isn't real clear whether he did so with intent. The death is meant to be a mindf*ck and a reversal of the theme (so as to balance the argument).

    I've read that the first character a reader reads about should be the protagonist (so that the reader knows in whom to emotional invest). However, the protagonist in my story is character 2. What are potential problems with doing this?
     
  2. Jaro
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    Jaro Active Member

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    Well, that would be a great question to ask George R.R. Martin, lol.
     
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  3. Lalochezia
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    Lalochezia Member

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    I definitely prefer the first perspective character to be the protagonist. That said, you can kill the protaganist off.
     
  4. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I always prefer the first PoV character to be the main character. Unless it's a prologue and then I give some slack. But it's not a real deal breaker for me. I'll be annoyed but that's about it.
     
  5. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    @Justin Rocket Question: Does your character that kills the other have some kind of personality disorder? Not tying to jump to theories, but there is a lack of information to make a more reasonable explanation. It just seems to support the theory based on the fact you said it was a 'Mind F***". So is the character actually killing a part of himself and not a 'real' person within the context of what you have offered?

    Here I was thinking that Multiplex Man by James P Hogan was a head trip. The MC in it has been electronically mentally screwed with that he plays 3 (or 2 been a few days since I read it) different people, while still in the same body. And the they do not know each other or of the others existence.

    Sorry just trying to understand your vision. On the up side it sounds like an interesting read. :D
     
  6. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I would be pretty annoyed if I'd spent three chapters getting to know someone and then I realise in chapter 4/5 that they weren't the main character. I may also be confused, which would bring me right out of the story. Depending on how well it's done it might not make me put the book down, but it's not going to encourage me to read on.

    I understand your struggle, though. I have two main characters and each chapter comes from one of their POVs - whoever can tell that part of the story best. In the beginning, before they meet, my instinct is to start off with the male character's opening chapter because I think it's stronger than the female's - more conflict, more intrigue. But I've made a strategic decision to start off with the female's, which is going to make it her story more than his. This is because most readers in my genre are female and are used to stories being told from the female POV. In the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter, since I'm not convinced that you need to really grab the reader with a big mystery or action sequence in chapter 1 - I believe they are willing to give you some time to start the story off, and won't give up in chapter 1 unless the writing is terrible.
     

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