1. ulubelu
    Offline

    ulubelu Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA

    Changing protagonists in different books

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by ulubelu, Jun 7, 2012.

    Hi - I am not sure if this was the right spot for this, but here goes. i've been planning to write this book-series for a while, where we're following two brothers. In the first 1/4 of the series, my plan was to follow BOTH of them, as they are together in the first part.

    Then, in the second one, they're separated, and we follow the first brother and his path and we end up where book 3 starts. Book 3 the second brother tells his story up until where they met and then in book 4 we have the ending.

    Would that just be too confusing or actually really bad?

    Let me know what you guys think :)

    Thank you!
     
  2. louis1
    Offline

    louis1 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    7
    Everything is possible. You can probably make it work. it's not going to be easy but you could to it.

    don't forget that if you're a new writer, a series is not your best option. every book must stand on their own.
     
  3. Program
    Offline

    Program Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2012
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Writing a Program
    It will only be confusing if you make it confusing, and it will only be bad if you make it bad. And, of course, it will only be good if you write it well. In other words, there's no such a thing as a "style" that is bad. It's only bad if you use it incorrectly, and it's only good if you use it correctly, and appropriately. If you want to take this approach of telling the story, I'd say go for it! There's nothing wrong.
     
  4. killbill
    Offline

    killbill Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    where the mind is without fear...
    Yeah, don't think of the series right now, concentrate on completing the first book and make sure you have a major conflict and some sort of resolution of the conflict(s) by the end of the first book. Only then you should think about (you'll have a clear idea then) who should be the main protag in your second book.
     
  5. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    My only quip with it would be the fact that your readers will want to know what's happening with BOTH brothers even in books 2,3 and 4. Also, the other brother is presumably gonna be doing something important even if he's not the main focus of the plot, and his story will therefore clearly contribute to the ending in book 4 - this means you need to detail what he's doing too, whether he's the "official" protagonist or not.

    In other words, I don't think it's possible to only follow one brother - you quite simply have follow both, even if they're not together and you skip across locations.

    Having too much focus on only one brother also risk alienating your readers - say brother A is in book 2 and brother B in book 3. Those who loved brother B will be a little put off by book 2 cus there'll be little about brother B, especially since they'll forever be looking for what on earth brother B is doing, distracted from brother A. And you'll also alienate readers from book 3 - imagine now you've established a well-loved protag, brother A, people know more about brother A and not B, and suddenly you're switching. You'll alienate the fans you've established for brother A. You'll also alienate those people who picked up book 2 and have never read book 1, who'll be wondering, "Now who is this? I don't care about him."

    I guess the main question is: what is the purpose of switching protags? Why are you doing it? If it's just so it's cool, then drop it. Your novel won't work based on simply what's "cool" or looks/feels/sounds impressive. It needs a real reason.

    And if switching protag contributes massively to your plot and drives the story forward, then you didn't need to open this thread because you need to do whatever your story requires of you.
     
  6. kingzilla
    Offline

    kingzilla Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Canada
    It's not too bad at all. For a series, each book should be a stand alone and so as long as you dont change the protaganist in mid book, you should be fine.
     
  7. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    If you have never published, you shouldn't be thinking in terms of series anyway. Write independent novels. Use different protagonists. If they happen to be brothers, and live in the same setting, no harm there.

    The obsession with creating a series is destructive for a new writer. Show instead that you are not a one trick pony.

    There is a time to consider related novels. After you are published, readers will ask for more stories with the same characters and settings, and you may have ideas that fit well into that framework. Later, when you have a solid relationship with a publisher, a series is worth discussing.
     
  8. Show
    Offline

    Show Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,495
    Likes Received:
    30
    Don't see a problem with it as long as each book can stand alone. Not going to discourage writing a series; if you're inspired, you're inspired. Just try to make each book stand on it's own merit.
     
  9. ithestargazer
    Offline

    ithestargazer Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    the big M, Australia
    I agree with the comments about the series being a very large undertaking for a new writer. I'm not sure many publishers will commit to an entire series for a untested author. Having said that, make your first book is its own neat little story that has it's conflict and resolution (I know it was said above so I guess I'm just emphasizing it). You can easily leave it open to a series while still having the first book be strong as it's own individual story.

    The Graceling Series does something similar to what you mentioned as your concept. Each story is in the same canon though each book follows a new protagonist (the stories themselves do share links between each other). The most recent book published brings all three protagonists together to help find a resolution to a conflict that began in the first and ended in the last book.
     
  10. randi.lee
    Offline

    randi.lee New Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    It worked in The Dark is Rising series. Give it a shot. See how it feels. No pain in experimenting, eh?
     
  11. Siena
    Offline

    Siena Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    51
    I wouldn't read the second if I didn't like the first. And you've not told me anything about the first.

    Concentrate on a killer first book.
     

Share This Page