1. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Help for my dissertation?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Melzaar the Almighty, Jan 21, 2011.

    Writin' a fairytale and I can't decide which one to make my main character - the "princess" or the "prince". What do you think I should go for? Which one is a more sympathetic character? Which do you think will be easier to develop?

    In Disney the focus often seems to be on the princess (the only exception I can think of off the top of my head is Aladdin), but I've been reading old fairytales as well and then it's just as likely to follow the prince.

    Disney seems to go with the princess because A: eye candy, and B: female characters are more sympathetic? It's easier to stick them in a rubbish situation and have everyone feel sorry for them without people thinking "Oh what a wuss..."


    What do you think will make for a better story?
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that'll depend on what sort of story you come up with...

    either one can be the focus of a good fairy tale, as fairy tale writers and readers have known for as long as they've been written/told...

    how is this for a 'dissertation'?... are you a candidate for a ph.d. in fairy tale writing, or what?
     
  3. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Naw, I'm just an undergrad doing creative writing. :) We've got an amazing folklore and fairytale department though. http://www.folklore-society.com/ <-- the guy who heads this is my tutor. :D

    I'm just looking for instinctive "Yeah I like that!" reactions here. Not looking for the debate - I have to write that myself.

    So, princes or princesses in fairy tales? :D One's got a lot of luck and charisma, one's got all the brains and innate magical awesomeness. :p What do you think would be a better character to develop as the narrator?
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    My instinct is to have two Prince's lol but would like to see it from a Prince POV its a bit different.

    In the UK a Ph.d would be a Thesis rather than a dissertation - I seem to remember dissertation is roughly 10 K Thesis is 30 K/
     
  5. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Funny you should say that... *refers you to the quote marks around "prince" and "princess" :p*
     
  6. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    now I am envisaging the Captain Jack/Captain John scene from Torchwood.

    'He was the wife'
    'No you were the wife.'
    'No you were'
    'Ah but I was a good wife.'

    Or something like that :
     
  7. -oz
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    -oz Active Member

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    My mind immediately jumps to wanting the Prince to be the MC; he's the one who sees all the action. Now if your princess is good at kicking butt...
     
  8. Pen
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    A princess is typically more passive than a prince, who in turn internalises or feels less. The sex-swap of the roles is overdone, and was tiresome to start with, in my opinion.

    The prince has a wider variety of plot possibilities, stemming from his desire or requirement to prove himself as a suitor, although it has to be said that the princess' POV on the trials she puts him through might be interesting (see- Shakespeare in Merchant of Venice). Quests such as that are often the main focus of the story, the princess being basically a set-up to set the prince off on his perilous tasks.

    If the story is a love story, then the princess' side of the story tree opens up (feelings etc- Prince Swashbuckle has no time for those!). Love rivals, or simply malevolent characters (Snow White's witch, for example) can show up to provide adversity, and they are far more likely to be subtle and manipulative than the rivals the Prince faces, who will bravely or stupidly charge at him with a sword.
     
  9. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have you thought about having a pauper as your MC.
     
  10. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    ooh Trilby what a delicious idea for a story :)
     
  11. Lothgar
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    Lothgar Contributing Member

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    You hit the nail on the head there.



    Weeping loudly, the pain is too much to contain...

    "Why? Oh why did daddy forbid me to marry my true love? He just doesn't understand what a good person Juba is. Why are my stars always cursed?" wept Conan, the barbarian, as he returned to his uncontrolled sobbing.

    Yes, you are quite right..."Oh what a wuss"
     
  12. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am writing a new story about a straight male who enters the first international tradtional style beauty contest for men - complete with swimsuit section, talent show and tux parade. If you want that particular plot bunny you are welcome I have too many at present - could work in a fairy tale :)
     
  13. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    You could get the best of both worlds, if there is a magic item which literally swaps genders.
     
  14. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Tee hee, none of you have suggested or guessed the kinda thing I'm actually going to do. :D it's like, "warmer, warmer, getting hot... COLD!" :p
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there still can't possibly be a 'better' with no storyline to go on...
     
  16. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Everyone knows the type of character though. The story is irrelevant - weird stuff happens to some people in a bad situation, then it ends happily ever after with some magic/wit/stabbing of bad guys, everything is unbelievably awesome for the main characters and the bad guy explodes or something. It's all archetypes and stereotypes and template patterns. :)
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    all of which work just as well with either a male or a female mc...
     
  18. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Something I keep meaning to try is a story where you don't know if the MCs are male or female not sure if I could keep it up for 10 K.
     
  19. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know, I'm just seeing what people LIKE. :p
     
  20. Julz
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    Julz New Member

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    Simple answer: male.
    Reason : Being a male I relate better. Simple as that.

    If you can make the princess something OTHER than:
    * A hopeless case needing rescuing
    * A kickass fighter (aka Princess Fiona from Shrek)

    Then I'd be interested. If in the 1st page she is either of these, I'd be inlikely to read on.

    Sorry.
     

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