1. Marthix
    Offline

    Marthix Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0

    Main Character Dilemma

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Marthix, Aug 7, 2010.

    All right, since I'm now trying to avoid a prologue, can anyone give me a nudge as in to which of two possible main characters I should focus on more?

    MC #1: A young woman (Kyra) around 23 who starts off wealthy and runs her own successful company (she was actually born into a wealthy family)...one of her closest coworkers (who's mad at her for having all this wealth and perfection in life) convinces her to join the military, where she gets to experience true humiliation and starvation for the first time...a complete reversal lifestyle for her. Though she's a bit arrogant and stubborn at the beginning of her military career, the guys (and a few gals) around her help her become a truly different person.

    MC #2: A mechanic dude (Sam) around 23 who starts off as middle-class...his best friend is in the military and his bonding with this friend is so special that he winds up going to the military himself...he eventually runs into Kyra, who treats him like dirt until they begin to understand one another. He'd come to the point of becoming Kyra's so-called 'agent' or 'field mouse' on the military, since she's higher-ranked.

    Between the two, Kyra is more likely to die in the end. Would it upset readers that I may kill off my main character? Or would it be better off that my main character (Sam) observes Kyra's death as she's trying to defend him...kind of like a tragedy?

    Which character would be more compelling to write about? Or would I be better off switching it up? I cannot decide what to do!
     
  2. Unit7
    Offline

    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    59
    Why not just write from both perspectives? It's not uncommon for authors to switch points of view. Especially when the characters involved are well developed and have depth. It also provides a way to view events and such differently from the different perspectives.

    You can switch between characters with each new chapter or so.
     
  3. Marthix
    Offline

    Marthix Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, that's what I've been wanting to lean towards. Nothing's a given at this point. If I were to do it that way, I'd probably start out with Kyra, then switch to Sam after a few chapters. Perhaps I should somehow foreshadow the presence of Sam in one of Kyra's first chapters? Kind of like linking the two together in some way while they don't know each other? Also, how much page-time should I give each one? Do you suggest I split them 50/50 or can I go a little extreme? Perhaps 80/20 even? Kyra would get the most page-time in that scenario.
     
  4. Unit7
    Offline

    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    59
    Thats completely up to you. Do what the story calls for and what best fits your story.
     
  5. Marthix
    Offline

    Marthix Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you! Anyone else have more input?
     
  6. Marthix
    Offline

    Marthix Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Now the BIG question is how should the timing go with the multiple perspective approach? If I go to Kyra for the first two chapters, then Sam for the next three...should they all go in chronological order or not?

    For example, in chapter 1 Kyra hears talks about war starting up...in chapter 3, Sam starts hearing things about war starting up...would that make sense...or should I start chapter 3 with Sam already aware of a war starting up?
     
  7. caimomile
    Offline

    caimomile Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Philippines
    I'm all for the switching, and in my opinion, you shouldn't be limited to switching only every chapter. I think switching perspectives mid-chapter is fine. It's how KID's "EVER 17: The End Of Infinity" did it. And I believe they did an excellent job.

    The only problem with this would be coherence. You must have a clear indicator of the "switch", else, the reader may end up at loss.
     
  8. Marthix
    Offline

    Marthix Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok and in your opinion, would you think it'd be ok for me to center on Kyra more than Sam? I think this story focuses more on Kyra than it does Sam. I feel that Kyra should take up approximately 70-80% of the story (via her perspective). I remember that in Lord of the Rings that Tolkien never centered on Frodo all the time...he switched it up a bit...but the overall hero was Frodo since he took up a good percentage of the pages.
     
  9. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    Just personally I would go with MC#2 otherwise its a bit Private Benjamin sounding. Maybe you have otherways round that.
     
  10. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    There is no "better" choice. Each choice creates a different story, even with the same series of events. For example, Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow ar two novels that follow the same major events, and even share many minor events, but the two stories are quite distinct.

    It all depends on what story you are telling. And has Mr. Card has shown, you can write it both ways. Or you can write from more than one POV in the same story.

    You could find other POVs to tell the story from as well. even from people not as directly involved in the main action of the story. The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Lower Decks, or the Stargate SG-1 episode The Other Guys are examples of using such "side characters" to good advantage.
     
  11. Taylee91
    Offline

    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,262
    Likes Received:
    73
    Location:
    The Bay State
    Marthix,

    I agree that you could go either way. . .But, the main incentive for your story (and any story) is to reveal your conflict as much as possible so as to give your readers (and you) entertainment and enjoyment.

    Focus on the character which deals more with his/her personal conflict. So when you story ends you give your readers closure, a strong mini-biography, and a definite end to your conflict as a cycle. When it all comes down to one point, you need to ask yourself: Which character brings more to the table?

    Also, I think you're going in the right direction with Kyre taking 70-80%.
     
  12. RuffianFan
    Offline

    RuffianFan New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sounds like a good plot. :)
    You should really check out Jodi Picoult's books. If you go to her website, you can read excerpts. She changes POV all the time, and it's never confusing, for me, that is. Check it out for a bit of inspiration. :) Are you going to have any other POVs or just Kyra and Sam?
     
  13. Marthix
    Offline

    Marthix Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the Jodi Picoult recommendation, RuffianFan! A third POV is possible and it would most likely come from that of a female military lieutenant--either as a prologue or something mixed in between. This lieutenant may backstab the good guys near the end of the book. There are a lot of ways I could play her and considering a third POV may be a great idea! It'll sure spike readers' interests and get the know the heart of a possible traitor. Or someone who's like Professor Severus Snape from Harry Potter...you don't have any idea what side he's on until the seventh and final book of that masterful series! We'll see! Do you find that as plausible?
     
  14. Mikey05
    Offline

    Mikey05 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Norway
    I would change POV when it feels natural. Just write and see how you end up. It would make the story seem to forced to focus on 70% or 80%.
    I would also stay more on MC1 as you plan on killing her off (?) and therefore make us, the reader, emotionally invested in her future. Another point is that if you dont feel sad when you kill her off there is no way we will. You could then change to MC2 and stick with him until the end of the book as a natural finish.
    But my main suggestion would be just start writing. Write the whole book in one view and then write it again with another viewpoint. or change it up.
    hehe. I am sorry if I am not a straight shooter here.
    Anyway, this sounds like a nice story and I would love to read the story when you have finished. Best of luck!
     

Share This Page