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  1. Archnenna
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    Archnenna Active Member

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    Main character issues

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Archnenna, Dec 26, 2010.

    Okay, first I want to say hello to everyone. I'm new here and please excuse me if my English is sometimes bad since it's not my first language.

    I'm still writing fanfiction, but I hope it's okay I ask a question here. Btw, this fanfic is a mixture of a few fandoms I like (animes, TV shows, movies).

    What I'm concerned about is my main character. I want to ask how you'd react at someone like her as a main girl.

    Okay, so... Here are the facts about her.


    Bad things about her:

    - her powers are photokinesis and telepathy (don't worry, she's not overpowered because all 9 other main characters have one elemental and one weaker power).

    - she uses those powers of her for evil sometimes. With telepathy she cheats on tests, plays with people's minds, sometimes doesn't go to school... When these people with powers are exposed to the public, she kills people on the streets that wanted to know more about her powers.

    - when she was told that she's supposed to use her powers to fight evil, the first thing she asked was what does she get out of it.

    - she has an attitude that mostly gets her in trouble.

    - she has prejudices about certain types of people (example: all cheerleaders are stupid in her opinion).

    - she's a lazy ass.

    - she's a bit... I don't know that word in English. She liked that guy that liked her back and asked her out several times, but she refused every time. But when he found himself a new girlfriend, she got a bit angry.

    - she's always looking for revenge when someone does something to her, even though sometimes she should just let it go.

    - doesn't let people get close to her easily.


    Good things:

    - once you get to know her, you realize she can be nice

    - she does fight evil, and is quite loyal.

    - loves her friends.

    - she'd do anything to protect her loved ones.

    - sometimes does good things, but in a bad manner.

    - wants to kill the bad guy, but ends up hurt at times since she can't fight properly.


    I myself couldn't really be in a company of someone like that. I just want your opinion, how would you react to a protagonist like that?

    The protagonist of the fandom most of this fanfic is based on is the perfect girl whose heart is as pure as... I don't know what. That girl is a perfection and never even gets angry and is a real goodie-goodie.

    But my girl... She's not even close to that perfection. I dare to say she's a selfish bi*ch at times, but still can be good at times.

    I like her as a character, but I'm not sure other people would want to read a fanfic with a main character being a bi*ch, even though she slightly changes as the story progresses.


    Extra question: since I'm new here, could you tell me what does MC stand for? Is it main character? Or my character? Something else?
     
  2. Naiyn
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    Naiyn Contributing Member

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    This character can work just fine. Every character worth reading is prone to aggression, laziness, selfishness etc... at least from time to time. It's what makes them believable. And the way it sounds, like any good character, yours sounds like she changes, adapts and grows as she faces new experiences in new environments.

    MC is short for main character.
     
  3. Archnenna
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    Archnenna Active Member

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    Thank you for the nice words and for answering my questions :D

    Just wanted to know if she could pass since I started rewriting :)
     
  4. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    I like the idea of the character.

    I enjoy two types of characters:

    1. Extremely ethical and noble characters. This is out of fashion, even though I know many people like that, and no psycho rotten good guys.

    2. Rotten selfish semi-good characters like yours.

    If you notice, in anime many characters like that die in the end. I think that's beed influenced by Japan's role in WWII, which is another topic.

    Anyway, you have plenty to write about with such a character and can make even mundane situations, like sitting in class, interesting, so do it.

    Side Note: Why not get rid of the fan fiction and just make this character yours? There's a horde of successful writers who have completely copied known works by just changing some basic details.
     
  5. Archnenna
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    Archnenna Active Member

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    I was thinking about that. First I'll write this fanfiction to just get to know the character better. Maybe in the future I'll make the book with the same girl, but in my own original world.

    Thanks a lot for answering the question and for the advices :D
     
  6. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    Certainly!

    You have a rich character there and unique scenes could be created and I believe the reader would enjoy it a lot. Some of my favorite writers have such interesting characters that I honestly don't need a plot because I just enjoy reading the character's thoughts and interactions.
     
  7. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    Just to help you summarise based on what you've posted:

    A photokinetic telepath whose morals are mostly in the gray area. Headstrong and prejudiced, irresponsible and somewhat capricious (the word you were looking for). Emotionally distant to strangers, fiercely protective of friends and fights "the bad guys" and isn't afraid to get her hands dirty doing it.

    As a person I wouldn't like to be friends with her because of her fickleness and loose moral bounds - She strikes me as unpredictable, undependable and childish. Most of the good things you've posted about her should apply to anyone, even villains.

    As a character I would usually be getting a pretty strong "self insert" vibe, because most Mary Sue writers create a character that lives how they would LIKE to live and get away with it, but given your attitude towards her there's hope yet. Still, this character seems to fit pretty firmly into the "super powered hormonal teenager" box, so I can't say that I like her.

    It's a crowded genre, to say the least.
     
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  8. Archnenna
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    Archnenna Active Member

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    Thanks for the critique and for an honest opinion!

    I created her when I was 12 so yeah, she was a self inseft and a total Mary Sue. But as I grew older, I began to change her and develop her more, giving her flaws and weaknesses, and she became different than me and I started to feel dislikeness toward her. She's a bad person, but as a fictional character I like her.

    Do you have any advices to make her less Mary Sue? I mean, she isn't anymore, but still to get rid of the suspicion.

    Once again, thank you very much :D
     
  9. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    It's good to see that you're actively working on the character - most people press the cookie-cutter into the dough and call it a day.

    Potential changes depend on what direction you want to go in.

    If you want her to seem more virtuous, then she might be a little more willing to obey the rules - especially ones that actually put her at a disadvantage. Good characters tend to be a little more empathetic, so forgiveness and sympathy even for strangers and enemies are big points.

    If you want her to be even more villainous, you want to accentuate her flaws by having her try to cover them up. Lying to get out of doing something, actively working to undermine people she doesn't like (and even people she does) and being properly two-faced to people who wouldn't know better are great ways to build a decently unlikeable character as long as she doesn't lie to herself about what she's doing.

    Good examples of both are Hermione Granger (virtuous) and the BBC's modern retake on Sherlock (villainous). Breaking a Mary Sue is less about stapling on irrelevant and inconsequential flaws and more about altering how the character operates.

    You don't have to use the above examples, but they give you an idea of how a real flaw would genuinely affect how a character goes about their day to day life.
     
  10. Archnenna
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    Archnenna Active Member

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    Thanks a lot, tcol4417. Your advices really helped :D
     
  11. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think the character sounds really interesting. But as always, it's how you write it that's important.
     
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  12. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Reminds me of the anti-hero Jack Reacher (action thriller series). He's selfish and couldn't really care less about most things and is rather violent and likes to solve everything by knocking someone down unconscious or even killing them. Mind you, cheesily good-looking and good at everything and very arrogant.

    Also, actually, from a crime series, Wallander - he's an obsess, diabetic man who's lonely and can't face up to it, has a flaring bad temper, can be slightly violent, divorced and has hit his wife on one occasion. At the same time, funnily enough, you actually come to sympathise and even admire this character (he's a damn good detective in the book and obviously cares about justice).
     
  13. Archnenna
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    Archnenna Active Member

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    Thanks everyone :D
     
  14. J_Jammer
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    J_Jammer Banned

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    It is how you write them that is important, as Islander said.

    Like Dr. House wouldn't be well liked by many of the viewers if they saw him in person and he treated them as he treated his patients or those who worked under him. But as a character they enjoy him for many reasons and one being he says things they would like to say and the way he's displayed is in a likable manner that shows his brains and his ability to solve problems. I, personally, wouldn't mind being his friend. But that's just me. I like people like that...sort of.

    I just wanted to add when you write your character in your story remember to not tell the read what kind of person she is, but to show what kind of person she is. Instead of stating she's mean to those that ask her questions about her powers....show it. Someone walks up to her, asks her about what she can do and she burns their hair off. It allows the readers to get to know without being told. It's more intimate that way.
     

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