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  1. Trezzy_Sometimes
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    Trezzy_Sometimes Member

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    More than one Hero/Protagonist?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Trezzy_Sometimes, Nov 14, 2009.

    Wow, I just joined this forum and I already feel like I'm posting obnoxiously; this is my second thread today.:rolleyes:
    Anyway, I have been in the process of writing a certain novel technically since the summer of 2008, but the plot and characters have been changed so much that I'd call it a completely different novel (but with the same idea). I have a habit, however, of making too many characters. Or rather, making too many main characters. I'm not particularly great at making villains, but my villain, this time, I feel is relitively well developed. But that's the thing--the villain is fine, but there are three main people against him.

    It's a murder mystery-like novel for young adults with a lot of gallows humor, not completely melancholy (in fact, slightly more comic than serious, but the comedy is so dark that I thought it was appropriate).The plot is centered around 3 high school age friends who run into trouble with the law after finding a body and failing to notify the authorities for various (stupid) reasons. As if they weren't getting themselves into enough trouble already, they meet Danny, a scam artist masquerading as a "traveling salesman". A 17-year-old Korean American girl named Kym is my main protagonist, but her friends Adam and Haalsten also play a significant role in the storyline. My question is, is three people really too many characters for the role of the "hero"? Sure, they all have different personalities, but none of them are as "villainous" as Danny, so I classify them as "heroes" as well. I'm just completely confused. What I'm really asking is, are "sidekicks" really acceptable as characters? I can't really think of anything I've read where the main character's friends had as big a role as the MC themselves. Uggghh. *frazzled*. I need advice. Thank you.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    It is perfectly acceptable to have more than one hero. But it might be that one character takes the spotlight more than the others. That is, you may find yourself writing about one character more than the others. Sometimes authors don't intend to do this, but it just happens.

    Also, there are plenty of books that have more than one character playing the "big role." Just go for it is my advice.
     
  3. Trezzy_Sometimes
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    Trezzy_Sometimes Member

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    thank you Thirdwind! That was exactly what I was planning to do. I'm glad it's not unheard of.
     
  4. sweetchaos
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    sweetchaos Contributing Member

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    *cough*HarryPotter*cough*
     
  5. Trezzy_Sometimes
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    Trezzy_Sometimes Member

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    wow...DUH. I can't believe I didn't think of that. *faints*
    thank you XD
     
  6. Fedora
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    Fedora Active Member

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    Pretty much. As long as you characterize them well enough, there's no reason you can't have multiple protagonists.
     
  7. sweetchaos
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    sweetchaos Contributing Member

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    :) No problem.
     
  8. Trezzy_Sometimes
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    Trezzy_Sometimes Member

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    Now let me offer up this question: how many characters are too many to keep track of? (not looking for a number answer, but rather a conclusion that you come to as to why there are too many chars.).
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    That has been addressed in other threads. It partly depends upon the skill of the writer, though. If the writer can make each character stand out clearly in te mind of the reader, then a great number of characters can be managed.

    But regardless, only the number of characters needed to tell the story should be presented.
     
  10. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    During my writing, I've never had a problem of keeping track of characters. And I can't remember any book which I thought had too many characters. I know there are some books that have hundreds of characters (not all of them are central characters, of course), but they didn't seem unnecessary at all. Other books have only a few characters. It really depends on the author in these cases. Some can keep track of many, many characters, while others can't. Just make sure the number of characters you use depends on how important each character is to the story and/or to characterization.
     
  11. marcusl
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    marcusl Member

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    When a book has too many characters, I often end up caring for none of them. I can understand why that is. When I hang out with a small group of friends, I have a great time because I get to communicate with all of them. On the other hand, if I go to a party that has hundreds of guests, I don't know who to say hi to. Hopefully that makes sense?
     
  12. Trezzy_Sometimes
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    Trezzy_Sometimes Member

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    That makes total sense. Thank you!
     
  13. Gambo
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    Gambo New Member

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    I usually write with POVs that all tie the story together. Easier for me to handle a more intricate plot and handle more characters.
     
  14. Phantasmal Reality
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    Who is your POV character? Kym? She's your main character then, and her friends are both major characters. There's no problem with that. Don't even worry about characterizing them too deeply. If you're writing a murder mystery, you're working with an idea story anyway (finding out what happens to them and why is more important than finding out about them). Just write it naturally. If Kym stands out and her friends don't, no worries. There's no reason why they can't be, or shouldn't be, minor characters. :-D
     
  15. Trezzy_Sometimes
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    Trezzy_Sometimes Member

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    Thank you! I didn't even think of the fact that finding out what happens is more important that finding out about the people it happens to, in this case. That bit of information helped a lot! The story is told in the third person omniscient, but yes Kym would be the main protagonist, since a lot of the plot takes place at her house. Thank you again!
     

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