1. TianaRapley
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    TianaRapley New Member

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    My MC is annoying me!

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by TianaRapley, Jul 5, 2011.

    Okay, so I'm about halfway through my novel. It's generally planned, and the characters are pretty well developed.

    But my main character is starting to annoy me! She got dumped by her boyfriend at the beginning of the story, couldn't cope and left town with someone she didn't really like that much, out of convenience.

    At first I could relate to her, because I went through the same thing.

    But now I find her whiny and negative.
    She puts herself in unfavorable situations and then is surprised when things go wrong?

    Maybe I'm being unfair to her, but do you think people can relate to this sort of character, or will they get fed up with her self-pitying ways?

    Any insight or opinions would be helpful!

    Thanks.
     
  2. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    There are times that some people, like your main character, is doing this to get attention. When this happens, the main character is stuck in her own attention and feel bad about whatever the unfavorable situation is, and may feel a sense of remorse. I can relate to this character. It has happened to me before. I don't want to get into details here though. Well, I can tell you something about me that I can relate to your main character.

    My sister was pregnant during the time I lived with her. I did not want to tell my mother the truth when she came to our house and asked me if she was pregnant. When she finally founded out that I was lying, she took the valuables she bought for me away from me. I was upset and done some things I regretted doing. It was a terrible experience. I am glad that my mother and I still get alone up to this day.

    I hope I helped you a little bit. If I did not understand your question, I apologize. If I did, please redefine what you are talking about again.

    Thanks
     
  3. TianaRapley
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    TianaRapley New Member

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    Wow! This is very helpful, thank you. I guess I never really thought about it like that.

    I guess she's going through a lot and DOES need attention, she's just not going about it the greatest way.

    I'm a little worried that people will find her depressive state and negativity to be a little tedious, tough ..
     
  4. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think the angst and whining thread can help you: http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=43042

    I think the conclusion was that as long as the whining was plot relevant and the character actually did something to try to get out of it, whether it worked or not, it wasn't annoying.
     
  5. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    I hope you realise that it's you making her do everything she does. You do realise that, don't you? You are putting her in unfavourable situations. You are letting her whine. If you don't like it, change it. That is your power as the writer.
     
  6. Bobbyking
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    Bobbyking New Member

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    I think your main character is fine. She is responding to situations according to who she is (her style, character, personality etc).

    Also bear in mind that there are different types of readers out there and definitely a lot of them love your type of character.

    Just a suggestion; how abt a change in her style to get something done? You can consider inserting a situation that triggers a 180 deg change her style/behavior - to become more focus, assertive and lively. It could be meeting someone who inspires her to be different or perhaps encountering a situation where she is forced to respond differently from what she normally does and end up recognizing that there is more in her than what she knows about herself.
     
  7. Kio
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    Kio Contributing Member

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    You can always change her, if you really feel it's necessary. If you really feel that you can't come to like her, I think it's best to do a makeover, or else it gets a little hard to make this character, who feels so alien to you, relateable to the audience. Writing through the perspective of another is a bit like acting; you have to become someone else for a while and learn the ways of him/her. Without this connection, your character probably won't fare well. If you don't want to make a big change, then make minor tweaks, just to make her a little more relateable. If you can't do that either, best you yourself try to become the character.

    As for the audience, you can make a main character get away with anything as long as they are easy to relate with and do things that are both in character and within reasoning. Pity also works.
     
  8. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    You probably need to show your writing to other people to know if they find your character annoying.

    You could try to keep most of the whining between chapters, so to speak, so the reader doesn't get tired of it. You can show through context how the characters feels and acts, for example, by letting other characters comment on it ("She was whining about how unfair it was all the way to town!").

    A flawed character can also be engaging, if you give her redeeming traits. For example, caring about others when it really counts. Holding to her principles. Struggling to improve herself.
     
  9. TrinaA
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    TrinaA New Member

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    I also have a main character who is annoying. She is holier than thou, uptight and can be a little obsessive. But as much as I don't like her right now, this is part of her journey. I admit it makes it hard to write but I am definitely looking forward to the part where she is completely broken down and can begin to build herself up again; the right way.

    Maybe your MC has to go through a journey to get to a point where she isn't annoying.
     
  10. Solar
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    Solar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, I wouldn't arbitrarily change a character's personality half-way through the novel. If she's whiny, that's because it's part of her natural character and conditioning. Perhaps she needs a challenge from which she learns something about herself, to move the plot along?
     
  11. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    I wonder if the character is annoying you as an author or a reader?

    If she is annoying you as a reader, then its personality and you are connecting with her. (She needs to stop whinning and snap out of it!)

    If annoyng you as a writer, then you might be stretching her personality to far.
    (This just doesn't sound like the person I met at the beginning of the book.)

    Just from your description, it sounds reasonable that she does things for the wrong reasons. This is common in teens and early twenty year olds. Even with older people sometimes, when in stressful situation we tend to revert to younger days.

    So the answer is why does this character bother you?
     
  12. [ESCAPE]
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    [ESCAPE] Member

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    Your main character's fine.
    You dislike her THAT much? You were the one who created her, you're controlling her actions ;) You can edit your story countless times, you know.
     

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