1. Pepsik
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    Pepsik Member

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    Need help on dual protagonist story!

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Pepsik, Mar 30, 2014.

    Hello everyone!! So I've had this story in my head that is sort of a spin on the zombie apocalypse theme. The spin is that there is an alien species that's made it's way to earth, and this alien species requires a host in order to survive and it finds us humans. It essentially eats out our brains and takes the body over. The hosts will then mutate into crazy creatures who want to eat humans, and other fellow aliens. Thus mayhem and destruction ensues and we now have our apocalypse.

    Now here's where it gets very sci-fi. The story takes place in the distant future. Where us humans have found another planet that is very similar to earth, however, we don't know if it's inhabitable for life. Fast forward to when the aliens show up and humanity is given no other choice but to take to the skies and escape to this distant planet in the hopes that humanity will continue to exist and prosper. So many many ships are taking as much people as it can in a hurry as the human race is quickly being eradicated by these aliens. Along with people they take weapons, medicine, and resources necessary to sustain human life.

    Now to the question, the story follows this young family of 3 (mother, father, daughter) as they struggle to get the very last helicopter that's picking people up to take to the spaceship. This is the beginning of the story and is a short chunk of the story. They all make it to the helicopter, however there is a problem. The helicopter can only fit two more people. The father makes the decision to stay behind so his family can survive. Before the helicopter leaves, he says his goodbyes and promises his family that he will one day find them and be reunited so the can live happily together. Now we have our first protagonist, the father.

    Fast forward 20 years later and the human race had succeeded in making this planet their new home, while Earth had been taken over by the aliens. The father had managed to survive all this time and continues to search for a way to reach his family in any way. While on the other side, the human race has made a special team of highly trained soldiers who fly back to earth once and a while to gather resources that have been left behind, and to study these aliens. All human life on earth is thought to be non-existent, but not to Susanne Karmile, the Father's daughter, whose joined this special team of soldiers in the hopes that her dad kept his promise. She plans to find him one day on one of her trips back to earth. Susie has a mission to go back to earth to gather resources as always. She and her squad suit up and arm themselves. On the way down to Earth her ship malfunctions and crash lands on Earth's crummy surface. Susie and her squad now must survive on Earth until they can repair their ship in order to go back to their new home. Susie is our second protagonist.

    Now what I need help on is I don't know which one to focus on. The father or Susie. They're both survival stories although both have VERY different things that happen to them. Susie Is a trained soldier, and her dad is a self trained hunter/ survivor. Susie has a squad and her dad is alone. Two very different dynamics going on. I don't know which one should be more focused on or If both should just be equal and the story just alternates between the two. OR if there should even be two protagonists! So I ask you guys, how should I approach making a story like this with two protagonists and do you have any tips I can use, maybe from experience?
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014
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  2. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    No problem with dual points of view. Consider your plot line and which protag is best suited to carry it at which point, and go from there.

    Might be interesting to start with Susie as a small child and present things from her limited POV so readers will be curious about what exactly is happening, then switch to the dad left behind on earth, then back to Susie as she returns, and so on. Just make sure your readers know whose head you're in.

    BTW, the beginning of your plot sounds like a combination of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Deep Impact, but I see you're planning to focus on what happens thereafter. Go, make it yours! :cool:
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ask a moderator to delete your duplicate thread...
     
  4. Pepsik
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    Pepsik Member

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    Ya, where do I go to ask one about that! I don't know what happened; I just edited this post and boom a second one was up!
     
  5. stormr
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    stormr Member

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    I like your idea here, some of it sounds familiar, at least with the dad staying behind, but then it goes into what could very well be a great story here.

    I like th eidea of two prtoagonists. Catrin ha da good point of switching between the two. I feel that would be the way to go as well. Although I'd focus on the father in the begining, and swicth scene between them after spending several years as the father, watching earth be destroyed, what its like to scrounge for food, is he being hunted, does the aliens live as we did, or go primitive with hunger? Stuff like that. Then skip ahead to his daughter in her life on the other planet grown up, and part of the team. Is her planet like ours was, does she have to wear anything special due to any atmospheric changes, does the human bodies adjust and evolve naturally over the years? And then jump to present, switch back to him now, twenty years later, and her crashing, then maybe have something happen to the father (injury, or stuck somewhere) then you can focus on the daughter for the majority or the rest of the story, hopefully finding her father before its too late.
     
  6. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    John Ringo's "Aldenata" series had books with very similar themes i.e. alien invasion, human eating aliens, father separated from daughter, daughter becomes fighter.

    Take a look at "Cally's War", "Sister Time", "Yellow Eyes" and "Honor of the Clan".
     
  7. Smoke Z
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    Smoke Z Active Member

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    I like the idea. Is the alternating going be in the same timeframe, or is it going to be him in the past and her as an adult? Are you going to write each story separately, or will you write it in the order it will be read?
     
  8. Pepsik
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    Pepsik Member

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    Actually a little bit of everything. Although most of the time it will be in the same time frame. Just with the two having occasional flashbacks to give glimpses to their past and how things ended up the way they were.
     
  9. novemberjuliet
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    novemberjuliet Member

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    I'm also working on a story with multiple points of view. If you develop the stories together, the switch between perspectives can really help with the pace and broaden the in-story universe. You may or may not diverge plots but that sometimes helps with using more than one protagonist as it feels like everything ties together. Then again, you could always use the two characters as an excuse to write to separate books in the same time frame. Depends on what you what to do with the story.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    http://www.writingforums.org/members/?type=staff
     

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