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  1. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    supporting character taking over?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Tesoro, Apr 30, 2011.

    I'm writing a story in which the protagonist is a young woman and even though she is quite interesting as it is for a main character I feel one of the people who figure early in the story and who will get an important role is more fascinating and intriguing as a person than she is. My question is; is that a problem? The story is all about her so it would be weird to make this guy the main character. Can I still call her the MC after all? The events that occur in the story is all affecting her life (although eventually even this other characters life on another level) but does the main character necessarily have to be the most likeable and interesting character in a story? Should I tone this guy down so that he won't steal the show for her?
     
  2. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    I don't think so. Maybe they can both be main characters if he has such an impact on the story? In my story, the most interesting characters are the supporting main characters, while my main character isn't all that interesting.
    I don't think you need to tone him down, since he's a supporting character don't explore him as much as you would with the main character. Or you could explore them both equally throughout the story.
    I hope that helped.
     
  3. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thank you, actually the story is already partially from his POV also, so maybe you could even say he's another MC... But I still wonder if the person who the story is about must be the most prominent one?
     
  4. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Depends. Look at Pirates of the Caribbean - Jack Sparrow started as a quirky secondary character and he was so insanely awesome they made him the mainer character in the next film which everyone hated because the next films just played off him.

    On the other hand there's no reason the main character isn't allowed a personality. Just don't make it look like a personality cult.
     
  5. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I didn't get that last sentence...
    I don't think my MC is flat, it's just that the other guys more charismatic and it seems like he's the most interesting of the two, at least for personality. then her story might be more interesting than his... or at least that is the one I have chosen to tell because it appeals to me. Maybe this character will only improve the story? I hope so.
     
  6. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Like, paying tons of attention to him just because he's more fun to write, never mind what's needed for the story. I've always regretted not giving my more fun characters more screen time. Great sides to them flash up for a few lines or a page or so, but if I followed them and made more of a focus on it it'd detract from the story. So even though I found a minor character's total lack of fear of a villain the rest of the cast has feared and hated all their life completely hilarious, I just kept in 2 lines which showed his flippant treatment of having the villain in their midst, rather than devoting a mini story at the very end of the novel when there were 10 pages left of the real plot to go, just to show him doing silly things with the villain, as I was very tempted to do. :p
     
  7. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I see nothing wrong with continuing to call your MC your MC. There was one writer I read who said she used the MC's interaction with her supporting characters to help develop the MC more. Sort of like the saying, 'Your enemies define you,' except in this case it was more on a positive note since it was the MC's friends, rather than enemies.
     
  8. Kio
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    Kio Contributing Member

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    You could have written it. I mean, maybe not publish it, but you could have always written it.

    Sometimes having the minor characters be more fun to write does happen. My solution to it was to do a complete makeover of the lead because she was way too boring at first. But it's not a problem to have the MC be a little less fun than the other characters. It happens to a lot of forms of media, where the audience stops caring for the MC and they care more for the side character. An example of this is Twilight, where girls squealed for him and Bella was just that vessel the audience could use in order to feel closer to Edward. Psychology 101.
     
  9. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    thanks for your opinions! :) I admit I find it a little more fun to write this guy than the MC but hopefully that won't detract from the actual story. I mean, everything he does still has to do with the actual plot, not about events that are totally irrelevant. I might imagine those but I'll keep them in my head, they never make it onto the paper. :)
     
  10. Froggy
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    I get that a fair bit, that reading a story, I get intrigued by a minor character, or another major one, who isn't the MC. Sometimes you find out more about them in sequels, sometimes they make you re-read to pick up as many details as possible.
    I am not sure if it's a form of boredom, when you've got to know the MC so well that the mystery (lack of extra info) of another character catches your eye.
    I'd say to offer glimpses of the other character, but not enough to make the reader resent being put back with the MC...
    If you get the audience hooked too much on a supporting character, you might want to consider changing your point of view, or re-vamping your MC...
     
  11. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    're-vamping', lol.
    good point though.
     
  12. Froggy
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    :D always glad to entertain.
     
  13. Sang Hee
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    Sang Hee Contributing Member

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    If your character has nothing more important to contribute to the story it's totally ok to have someone else step in. I usually try to avoid this by having several leading characters.
     
  14. NikkiNoodle
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    NikkiNoodle Active Member

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    its fine

    In the novel I am working on one of my supporting characters is fun and interesting and provides quite a bit of comic releif but, by his nature, he's also relegated to the background for the most part. He serves his purpose, and my MC is still the MC.
    Also, look at Scarlet O'Hara! She was complelty un-likable, selfish and vain and haughty and still we end up caring about what happens to her, even though other characters like Melanie are good and humble and kind and we might like them more.
     
  15. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh he is important to the story indeed, I'd say after the MC the second most important one. It's just that while writing He sort of caught my attention a little too much, and I got completely fascinated by this guy. He is NOT just there to "look good", if you know what I mean :D

    Yes, I guess you have to keep them at their place in the story and not forget who is actually the main character, lol. And I don't think he could ever be the mc. i would be totally against natures laws ;)
     

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