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  1. nihilcertum
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    nihilcertum Member

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    Two Main Characters?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by nihilcertum, May 22, 2010.

    I am writing a short story, and my characters have taken over. I am fascinated with what is going to happen in their lives and how the characters will respond (I do not have a set plot planned). Now, I think it will end up being novella length.

    Anyway, it follows the lives of two distance runners as they finish their collegiate careers (D1) and move into the next stage of their lives while still pursuing their passion for running. My question is what you all think about having two protagonists? I began with one character who resembles me, but now I want to also follow the parallel story of the other character. I am not the most experienced writer, so any input will be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Mantha Hendrix
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    Mantha Hendrix Contributing Member

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    If I was doing it like that I'd try and make one of the characters "Antagonistic"... but you can leave it up to the reader to decide which one is which.

    I'm not being very clear, but what I mean is you could give them completely contrasting opinions. I shouldn't actually have used the word antagonist... Someone else could probably explain it better.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It's not that unusual. They could be friends who started the same and took disparate paths, or brothers on opposite sides of a conflict, buddies who end up facing one anoter in competition.

    The TV miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man took a different focus from the novel. The TV version contrasted the Jordache brothers - Tom, the irresponsible wild kid, turned his life around and became a highly principled man, while his responsible, hard-working brother Rudy became wealthy but increasingly corruptable.
     
  4. Cardboard Tube Knight
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    Cardboard Tube Knight Member

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    I know a lot of things have two main characters. I've come to grips to the fact that I have two mains right now. It shouldn't be terribly foreign to anyone though.
     
  5. Mantha Hendrix
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    Mantha Hendrix Contributing Member

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    There's a book my friend was reading the other day called "blood over water" which seems to have a similar concept to yours, except about rowers.

    It might be worth a read. Personally I'm not sure. He was only reading it because he rows in the first place.
     
  6. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    Depending on the dynamics of their relationship, yeah i'd say it's absolutely doable. Seeing how as i've no understanding of said dynamics, i don't feel i can say anymore.
     
  7. shadowknight
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    shadowknight New Member

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    I think having two main characters is a very promising idea actually. It allows you to offer two different perspectives on a particular subject. It can also create a theme of duplicity.

    Your two characters could be opposites, or they could possess a certain trait that the other envies or admires. They could be at odds with eachother, or they could be working together to achieve a common goal.

    As long as you make each main character unique and distinguish them from one another it shouldnt be a problem.
     
  8. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    One of the most painful lessons we learn, especially around the college age, is that our childhood friends change - just as we do - and slowly we can see the differences. I still remembering losing one of my best friends because we simply could not agree on one simple, otherwise unimportant topic. And yet, if you were to tell a story about my life from the age of 16 to 21 it would have to be focused one both of us.

    I am a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to this sort of stuff, but if you think you can write with two protagonists then surely it won't hurt anyone. Admittedly, I can't help but think you might develop the Favorite Son syndrome, which is to say you will always like one character over another. Either way, I wish you the best of luck and hope the story comes out great.
     

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