1. ViceroyIcarus
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    ViceroyIcarus New Member

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    Tying the main character into the plot

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by ViceroyIcarus, Aug 29, 2015.

    Hey, I'm still new here so I'm sorry if this is a silly question or something, I apologise.

    So I'm currently writing the plot to a story but the trouble I'm having is tying into the plot and making him the main character but I don't want to use a prophecy to do it as that wouldn't make sense in the narrative that I have planned, so how would I do it?

    I can come up with ways to drop the character into the story but my problem is 'why?'. Why does the bad guy want him? Why waste time going after him if there is another option? Things like that. For me what can make or break a story is the reasoning of the antagonists (or occasionally the good guys) why they are doing what they do and I don't want to go on unless I have a solid reason for the antagonist to target the main character or even for the main character to go after the antagonist.

    Any advice would be appriciated, thanks.
     
  2. rainy_summerday
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    rainy_summerday Active Member

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    To me, it sounds like you are not done with the characterisation of your MC. If you do not yet know why the antagonist wants the MC or even what for, then this is something that should directly link back to the MC.

    Have you thought of getting more acquainted with your MC first? There are different methods like filling out a questionnaire or imagining a dialogue between yourself and the character.
    There is nothing wrong with prophecies, but even then, it will link back to your MC: Why does the MC feel like the prophecy has to be fulfilled (and therefore it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy)?

    I don't think anybody but yourself can define who your MC is. But maybe I inspired you in some way. Or somebody else will :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
  3. ViceroyIcarus
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    ViceroyIcarus New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback, it has certainly helped a quite a bit! There are a few more things to sort out, like actually making the prophecy possible but I can work that out myself.

    Thanks again, I appriciate it!
     
  4. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wait. Isn't the story about him?

    So you mention prophacies or that you wish to avoid that. So the idea is the MC sort of falls into the hero position some mid way in the book? Is that it? And you aren't sure how to say he is going to be the hero before then?
     
  5. Kallisto
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    Kallisto Active Member

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    I'm not a fan of the prophecy cliche either. What I found that works for my stories is having the main character have a personal interest of some kind in the conflict.

    You could very easily have him part of a group of people seen as a "scapegoat" for the bad guy to blame the country's issues on. The bad guy promises to rid the world of these people, in order to solve all the economic woes he started to begin with. So he's hunting the main character simply because of the character's association. As the main character becomes more desperate to survive, he does things that are a crime, which heightens the state's desire to find him. You could have it as not the main villain himself that everyone has to bring down to restore the world, but a henchmen or a patsy to the state who just decides to make it his own personal mission to hunt this particular main character. He can do some atrocious things in the name of finding your MC and his practices are very typical to men of his rank. So we know not just he has to be brought down, but also his boss.

    Mistborn is probably the best example of this that I can think of. The main character is hunted and it's not because she has powers she's not suppose to have, or that there's a prophecy about her. Yes, those things are in the book, but the real reason she's hunted is strictly because of who her father is. That's it. It works because it's so believable.
     
  6. Inks
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    Inks Contributing Member

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    Dislike the whole prophecy thing unless it is subverted at the climax by intentional use by the hero. Also, it this whole prophecy thing started to come true, it would give the target or antagonist a major leg up in thwarting the fruition.

    Example: If I am Emperor of the World and some completely believable prophecy foretold of a boy born in such-a village who will wed the princess and seize the throne, that is ample material to work with. Depending on paranoia and evilness, we can go from wiping out a town to murder. If I am a good Emperor with a infant daughter, well I certainly got some time to live like a god before passing the throne over to some halfwit and going all hermit for twenty years.
     
  7. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    Maybe the main character wants something and to get it, the antagonist takes notice. For example, his mother is dying, so the protagonist goes on a quest to get a cure. He might say he wants to join the quest for other reasons (like find the magical gem to destroy it before the villian gets it) but it's really for himself and his mother (he plans to use the gem for a cure.)
     
  8. ViceroyIcarus
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    ViceroyIcarus New Member

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    My plan is to work it that everyone thinks the MC is the 'chosen one' as it where or at least be the one to beat the villain but it turns out to be another character like one of the main support characters.
     
  9. ViceroyIcarus
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    ViceroyIcarus New Member

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    That is a good idea, I can give that a look and see if I can make it work. Thanks for the help!
     
  10. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not sure I understand the problem still. You want to have a chosen one but trick the audience into thinking MC1 is the chosen one when it is MC2?
     
  11. ViceroyIcarus
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    ViceroyIcarus New Member

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    Hmm, very interesting, I haven't read Mistborn, but I'll give it a look. The idea seems very interesting, I will have to change what I have slightly, but I'm sure it could work.
     
  12. ViceroyIcarus
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    ViceroyIcarus New Member

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    Yes, that is pretty much it but I can't think of a way for people (both in the story and the audience) to believe it is MC1 and not MC2 without it seeming obvious or dull
     
  13. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Usually, because he got in the bad guy's way or somehow hindered him from his goal. Inadvertently or not.

    Die Hard is a good example of this.
     
  14. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well. If there is a chosen one. How does the character in your story. The villain know it? What makes the chosen one unique?
     
  15. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have his house fall on the witch?

    (Edited to add: I'm not really joking. Dorothy got her big important job by sheer chance, and created the crisis (first evil witch killed) by sheer chance.

    Edited yet again to add: And changed all of Oz just because she was trying to get what she, personally, wanted.)
     

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