1. La_Donna
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    La_Donna Member

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    Who is my protagonist?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by La_Donna, Oct 13, 2013.

    I've got a short story idea that I really want to write, but I want to tell it in first person to help create the atmosphere (it's a horror story) and I have a choice of two characters who I could make the protagonist, but I can't decide who. Whose perspective would you be more interested in reading about?
    1) A widowed woman who has a young son, who starts seeing the ghost of her dead husband and this brings up a lot of raw emotions.
    2) A celebrity psychic who is hired by the friend of the widow. She is a fraud, but becomes greatly entangled in the mystery when she becomes the only other witness to the dead husband's ghost, and starts to question whether she really is a medium.

    What do you think?
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Number 2. There's so much more to play with there.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto that! [but only if you're really good at writing mysteries]
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I think #2 only has "more to play with" because it was expanded upon more in the post. But looking at it another way, the question of whether she really is a medium could as well be explored by #1.

    The POV character, the protagonist, and the central character can all be the same character, or they can be distinct character roles.

    The POV character narrates, or the narrator sticks like a tick to the POV character.

    The protagonist is who the reader empathizes with, the one who takes part in the driving action of the story.

    The central character is the one around whom the story revolves. He or she is often the most important character in the story (but must be an active participant in the story to be a central character).

    Consider a story about a general leading a pivotal campaign in a war. There is a plot to assassinate the general, and one of the lieutenants in his command becomes aware of it. The story follows the lieutenant as he attempts to prevent the assassination, and is told by a communications officer who assists him.

    The major action is directed at the general. There are several assassins in the conspiracy, and the lieutenant is trying to alert the general of the threat. The general believes he is adequately protected, and refuses to take the warnings seriously. The general is the central character. The lieutenant is the protagonist, and the communications officer is the POV character.

    It's not all that often that the three roles are so clearly split, but this example serves to illustrate the distinctions between the roles.
     
  5. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    I'd pick #2 for my own reading, although I don't read that type of story often. Also, I'm guessing it's been done less frequently than #1.
     
  6. Flocka
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    Flocka Member

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    I think number 2 might be a more fast past story. There is so much to write about in that view.
     
  7. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are you saying if the OP is not really good at writing mysteries, he/she should opt for choice # 1?
     
  8. Mathieu
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    Mathieu Member

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    I think it's clear. I'd go for #2!
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes... the reason being that writing a successful mystery takes a different plotting skill set than do other genres, and if the op isn't good at putting a mystery together, she's more likely to have a better chance of turning out a marketable ms with her other choice...
     

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