1. Jennifox

    Jennifox New Member

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    Introducing Characters the Protagonist Already Knows

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Jennifox, May 4, 2020.

    The book I am writing has six different short stories, all in first person and narrated by six different protagonists. It is science fiction and set in space about 375 years from now. The protagonists all already know each other and are all involved in all of the stories together. Due to the protagonists already knowing each other, they don't meet for the first time within the first story. The problem I have comes here. Most books I read, the protagonists meet for the first time and are then introduced. If the protagonists already know each other, what are some ways to introduce them? Is just listing them too boring or not exciting enough? I want to have a good introduction to the plot of the first story, making sure that the reader enjoys it.
    I'm quite new to writing, and look forward to hearing any replies.
    Thanks,
    Jennifox
     
  2. Xoic

    Xoic Active Member

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    I can see where it would be easier to introduce them to the reader as they're being introduced to each other, but if that isn't an option, just have the narrator introduce each to the reader as their turn comes up, and don't give more than one relevant bit of info to identify each at that first moment. You can dd more in little by little as it goes on, pepper them in as you go.
     
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  3. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    You could have the MC introduce the character to a companion. Or, there's been a major change in the character that the MC has heard about: "Michael, I heard you were discharged from the service?" The MC asks.
     
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  4. Lifeline

    Lifeline North of South. Contributor

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    I don't quite see why you'd need to 'introduce' them specifically. I am a huge fan of books where the author doesn't write as if the reader is a moron and needs to be spoon fed.

    You are writing in first person, so the reader is the POV character, with the POV character's history and knowledge. The story starts somewhere. The POV character will interact with the other cast from his point of view, which means he'll interact with them as friends/acquaintances/enemies/whatever as he knows them from their past interactions.

    If I meet someone the first time I interact differently with them as if I already know them. So from the level of interaction alone the reader will know that these people all know each other. You can dribble in pertinent information as it arises.
     
  5. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You can have the previous POV character mention the one who is coming in next—in some casual context (but one that will stick in the reader's mind.) Your POV character is hoping to see his best friend, Character C, the next day. Or, 'Wait till Character F gets here. He's an engineer, and he'll figure it out'....something along these lines.
     
  6. Infel

    Infel Contributor Contributor

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    There's all sorts of ways you can do this! Personally, I'd recommend you put the protagonists in a situation where they can both talk to each other and behave in their own personal fashion. I'm a sucker for learning who a character is through how they interact with people around them, so put them in a fight, or a heist, or whatever your situation calls for. There are plenty of stories where the characters know each other but the reader doesn't. It certainly wouldn't hurt to read a few!
     

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