1. Jennifox

    Jennifox New Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2020
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Scotland

    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 Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor Blogerator

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2019
    Messages:
    12,741
    Likes Received:
    13,840
    Location:
    Way, way out there
    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.
     
    Steve Rivers, Cave Troll and Jennifox like this.
  3. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,223
    Likes Received:
    1,569
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    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.
     
    Jennifox likes this.
  4. Lifeline

    Lifeline South. Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,282
    Likes Received:
    5,805
    Location:
    On the Road.
    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 Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    17,674
    Likes Received:
    19,891
    Location:
    Scotland
    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

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2016
    Messages:
    571
    Likes Received:
    703
    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!
     
  7. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2019
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    306
    Location:
    Posting here instead of actually writing
    Have one of the characters overhear some minor/side characters gossiping/trading rumors about one or more of the other characters. This could then go a few ways either have them 1). think to themselves that's not what happened, xx is what happened or 2). Have them go explain to them what really happened.

    Either of these could be used to set the scene for one or more of the six stories, sort of an old man remembering the past.
     
  8. lucidink

    lucidink New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2020
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    5
    If they already know each other, you can use the dialogue between the protagonist and the other character in order to introduce that character to the reader.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice