1. Luxri

    Luxri Member

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    Is it boring to have two mentors who are the same race/species?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Luxri, Jul 17, 2020.

    I am currently doing some outlining work for my novel. I have started writing down things like the lie my character believes, what they want, and what they need. I have based a lot of my outline on the works of K. M. Weiland. She is a fantastic author when it comes to helping you write books. Anyway, something that has been on my mind are the two mentor characters in my novel. Both are elves. They have vastly different backgrounds, but both are the same species. I am wondering if that would be boring or jarring for some readers? I have two main characters, each having their own mentor. One is a man in the north who is mostly human with some demon ancestry. The other is an elven woman in the south. Each mentor will teach very different lessons, but would it be better if they contrasted each other more?

    The elven woman would have an old elven scribe as her mentor. I could quite easily change him to be a human, but then I feel like he wouldn't be as keen on elven history or hold some sort of pride for the elven people. I could make him a half-elf I suppose. But I am uncertain.

    The man with demon blood would have the last immortal elf as his mentor, not that he would know that. The elf would teach him magic and life lessons, while simultaneously trying to guide his student down the right path.

    Do any of you have some sort of input for me? I would appreciate it.
     
  2. Fervidor

    Fervidor Active Member

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    So, being elves is the only notable thing they have in common? If so I don't really see any issue with this setup. I mean, when was the last time anyone had a problem with two different characters both being human? You're worrying over nothing. A bit of diversity is a nice thing but you shouldn't feel obligated to go as far as making your characters different species just to keep them distinct.

    If anything, there's a nice kind of symmetry to this type of thing, like "elf mentor" is a sort of motif your characters happen to share. And if they're different in most other regards, then that one thing they have in common just serves to highlight those differences.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2020
  3. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum

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    Personally I like the idea, because it shows that Elves are individuals with their own personalities and quirks. That raises it above the kind of fantasy where all Elves (or Dwarves or whatever) are almost carbon copies.
     
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  4. Luxri

    Luxri Member

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    Thank you for saying that. I will go forward with keeping them both elves then. I like how you pointed out having one thing in common shows just how different they are. I didn't think of it that way.
     
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  5. Luxri

    Luxri Member

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    Thank you. I want the characters in my story to feel like people, even if that is really hard. I have never truly tried to write a book before so I worry about every little detail being just right.
     
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  6. NobodySpecial

    NobodySpecial Contributor Contributor

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    Actually I think you could make thing more interesting having the two mentors be of the same background, as long as they have conflicting ideologies- kinda like the devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other -it could even lead into a greater internal conflict for the mentee.
     
  7. Luxri

    Luxri Member

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    Well, that would not really work in my case. These two characters mentor two different students at the opposites ends of the nation.
     

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