1. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

    Apr 20, 2016
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    MC as an observer

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by newjerseyrunner, Aug 17, 2016.

    I'm having trouble with a section of my book where the MC is simply present for a crisis, but can't really do anything. A group on a ship comes under attack and has to defend themselves. The MC is a young boy, has parents and the rest of the crew actually do the fighting with the limited weapons on board. The fight is essential for the story. Other than internal emotions of fear, how do I put more focus on the young boy?

    He's never really been in danger before (neither has the rest of the crew, at least not to this extent.) Throughout the story, the boy grows and takes on more responsibilities. This particular crisis though, happens in the first tenth of the story, so he's basically just sitting there scared with his dog.

    He's not a narrator, I'm in the third person, although I use italics for the MC's thoughts and only his.
  2. Lifeline

    Lifeline South. Staff Contributor

    Oct 12, 2015
    Likes Received:
    On the Road.
    Let him shuffle around to hide and don't drag it out too long. I know you said that the fight is essential to the storyline, but introspection can only go on so long. Show the creaking of wood, the feet scuffling, nearing and retreating, the cries he hears. Describe physical sensations and how they impact on the MC, not thoughts.

    I am sorry that I can't help you more.
    izzybot likes this.
  3. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

    Mar 13, 2016
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    I'll agree with @Lifeline and also ask you a question. Is there no way to make the boy integral to the fight scene? Think about what a small boy can add to a fight. Make him participate in a way that would be plausible for a young boy. If he's clever, surely you can come up with a way for him to tip the balance in the crew's favor by manipulating small things from behind the scenes whilst staying hidden.

    Think it over. If he's your MC, this could be a good place to show his grit to set the stage for what's to come.

    ETA: fear doesn't have to paralyze. If he's your main character, making him react relatively well under pressure is a semi-necessary trait for a strong, interesting young MC.
    izzybot and Lifeline like this.

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