1. Lyon06

    Lyon06 Member

    Aug 30, 2017
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    My Protagonist is Boring

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Lyon06, Aug 11, 2018.

    I don't usually struggle with a character's personality, they're usually my favourite part of the character creating process, but it's been months and my protagonist is still just... nothing. He's got nothing going for him. I have a larger cast of characters than I typically wright, 16 characters, and I'm extremely proud and happy with the rest of them, it's just my MC that I'm struggling with.
    To give some info on him, his name's Oren and he's basically a reincarnation of the god of order. Everyone has some magical power except the Toska people and Oren was born from Toska parents, thus he had no idea he had magic. Lo and behold evil is afoot his village and his mother were killed in a fire set by a god, and the other "gods" need his help to defeat the big bad. Que training montage of magic learning (plus, you know, a hell of a lot more) and that's basically it. I do mean basically, because it's actually a lot more complicated than that, but unless you want eight pages of expo dump I'll leave it at that.
    I kind of feel like all of my other characters have a sort of gimmick at their core, whether it be in tandem with their powers (the god of chaos is as unpredictable as he sounds) or adverse to it (god of darkness is the mother of the group.) Oren doesn't have anything like that except OCD, because he's the reincarnation of Order. I feel bad like I should have this figured out but I'm stuck.
    I wish I could go into more details about the dynamic relationships of the characters but it really would take eight pages of explaining a hard magic system that I don't think people want to read. But any and all help is very much appreciated!
  2. DK3654

    DK3654 Almost a Productive Member of Society Contributor

    Apr 11, 2018
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    In the vibe zone
    Consider making one of your other major characters the MC if you like them more.
    But in general, if your character is boring, what you need are details. Details make a character interesting, even if those individual points aren't particularly, when put together they create novel combinations.
  3. SapphireLane

    SapphireLane New Member

    Jun 4, 2018
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    You could start to give the guy a personality by thinking about how his OCD affects they way he interacts with other people. Does he get really picky to the point where he feels the need to micro manage other people? Do other people’s actions ever drive him crazy? Is he really open about his OCD or does he try to hide it? If he’s open about it, he might have a high-and-mighty or controlling kind of attitude where he thinks he’s always right. This is could also lead to some character development throughout the story where he learns to work better with others. If he tries to keep his OCD to himself, that might result in a lot of internal screaming on his part (someonthing you can demonstrate through his thoughts). If he’s naturally an introvert but can’t stand unorganized surroundings, maybe there will be times when he can’t keep it to himself and goes out of his way to satisfy his OCD. An introverted character who seems to randomly do extreme things would certainly confuse the people around him.

    Basically, take what you know about your character (he likes order) and think of the different ways that people who like order would respond to something. Choose the reaction you like best and find the additional personality trait that would have lead to that reaction. (ie OCD + blank = specific reaction. Find blank.)
    QueenOfPlants and Lady Marmalade like this.
  4. QueenOfPlants

    QueenOfPlants Definitely a hominid

    Apr 18, 2017
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    I totally love the idea of a character being the incarnation of the God of Order, but the pictures I'm getting in my head are more comedic.

    "Oren, could you please stop arranging the grapes by size?"
    "But... don't you see how much better that looks!?"


    He's having a nervous breakdown because everyone and their dog has spent all day with trampling all over the house and leaving chaos behind. So he loses control over his powers and causes an explosion of tidyness. Where even the carpet fringes are being aligned parallely.
  5. OriginalZen

    OriginalZen New Member

    Mar 29, 2017
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    God of Order reincarnated, but with no magic powers. You've definitely nailed it with the OCD quirk, and I think the other posters have given some really solid advice in regards to that!

    As far as other things you could do with him, since he doesn't have any magical properties, perhaps you could extend his "orderliness" to his physical properties. Like, even though he doesn't have any sort of spells that he can toss out, his incredibly particular and precise nature makes him the greatest archer in the land, as all of his arrows land exactly where he means for them to. His blade makes contact in exactly the right spot to break the opponent's sword, not due to magic or luck, but due to Oren's obsessive examination of the opponent's weapon and fighting style. He can catch a lie the moment it's spoken by reading the slight changes in the speaker's expression and mannerisms.

    A God of Order's job is to see to it that things go exactly as he wants them to with no exceptions. You've incorporated that into his character already to some extent, why not his combat as well? Maybe his quirk as your MC is that even without any magic, he is still one of the most powerful members of the team due to his orderly nature.

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