In the novel I am working on, there are few major characters who are in position of power, and are not interested in speaking to the protagonist at all. What are some techniques using which we can make it happen.

A little bit about the setting: A single human protagonist goes to a different planet, the scientists and one or two politicians are interested in communicating with him briefly - but there ends the matter; no one is further interested in deeply engaging in a conversation with the protagonist.

However, the central piece of my work are going to be conversations. Can you please give me some references to characters, or techniques or examples used in the past for a set up where a disinterested person is forced to talk.

  • Asking what to write is off-topic here, and this will probably be closed it its left as it is. I suggest editing this to focus more on writing techniques and less on asking what to write. Jun 27 '16 at 19:24
  • Thanks; does it read alright now? I am basically looking for references either for techniques or examples in literature. Jun 27 '16 at 19:31
  • 1
    No, this question is still asking what to write. Placing on hold for now. Jun 28 '16 at 16:27
  • tried my best to reword it; Jun 28 '16 at 16:53
  • Let me see if I understand your question: You feel that realistically, your protagonist would have no way of actually talking to the relevant people, and you're not sure how to get across that obstacle? Are you looking for an in-story action plan (e.g. "He should bribe the cleaning person to get him in!") or for writing technique (e.g. "You, the writer, can engineer a situation where the protagonist happens to have something one of the people wants")?
    – Standback
    Jun 29 '16 at 9:41

While through your description i assume your story is a serious one, i think your best point of reference would come from comedy.

It is a common trope in comedy, specially british comedy, to have characters who don't like anyone else, or that aren't particularly interested in anyone else. Like for example Jim, from Yahtzee Croshaw comedy novel "Mogworld". "Hitchiker's guide to the galaxy" wouldn't be a bad choice either, but i'm gonna use Mogworld as my example, just because i remember it more.

He doesn't like any of his companions, or, at the very least, is absolutely indiferent to them, giving him an air of arrogant superiority, even though it is not intentional, he just doesn't care, really.

Now, as to why they would talk to your protagonist, i can't really say, as it's too much of a broad question. Just make it seem like they have to, not that they want to. Make this politician guy be stuck with him in a room in some way or another. Make the protagonist pester him nonstop, or make the protagonist lie to make the politician believe that he is important.


Read comedy to study characters who just don't care, and make it seem like the politician has no other choice but to talk to the protagonist.

  • Also, just a quick note, how to write a disinterested character is a good question, but as i said, what would make him talk is a bit broad for us to respond, as we don't know all the circunstances surrounding both charactes. So, sorry if that answer didn't really help you. Jun 28 '16 at 11:06
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    Thanks for the answer; My story is indeed serious, but I presume I can read comedy and use some ideas from there. I found it hard to phrase the question but I was not really asking about "how to make him talk in my context" but more like you've answered: examples of such characters. Jun 28 '16 at 15:49

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