0

I am writing a story these days and I want to introduce a character who is similar to a king. This character is introduced with heavy announcements by his minions who scream out words of admiration and basically annoy everyone in their path. How do I introduce the character in such a way that the reader is annoyed by the minions presence while also making the protagonist also personally feel annoyed by the nuisance.

  • 2
    Is the question how to separate annoying the reader so much that they'll drop the book, from indicating that these characters traditions are SO annoying even the king has problems with it? Who is your audience? A children's book can take more explicit aggravation, which I feel adult readers may dislike coping with that. – April --Un-Slander Monica-- Feb 27 at 20:09
  • I basically want to show how this king external to a kingdom is being introduced to the kingdom. The people of the kingdom aren't necessarily aren't annoyed by the king but are annoyed by his minions. I am also open to show any kind of aggressiveness so my writing feels organic. – TheMan Feb 27 at 20:38
7

Annoying the reader is almost never a good strategy. So your focus should be on annoying the protagonist. That, in turn, is a matter of developing your protagonist's personality and goals in such a way that the minions intrude on it. Maybe he just doesn't like self-important blowhards. Or maybe he's got places he needs to be, and the procession is holding him up. Or he suspects the king of being an imposter.

  • I just want them to feel as if they can emphasize with the protagonist. I thought if they feel annoyed they might be able to relate with the protagonist much better – TheMan Feb 27 at 20:53
  • 1
    I think that strategy has it backwards. Build a strong character, and people will emphasize with his perspective. You're not going to get people to embrace your character by forcing them to go through his same experiences. They'll just quit reading. – Chris Sunami Feb 27 at 21:01
  • You mean empathize, right? – Rasdashan Feb 27 at 23:54
  • @Rasdashan Yes, that was a typo, that unfortunately, I can't edit any longer – Chris Sunami Feb 28 at 0:38
4

Use the narrator as a tool to avoid annoying the reader. The narrator controls the flow of information.

Have the minions do their thing. Once. Then...

The crowd clapped politely as the ruler walked by. The minions started up again with the "isn't he amazing" bit and the clapping began to fade. The ruler walked on. Couldn't they at least go far enough so that no one's heard it already? This time the ruler managed about 15 feet before the drone of his accomplishments began again. He felt like running but forced himself to stay a few feet behind his announcers. "His great intelligence and thoughtfulness..." God save me, he thought. Maybe I can duck out behind that food stand.

You don't want to actually annoy your readers. You want your readers to realize how annoying those characters are. Big difference.

1

Your character is used to this fanfare and has witnessed it from early childhood. He is probably either deaf to it now, it being as noticeable as the air he breathes, or so tired of it that he wishes it were not part of his life.

Royalty is a ritual, more for the onlookers than the participants. Said royal knows that he cannot walk down the street without this procession and his devoted servants whose sole purpose is to maintain the honour and dignity of the throne - who can sometimes suffocate the occupant of that throne.

Perhaps he is a younger king and is known to sneak out of the palace and pull a Henry V kind of stunt, though once Henry ceased to be Prince Hal, the fun was curtailed.

Cyn has good advice. Even the titles can drone on seemingly forever ‘Defender of the Faith, Lord of the Eastern Marches, Duke of York....’ and that is without the fawning praise of your minions.

The courtiers will do what courtiers do and it is difficult for the king whose court it is to escape the trap of royal protocol. Every minute scheduled, no time to oneself to think unless they schedule that too.

He opened his eyes, a new morning and a glorious day. There was Lord Harcourt holding his robe - would rather look out the window and see the world beyond, but such would not happen today.

Stepping into his robe, he saw Lord Robert come forward, still nervous at his recent elevation to the king’s personal staff.

“Majesty, you have the Council Lords at two, an emissary from Spain regarding your bride, the Bishop will see you for breakfast - sorry, m’lord, but he insisted.”

“Next time, Robert, tell his Grace that I require solitude during my meals - a precautionary measure.”

“Yes, Majesty. There is a market and it was requested that you be seen by your people.”

Not that again. Another chant of the litany of his titles - why were there twenty? If only his grandfather had been less ambitious there would only be fifteen. “A procession?”

“Yes, sire. It is considered advisable.”

“By whom?”

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.