In one of my previous questions, I asked about how to get solid concepts. This one is similar but I'm asking what to do if I have two characters with similar concepts but whose differences make it difficult for me to decide who gets into the story and who gets scrapped.

The characters I am writing still has some writing needed to be done; I still need to decide their personalities. As far as I can come up for now, I have 2 characters that have the same concept of being a mentor figure to a certain character. Both are arrogant, but they do have their fair shares of differences. One dislikes socializing and often sees others as a hassle; one simply is much older and fits as more of a father figure than the previous one (and older brother figure), and they both like to take the spotlight. They have different occupations and stories that would influence the apprentice/successors.

I had the idea of using them both and make them the trope of two mentors with different ideals. On another hand, I could eliminate one of them and things would effect the character differently.

  • Script Magazine suggests in their script notes that you can have a false mentor... and I assume a "true" mentor as well... maybe your mentors might sort themselves into a category each? Check out their discussion on dual mentors as well.
    – Erk
    Mar 8, 2022 at 19:10
  • Could you clarify that, a great deal? Could you look at how each character, from his or her current situation, might best influence the story? If you're Asking who gets into the story and who gets scrapped, shouldn't that become clear once you decide on their personalities - or other aspects like current positions, histories, et al? How does anything in the exposition help, or really matter? Come to that, how is this a Question about Writing? Mar 9, 2022 at 19:00

1 Answer 1


You could also create drama and conflict by making them hate each other, despite their similarities. They both like the spotlight -- But they both can't have it, at least not exclusively. They are both arrogant -- So of course they think their approach is right and the other's approach is dead wrong. All they focus on is their differences, and each thinks the differences in the other are all fatal flaws.

There is a subplot here. Near the end of the 2nd Act, they can reconcile with each other, each recognizing some undeniable good done by the other, because of these differences. And they "team up", they compromise, as part of the impetus that leads to success in the 3rd Act.

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