44

When the main character is physically invulnerable, then that gives you an opportunity to highlight their emotional vulnerability. Address how his newfound superpowers affect his relationships with other characters. Don't threaten the main character, threaten the characters who are dear to him. Don't threaten the main character with physical injuries, ...


35

Reading your description, I came to this conclusion: without changing the plot, Autumn can be replaced by an object, a token of friendship that’s an actual token. You’re right that something needs to be done. Having a character present in the middle of the action but not doing anything or even being mentioned is confusing for the audience. And having a ...


32

Kind of yes? The big problem with Bury Your Gays in literature is that the gay characters' death mostly exists to motivate or evoke emotions other characters around them and they aren't characters in their own right. Your description of the plot makes it seem like the character's death was merely used to get an emotional reaction out of the audience, not ...


27

Different people get different things from a story If you think of the audience (or potential audience) for a story like a crowd of people sitting and watching as a tv show is being filmed, not every person in that audience is there for the same reason. Some people are a fan of the star actor, some people are there because their kid is into this sort of ...


25

This seems like you have a character who is going to die at the end of your story who happens to be gay. Objectively I see zero issues with that - the only reason there is a question is because of the history of stories killing off LGBT+ characters. I guess I would say to just be careful to make this guy a real character with his own purpose, and don't kill ...


22

Unable to be killed is not the same thing as unable to be defeated. Being captured, wrapped in chains, sealed in a box filled with concrete and dropped in the ocean may not kill the protagonist, but it should "defeat" him for at least some period of time. Also threats to others may also defeat him. A missile strike may not hurt the protagonist at ...


22

Don't ascribe human motivations to non-human creatures I think the core of the problem you are encountering is your decision to ascribe a pathological motivation to your protagonists. If you start with a set of rational needs for your sapient monsters, then I think you'll end up with better characterizations, especially if those needs operate on multiple ...


20

Warning: This answer contains a link to TV Tropes. Please be careful accordingly, or you will fall into a vortex and never return. This literary trope is called "Posthumous Character," and although your character isn't actually dead (presumably), the same idea applies. You are trying to get your audience to like, understand and see a character who ...


20

Since you haven't actually sent the book to anybody, you can change the names all you want and nobody will know. I'd say sure, go ahead and change it. If you are still on the fence, you can ask the betas (that's the great thing about betas; they're there to help). Tell them, 'I got these two names I'm not entirely set on. Do you think they're fine or should ...


19

Make it ambiguous: If the woman can't tell how old he is, she may refer to him either way. If your point of view allows it, show her having an internal debate about it. If she's not sure, make a bit of a game of it. This, BTW is a great opportunity to add a description of him, and also reveal your MC's thinking and frame of reference. She obliquely tries to ...


18

There's no definitive answer to this question, because it depends entirely on the POV character, who exists only in your mind. How would she refer to him? My own instincts align with those of @DM_with_secrets (from the comments) --an American teenager would probably describe another teenager neither as a "boy" or a "man" but as a "...


18

God Syndrome: What does Superman from the 1950's look like today? No hero or villain can stop him. He's invincible. So what do you do if you're a bad guy, and have to deal with that? What happens when lily-white conservative Ultra-gal, who's 200 years old and doesn't look a day over 20, starts beating up ethnic minorities and the LGBTQ+ community for their '...


17

I think the fact that you yourself forgot about her is indeed a sign that she's not really adding anything to your story. Personally, I believe in keeping characters to the minimum you actually need, because I think you end up with a stronger story, while making fewer demands on the reader. If you can't keep track of this character, or care about her, ...


16

Yes this is completely normal. You're making a pretty big decision for the rest of your story, and you're probably just second guessing yourself, trying to figure out how to spin it after the big fight scene. Most of the time, the fight scene itself isn't actually all that important, but after all the I-shoot-you-and-you-shoot-me-and-I-shoot-you-back-etc-etc-...


16

Jihad: Writing is about the human condition. But the human condition is a big, messed up gnarly thing - and guess what, if you're human, you're living it. Fiction is rarely about people with nice, stable well-adjusted lives who understand themselves and others, get along well, and are generally happy. Jihad doesn't usually mean "holy war" but ...


14

Show how they matter to people: I have a major character in my novel who is dead, and appears only as a spiritual entity. The ghost interacts with people by sending dreams and visions. She is also one of the most sympathetic characters in the story. Sendings and visions are not a material way of showing up, but can work. Dream sendings operate like a ...


14

I know you said this is based on an ancient Roman custom, but the way you describe it - a longer name used in formal settings and a shorter version used among friends and family - makes it sound like "Odaenathus" is his real name and "Odainat" is a nickname. This, to me, feels similar to how a character in a modern novel might be called &...


14

Power corrupts, but it doesn't have to: For an interesting reference, you might want to check out THIS question. What you are describing is ANY power dynamic. The relationship is no different to one where one spouse earns a lot more than the other, where one has family influence and connections and the other doesn't, or where one spouse is a police officer ...


14

A question to ask is: are your secondary characters gay just to tick an LGBTQ+ box? A test of that is how rich they are as characters in their own rights. If they are rich deep characters, who we grow to love because of who they are, not just because of what they are, they aren't just sacrificial, and the death is clearly not just gratuitously "isn't ...


13

What does he do? Does he get up to refill the pitcher when he realizes they are out of water? Does he cook dinner without being asked -- or only after being nagged? Does he clean up the table despite the order of the papers on it being important? Does he give the main character penetrating looks after actions? If he neither talks nor acts, he's a non-...


13

This is a big problem for me, because I don't really get the human condition to begin with. If you are human, then whatever your experience is by definition part of the human condition. The human condition does not refer to things that all humans experience. It refers to all things that (some) humans experience. My entire life can be described as only ...


12

Some people are insecure about their freckles. Some people say "I don't like my nose, it's too big!" This doesn't automatically offend everybody with freckles or large noses. If someone says they hate being short, that wouldn't offend me, a fellow shorty. We all have hang ups about different physical traits. Your MC can be insecure about her ...


12

An "antagonist" is just someone who gets in the way of the protagonist reaching their goals. Someone can be an "antagonist" without also being a "villain". (And even villains often have some good qualities, or well-intentioned motives or logic behind their actions. The majority of "bad" people aren't just "evil ...


12

Given that most characters in the Lord of the Rings books have at least two names, and that it is successful, I would see no problem. Keep the use of each name local to the appropriate scene. And, drop in the occasional reminder to the reader that the character has two names. Indeed, in your case where the names are simply cultural variants, it should be ...


12

Short answer: No. I'm a Black person, and I think I can tell you from a literary and minority standpoint that this isn't racist. 1) Fire Flame-like palettes have always gone well with darker skin tones. It's just a visually appealing design. Also, people who are darker-skinned tend to have higher tolerance for heat. Having chosen a darker skin tone for a ...


12

Check out the superhero franchise One Punch Man, so named because the main character could defeat all his opponents in one punch. He is clearly overpowered. But many people still found the series interesting, with the consensus on Rotten Tomatoes given as "With its state-of-the-art animation, unorthodox hero, and gut-bustlingly funny jabs at the shounen ...


10

Dialogue, just like everything else in a well-written story, has a purpose: either to advance the overall plot or to develop the characters. Who speaks and says what in what scene depends on what needs to be said and who the focus is on. Even if you want to develop all 5 characters, it doesn't necessarily have to happen all at once for everyone in every ...


10

Over the years I've noticed that, in media with nigh-invulnerable protagonists, battles tend to follow a basic formula: A villain shows up somewhere and starts causing mayhem A weaker (but still powerful) character tries to stop them and gets their ass kicked The protagonist shows up, rescues the weaker character, and defeats the villain The initial ...


9

My thought is to examine and write down your feelings and transfer them to the character. If you feel jittery before the battle, then she feels jittery before the battle, etc. You are in a perfect place to imagine her feelings. Also you can have the same attitude as your MC, "“Enough of this crap. I’m gonna write this thing anyway, might as well just ...


9

Here is the traditional view: The protagonist wants something (which may be to avoid a "bad thing"). The antagonist is whoever or whatever is standing in the way of the protagonist getting what they want. It could be a person (including internal weaknesses of the protagonist), it could be an organization ("the System"), or it could be ...


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