113

If I had to play out this scene from the POV of the protagonist, it would be hard to transition from "redshirt" to "heroine" in a first person narrative. She - as a person - is the heroine from the start no matter what the reader thinks. Her personality doesn't change. That's why I would play this scene out from the monster's point of view. For the monster ...


71

What pattern are you breaking? In this case, you are hoping the accumulation of other people's writing clichés will carry your opening. You want to subvert the trope, but unfortunately this trope subversion is almost as cliché. It's used when the protagonist is a strong female, and it's used when the villain is a strong female. Maybe the only reader this ...


55

Sounds like a great idea! Seriously though: the antagonist is the single most important character to any plot. The very best antagonists have motivations and feelings that readers can understand and empathize with. A former protagonist as an antagonist sounds really good. Both the reader and the author should be in for a fun ride, because it is very likely ...


45

To be honest, your question has me scratching my head a little. You've described your character as a person with no qualms about manipulating others, all while putting on a sweet face to the outside world. Whether or not you as the author explicitly state the MC's mental disorder at the end of the book, by including scenes in which she lies, cheats and ...


38

It sounds very gimmicky, to be honest. I think you should think of more different ways in which her lower education would show, and switch it up a bit. Etiquette comes to mind, not being able to read, not being able to swim, being able to practical things of a commoner... As a joke, it can work quite well if done right. For example having her ask "Who's ...


28

Each reader probably won't like the protagonists equally. Readers are not a monolithic group. Some will be drawn to the virtue of the good character, while others will eat up the struggles of the dark character. It doesn't even necessarily have to do with their morality, and it's hard to say what character traits will resonate with a particular reader the ...


27

Antagonists are not necessarily bad guys. They prevent your protagonist from achieving her goals. Free yourself of the labels and write your characters true to themselves. What you seem to have in your protagonist is something of an antihero in that she has killed her entire family and anyone else who ventured near enough to reach her. The reader need not ...


27

Adding to linksassin's good answer about having a cast of characters rather than a main, I want to point out what you said: The author takes special care of them. Provides them wise thinking. Good luck. A charm. In some cases special powers too. Sometimes readers bind that character to themselves, that's how they keep engaging with the story. This is an ...


26

It's not unadvisable. There are many well-written characters that go through such a flip. Harvey Dent, the once white knight of Gotham, starts revenge killing everyone who was involved in the death of the woman he loved. Satiating his neverending need for vengeance, he takes if far enough to threaten the good guys who were not to blame. Victor Fries (Dr ...


25

The protagonist is the person whose story you tell. The protagonist can be a witness to important events that he doesn't have a hand in, or she can be the sidekick to a hero, but the story must focus on how the protagonist experiences these events. The protagonist might not be the most important person from the perspective of a historian evaluating an ...


23

You don't need to label your characters for the reader. And you shouldn't. Just describe them as they are, and as they act, and let the readers make their own decisions about them. The main character of The Talented Mr. Ripley is a charming, likeable sociopathic killer. The writer doesn't need to spell this out, you see it in his actions. The same is true ...


22

You may have story problems, too. As Mark says (I have to say that a lot) she needs to want something, bad. You say she is "quite determined" but mousy: She can be usually mousy, but when it comes to taking a direction that does not lead to what she wants, she needs to show some steel. Bravery. A willingness to go it alone. A willingness to defy others. A ...


19

This is great if done well, but it's often done poorly. In Star Wars Anakin goes from good guy to bad guy without much subtlety or believability. And in Harry Potter, Tom Riddle is always a bad guy, he just hides it at first. A better example is The Good Earth where the main character starts off as a poor, hardworking peasant, and ends up as the same kind ...


19

As others have said, the antagonist doesn't necessarily have to be a bad guy. It's also worth mentioning however, that "bad guys" generally tend to think that what they're doing is good. Consider for example someone who holds order and stability to be the most important thing there is, and so acts to stop any major change from happening, whether that ...


19

IN GENERAL for the modern novel, the MC is the one with a problem to solve, the MC has to take the risks, and the MC has to solve the problem. One exception to this rule I can think of is Dr. Watson in the Sherlock Holmes series, he is the "MC" that tells the story. Most analysts believe Doyle did this specifically to hide the thoughts and feelings of ...


19

This sounds like a great character! I suspect one problem may be your other characters, they simply aren't equally interesting. One solution is simply accepting that this is the main character. This is the person you want to write a book about. The rest are bystanders. This would solve the screen-time problem, but you would still have to look out for ...


18

Write from the POV of the monster. This way the prey can be described in more dismissive terms. You can then add inner thoughts of the monster. Dismissive thoughts about how this one does what they all do. First they get scared and their blood makes them easier to find. Then they run, and tire themselves out. Next they die. Hey wait, where did that thumping ...


16

Characters can be plotted onto three sliders. (1) The further up the three (or four) sliders he is, the more likable he is. You describe him as low on sympathy. You can compensate, by making him higher on proactivity and competence. (You can add in 'mission' as a fourth slider, if you want - justify his goal.) Highly competent and proactive goes a long ...


15

It seems more like a running gag, than a character trait or infodump. Running gags have comedic "rules" and structure, so it becomes less about texture and more about timing. That doesn't mean you are going for a big laugh, but you are establishing a pattern for the reader and then deciding when to invoke it, and later when to break it. The gag is not so ...


15

Personally I find this one hard to pull off. I - as a reader - would find this development at the end not satisfying (like the development of Daenerys in the last season of GoT). The problem is that this can/will break the readers image of the character, but probably not in a good way. He might feel betrayed by the protagonist, just like any character in ...


14

I think you misunderstand the MC; the MC doesn't have to be extraordinary in any particular sense; and in most good stories the MC has weaknesses or flaws to overcome. The reason an MC is the main character is only because that is the character the reader most identifies with. That is the character whose thoughts and feelings and troubles are shown. They ...


14

I would do a heroic twist of the very first scene of the Buffy the Vampire series, which opens with two high-schoolers: a rather rough around the edges but still 90s cool boy and a nervous girl who is following him, but he keeps having to assure her that they're safe and no one is in the school building that they are breaking into after hours. Now, if you'...


13

The classic example of an effective Lawful Good antagonist is Inspector Javert, from Les Misérables. He is a good person who cares deeply about upholding the law, which brings him into conflict with the protagonist, Jean Valjean, multiple times throughout the story because Valjean is a reformed thief who had to break parole and assume a different identity ...


13

It can work sometimes, especially if your main character is a pinball protagonist who is simply caught up in events happening around them or to them. For instance Arthur Dent is very clearly the main character of Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but for a large portion of the book series he instigates almost nothing and does almost nothing on his own. ...


12

You readers are invested in your character. There are multiple things they like about him, right? Those things cannot just disappear - that would leave your reader angry, frustrated, and feeling betrayed by you. The character's Fall needs to be believable. And after the Fall, there's the question of Redemption. Your readers are invested in the character, ...


11

The answer to this lies in (frustratingly) another question: Why does your protagonist consider them "evil"? If you can come up with something plausible and relatable for the answer to this you might just have a shot. If the reason is due to a misunderstanding (or similar) on the protagonist's part (e.g. they believe the antagonist committed atrocity X ...


11

Try beta readers. You are too close to the story to judge. It's possible that your character is stealing the show by being the most interesting character in it, and interesting characters are the life blood of story.


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