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119 votes
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How to trick the reader into thinking they're following a redshirt instead of the protagonist?

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 ...
Oren_C's user avatar
  • 1,752
73 votes

How to trick the reader into thinking they're following a redshirt instead of the protagonist?

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 ...
wetcircuit's user avatar
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56 votes
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How unadvisable is it to flip the protagonist into a villain?

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 ...
JBiggs's user avatar
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45 votes

Can I conceal an antihero's insanity - and should I?

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 ...
Anna A. Fitzgerald's user avatar
39 votes
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Protagonist constantly has to have long words explained to her. Will this get tedious?

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, ...
PoorYorick's user avatar
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28 votes
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Two protagonists where one is dark - a mistake?

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 ...
Michael's user avatar
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28 votes
Accepted

Will it be accepted, if there is no ''Main Character" stereotype?

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 ...
Liquid's user avatar
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27 votes

How unadvisable is it to flip the protagonist into a villain?

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 ...
Flater's user avatar
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27 votes
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Is a lawful good "antagonist" effective?

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 ...
Rasdashan's user avatar
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25 votes
Accepted

Does my protagonist need to be the most important character?

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 ...
Silly Goose's user avatar
24 votes
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Can I conceal an antihero's insanity - and should I?

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 ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
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22 votes
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What can I do if I hate my own protagonist?

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 ...
Amadeus's user avatar
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20 votes

How unadvisable is it to flip the protagonist into a villain?

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, ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
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20 votes

How do you prevent a character from being a creator's pet?

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. ...
Stig Hemmer's user avatar
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19 votes

Is a lawful good "antagonist" effective?

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 ...
Hearth's user avatar
  • 298
19 votes

How to trick the reader into thinking they're following a redshirt instead of the protagonist?

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 ...
Summer's user avatar
  • 4,461
19 votes

Does my protagonist need to be the most important character?

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 ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 103k
16 votes

How to prevent turning off the reader at first with a protagonist with unlikeable traits but that becomes better later on?

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 ...
SFWriter's user avatar
  • 23.8k
16 votes

Protagonist constantly has to have long words explained to her. Will this get tedious?

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 ...
wetcircuit's user avatar
  • 27.2k
15 votes

How to trick the reader into thinking they're following a redshirt instead of the protagonist?

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 ...
hszmv's user avatar
  • 13.5k
15 votes

Can I conceal an antihero's insanity - and should I?

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 ...
Viktor Katzy's user avatar
14 votes

Will it be accepted, if there is no ''Main Character" stereotype?

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 ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 103k
13 votes

How unadvisable is it to flip the protagonist into a villain?

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 ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
13 votes

Is a lawful good "antagonist" effective?

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 ...
Mason Wheeler's user avatar
13 votes

Does my protagonist need to be the most important character?

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 ...
tylisirn's user avatar
  • 929
12 votes

How to trick the reader into thinking they're following a redshirt instead of the protagonist?

+1, Wetcircuit, though I will disagree on the Buffy angle; she is right on the misdirection. This is difficult to pull off. The way I would do it is a little "close up magic"; you have to ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 103k
11 votes

Is a lawful good "antagonist" effective?

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 ...
motosubatsu's user avatar
  • 7,283
11 votes

How do you prevent a character from being a creator's pet?

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 ...
Mary's user avatar
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