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Writing a character in a position of power : Writers' Block Party • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Writing a character in a position of power

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tiffanyreyes
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Writing a character in a position of power

Postby tiffanyreyes » Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:03 pm

Hello! So this is the first time I'm starting a thread. I hope it's in the correct forum. I'm honestly just trying to get some constructive feedback. That would be greatly appreciated. :)

My question is regarding writing a character in a position of power, such as a king or the president or a CEO, as examples. I've never read a book with a main character like this, so I don't really have much to go off of. That's why I'm posting here.

Does the reader need to hear about all the business meetings he goes to and the foreign allies he meets with and the conferences he attends? Is that necessary to show his status, his influence? Because I feel like that would just be filler and wouldn't have a place in this story I'm writing. It's just not important. His position is important, but all the duties he has--that stuff isn't. So then, the chapters written from his perspective would mainly focus on his personal life, not his business life.

Is that okay? Or would that not work? Would that take away from what he's supposed to represent?

I've been on this forum nearly a month now and everyone seems very positive and helpful, which is what made me feel comfortable enough to post. I look forward to whatever you guys have to say. :) Thank you for taking the time to read this.

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Rosedarling
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Re: Writing a character in a position of power

Postby Rosedarling » Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:25 pm

Hi Tiffany.

If the information is significant, mention it. For example, the king (or whomever) is in the midst of a passionate love scene with his Queen to be and war breaks out, some of those 'meetings' might be significant. There has to be some tension. Is he dedicated to his post, bothered by his obligation, etc. If so or if not letting the reader know why is important. You don't necessarily have to go into a lengthly description, just what will help the reader move with your story.

Of course now I have to mention the wise words of our moderator, pls, In order to know how to write about something you must READ stories in that genre.

Hope this helps.
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tiffanyreyes
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Re: Writing a character in a position of power

Postby tiffanyreyes » Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:47 pm

Ah, that's very helpful, thank you. :)

Yes, I'll definitely have to do the best I can with the knowledge I have. :D

Thanks again!

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cynicalwanderer
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Re: Writing a character in a position of power

Postby cynicalwanderer » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:52 pm

My opinion would be that unless those meetings are relevant to the main plot or a valid subplot, you'd be better off minimising them. You might show one or two meetings of state as a scene, if they serve to introduce important characters or trigger the conflict that becomes the main plot. Other than that, if you want to just get a bit of flavour across to show what the character's duties are or the personality of someone in power, you might just cover it briefly with some exposition rather than a scene, but even then, bend it to the context of the plot or character.

For example, a snobbish king with a mistress: "Leonidas hated the weekly hearings. The yammering of the peasants - this farmer demanding justice over a stolen pig; that young couple wanting the king's blessing for their union; the dull, drawling reports of the royal tax collectors - and he had to sit there and nod regally and pretend he cared about all their petty nonsense. When all he really wanted to do was slip away and find solace in Arianna's bed."

Short and sharp, and quickly illustrates how he feels about his duties and routines without belabouring them with an unnecessary scene, while at the same time giving a little character desc. Hope that helps.
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u.v.ray
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Re: Writing a character in a position of power

Postby u.v.ray » Sun Dec 04, 2016 3:49 am

Not unless they are relevant to the story. But either way he/she will have to demonstrate an understanding of politics, international relations, diplomacy, law. Otherwise it's just not going to be convincing. You'll need to understand what the day-to-day life of such a person entails.

Research material might well be reading a few political autobiographies.
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DrG2
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Re: Writing a character in a position of power

Postby DrG2 » Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:44 pm

leave out the boring bits, as you would in any story. OTOH, some of that might be necessary if you are trying to show the character being overwhelmed by the details of the job or bored by it.


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