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multiple main characters : Conversation question • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

multiple main characters

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
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rhondarightbrainlefty
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multiple main characters

Postby rhondarightbrainlefty » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:00 pm

do you prefer one protag or do you like to have more than one in your stories?
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mammamaia
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Re: multiple main characters

Postby mammamaia » Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:24 am

each story would have its own character requirements... i wouldn't limit myself with any pre-set preferences...
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Re: multiple main characters

Postby max2011 » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:50 pm

It depends how well the story is written. There are authors who can write from multiple points of view very well and I don't get lost. Though, I tend to read a lot of books with first person narrative because I write that way, too. It's good to read and see how well other writers are dealing with the craft.

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rhondarightbrainlefty
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Re: multiple main characters

Postby rhondarightbrainlefty » Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:02 pm

Oh okay I understand where you are coming from mammamaia.

So Max...For me it depends on what I'm writing...like...I wrote one book about a family. Each of them were in the midst of a storm, so I was able to sort of make the stories intertwine. and I like stories like the movie 'crash' where strangers sort of have lives that cross paths? So I really enjoy that.
Have you ever attempted writing that way? Or you seriously prefer first person narrative? Does first perosn make you feel really, really connected to your protag? I always feel connected to my main characters, but first person realllly feels intense
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africhmaurice
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Re: multiple main characters

Postby africhmaurice » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:57 am

I think it definitely depends on where the writing takes you. There are definitely places in literature for both.

With a theater background, I enjoy multiple story arcs with multiple character perspectives. But then again, supporting characters should be just as strong as the main character.

I enjoy reading both. Not sure if I have a preferrence. Truth is, one character story lines can be boring at times, so sticking to many can avoid that. The problem you run into there is that multi-character story lines can be confusing.

pros and cons to both.

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rhondarightbrainlefty
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Re: multiple main characters

Postby rhondarightbrainlefty » Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:31 pm

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Re: multiple main characters

Postby africhmaurice » Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:44 pm

Are you referring to a particular story or just in general? Hard to tell.

The biggest problem I'd see is not saying enough. Each character needs their own time. thinking in terms of a screen play:

You have 8 main characters in a 2 hour movie. That would mean every character would have approximately 20 minutes on screen. Not a whole lot of time for an in-depth story.

You just need to make sure everything that you want to say is said. Reread and reread for clarity and just make sure there are no holes. If all of the stories connect, make sure there are no adjustments in time you need to make. If they only connect in theme, you have a much easier time showing all of their perspectives, but you want to make sure that you only use the perspectives that count. That people can fall in love with. Don't write thirty pages, devoted to a character that makes no connection to an audience.

Hope that helps. :)

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rhondarightbrainlefty
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Re: multiple main characters

Postby rhondarightbrainlefty » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:00 pm

that's wonderful...I read and reread, and will do it again with these things in mind. my favorite part of that was 'don't devote thirty pages to one character that the reader/audience won't connect to'...thank you :)
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Re: multiple main characters

Postby africhmaurice » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:54 pm

Of course. And these are just my opinions. I find that they scarce when it comes to giving literary critique with merit.

I'm glad I was able to help :)

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rhondarightbrainlefty
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Re: multiple main characters

Postby rhondarightbrainlefty » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:34 pm

:)
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