Today’s Writing Tip

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The usual convention is to start your story with the main character. That way,  your reader immediately knows who the story is about. Prologues are the only exception. If something occurs before the main story begins that involves another person, often a prologue functions well to present that information.

Sometimes another character comes along who is so strong, that he or she takes over the story. It’s okay to have several strong characters in a story, but who does it really belong to? This is not always easily answered. Sometimes two characters come together who have separate story arcs. I don’t have all the answers to that situation and am dealing with just that in my current WIP.

However, if someone else clearly takes over, leaving your original main character/protagonist in the dust, then it’s time to reconsider who your protagonist really is. If it changes dramatically, you may have to go back to Chapter One and introduce that person first.

Main characters in complex stories with well-developed plots are not always that easy to identify. How often has your favorite character in a book been someone other than the protagonist? Side and back stories are always an option with these folks as well.

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Today’s Writing Tip

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The general rule is to start your story with your main character. However, if this person’s importance fades later, you might want to make it a prologue if that scene is essential to the story.

This is something that relates to yesterday’s blog about when a minor character takes over the story. If he or she steps into the star role, you may need to introduce them in chapter one. If both your intended main and the minor character are both in the first chapter, this isn’t a problem. You just need to open with the main character’s POV. However, if the one taking over doesn’t come on the scene until later, it’s more of a challenge.

If anyone out there has encountered a similar issue I’d love to hear how you solved it.