Strong characters are important. However, if they are too strong to the point of being annoying or offensive, then the reader may not finish the story! Face it, readers usually want to relate in a positive way to the main character.
I have to admit that I’ve had a difficult time getting through a couple stories because the main character was such a piece of work I wanted to slap her upside the head. However, I also recognized what a great job the author was doing creating such a vivid, albeit abrasive, character. Thus, I pressed on, sometimes rather slowly, and finished the stories. And guess what? In both cases I gave the story five stars in my review.
Granted, not all readers will force themselves to finish a book with a character who makes them crazy, so it needs to be done with care. As an author, however, take careful note of the expertise it took to creative such a vivid character and learn from it.
Have you ever had a minor character suddenly take over your story? It’s great to have one that’s so strong, but this often presents a challenge. I’ve had this happen to me in my Star Trails Series and find it happening again in my WIP.
In Star Trails, I had to make sure one of those troublesome characters wound up in jail or prison from time to time so the other characters could run the story. In my current WIP, I’m still trying to figure out exactly how to handle it but here are three things I’m considering.
1) Let him or her take over. This is likely to require a major rewrite, but might be worth it.
2) Strengthen intended main character. Make sure there are enough story problems and issues for him or her to deal with to make it interesting. If things are cruising along too easily, throw some stumbling blocks out there.
3) Figure out who’s most important to the story line. Maybe the story is being told through the wrong character’s eyes. Who is most affected by the plot?
Right now I have two characters who score equally in importance. They work together, but their lives are influenced in two different ways by the plot. To be honest, I’m still trying to figure this out. LOL!