When You Accidentally Write A Major Character Out of Your Story
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  1. #1
    Advanced Mentor The Green Shield's Avatar
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    When You Accidentally Write A Major Character Out of Your Story

    Right, um, during the process of writing my fantasy and widening my scope, I found that Mishu’s role in the story had diminished significantly. She’s no longer the ‘edgy lone blind teen assassin who spearheads a rebellion/fights in the front lines of a world war’. While I do like how she’s no longer the center of attention as if she’s some Chosen One Foretold™, I might have practically written her *out* of the story without considering how she can serve the grander plot in some way.


    Seems I have once again gone to the extremes without considering the middle ground. Either she’s this unstoppable badass of awesomeness or she’s so hidden in the background that she may as well be a side character despite myself drawing her and the others on a regular basis.


    So now I have to figure out how to bring her back in without making her the center of attention. She was, at one point, the centerpiece of my fantasy (what with her being the edgy teen assassin girl who is the face of a rebellion and alll) and she still exists in the universe, I just want to find a role for her that makes her part of the story without making the story revolve around her like she’s The Second Coming™.


    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    I wouldn't force her in. But I'd make sure whatever pagetime she does get really counts and is absolutely on point.

    It's about what's best for the story as a whole. She only deserves a bigger contribution if it will make better story.

  3. #3
    Didja ever see Kung Fu Hustle?
    They start that with false heroes, then kill them off, and the real hero emerges (after being a complete douche for the first half of the movie.)

  4. #4
    Your exact scenario hasn't happened to me, so I don't have any direct response.

    I have had a supporting character take center stage, as it were. I really identified with the character, which is why he because so prominent. I just left it that way, and added more of that character to earlier stuff. So maybe you have developed a strong attachment to someone else.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by The Green Shield View Post
    Right, um, during the process of writing my fantasy and widening my scope, I found that Mishu’s role in the story had diminished significantly. She’s no longer the ‘edgy lone blind teen assassin who spearheads a rebellion/fights in the front lines of a world war’. While I do like how she’s no longer the center of attention as if she’s some Chosen One Foretold™, I might have practically written her *out* of the story without considering how she can serve the grander plot in some way.


    Seems I have once again gone to the extremes without considering the middle ground. Either she’s this unstoppable badass of awesomeness or she’s so hidden in the background that she may as well be a side character despite myself drawing her and the others on a regular basis.


    So now I have to figure out how to bring her back in without making her the center of attention. She was, at one point, the centerpiece of my fantasy (what with her being the edgy teen assassin girl who is the face of a rebellion and alll) and she still exists in the universe, I just want to find a role for her that makes her part of the story without making the story revolve around her like she’s The Second Coming™.


    Thoughts?
    I could actually see how this would flow. Name the first chapter after Mishu. Then after Mishu dies/recedes, name the next chapter after the new guy. It sets the reader's expectations by using the names for chapter names. I have seen a few writers use chapter names to switch gears in the novel.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack of all trades View Post
    Your exact scenario hasn't happened to me, so I don't have any direct response.

    I have had a supporting character take center stage, as it were. I really identified with the character, which is why he because so prominent. I just left it that way, and added more of that character to earlier stuff. So maybe you have developed a strong attachment to someone else.

    Y'know Jack, I've never actually seen any of your writing.
    Nada, nunca, nein, nyet nyet.

  7. #7
    Either all of my writing is accidental or none of it is; I still don't know which it is though. I have certainly pushed the major characters of my planned trilogy into the background and then reintroduced them, in one case changing the character's name so that their true identity could be hidden until a dramatic moment. The only source of continuity was my main character, who wasn't actually the first that the reader encountered at the beginning of the story though.

    To my mind the focal character is always that of the story itself. Do whatever you will with the other characters provided that they collectively support it. If you haven't identified what its focal character actually is then you'll never be able to tell whether what you write does support it of course, so be sure that you have done that. If you can't find its focal character then maybe you don't really have a coherent story. It isn't just the people portrayed in a story that must have character but the story itself. That is always the major character.
    'Sharing an experience creates a reality.' Create a new reality today.
    'There has to be some give and take.' If I can take my time I'm willing to give it.
    'The most difficult criticism that a writer has to comprehend is silence.' So speak up.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    Y'know Jack, I've never actually seen any of your writing.
    Nada, nunca, nein, nyet nyet.
    How does this relate to the original post?

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