OP MC?


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Thread: OP MC?

  1. #1
    Member DarkGhost's Avatar
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    OP MC?

    When it comes to main characters we all want to avoid the dreaded “Mary Sue” syndrome. (Is that a thing?) But I do have a question, is it alright to have your main character to be the best at something that gives them an extreme advantage above other people?

    for instance Rian (the primary main character of my story) is the best swordsman, period! He often takes on more than one at the same time with ease. While he does come across some tough opponents, in toe to toe combat he always wins. Now there is a fight where he is cut up pretty bad by two brothers who are almost as good as he is, he only wins when a friend shows up to help.
    so give me your thoughts on having a op mc!
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  2. #2
    Member Guard Dog's Avatar
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    D.G., my MC makes superman look like a sissy... Seriously, he's designed, built... created... to take on gods.

    And win.

    But it's all he can do to survive the people around him, and his own mind/thinking.

    ...so in the case of my story, it'd better be okay for the MC to be really good at a lot of things, and be more than a little bad at what matters the most to him.

    ( At least without the help and guidance from those around him that matter most to him. )



    G.D.
    Last edited by Guard Dog; February 8th, 2019 at 04:09 PM.
    Leave it be and it won't bother you.
    Screw with it, and it'll eat you alive.

    Soon enough, nations will play second fiddle to corporations.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."
    "Freedom is the value, not protection."

  3. #3
    Yes it is 'alright'.

    It's your character, you can do what you want.

    As far as whether that kind of character will be effective or likeable, that's a whole other matter and you aren't going to get an endorsement based on a couple vague summary lines.

    I will say generally speaking characters who are the best at everything are pretty boring and/or unrealistic. Even Archilles needs a heel. You mentioned him being the 'best at something' which I assume means he still has weaknesses and flaws - but you didn't mention them.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by DarkGhost View Post
    When it comes to main characters we all want to avoid the dreaded “Mary Sue” syndrome. (Is that a thing?) But I do have a question, is it alright to have your main character to be the best at something that gives them an extreme advantage above other people?

    for instance Rian (the primary main character of my story) is the best swordsman, period! He often takes on more than one at the same time with ease. While he does come across some tough opponents, in toe to toe combat he always wins. Now there is a fight where he is cut up pretty bad by two brothers who are almost as good as he is, he only wins when a friend shows up to help.
    In my series entitled 'Darksword', the main character, a one Darius Darksword, is a master swordsman himself. The elemental powers he receives in the beginning of the series also enhances his sword skills, and morphs the sword itself to a more powerful version of his own.

    That being said, he had held his own against enemies in the series, both solitary, as well as an entire army. But.... he has also been brought close to death a couple of times, having been bested in combat by a deadly adversity, or overwhelmed to the point where he had to regroup. Sometimes his elemental powers have saved him, and sometimes his best friend (and master archer) has helped, and once his beloved (wife) saved the day.

    As much as I like Darius being the champion of everything, I do not always want him to win too easily, and not learn anything either. Darius is mortal, after all. I have even killed him once, as a sacrifice to save everyone he cared about from a higher power. The Gods of the world he resides on (the mythical Dragons) revived him for being noble and giving his own life to save innocents.

    Basically, if you make your MC out to be nearly invincible, the storytelling aspect and character development will be minimal, at best.

    Hope this helped, and if you want to know more about Darius, I'll happily oblige.

    -JJB
    ​"Strong convictions precede great actions....."

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  5. #5
    It's all right but it's boring as hell.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by DarkGhost View Post
    When it comes to main characters we all want to avoid the dreaded “Mary Sue” syndrome. (Is that a thing?) But I do have a question, is it alright to have your main character to be the best at something that gives them an extreme advantage above other people?

    for instance Rian (the primary main character of my story) is the best swordsman, period! He often takes on more than one at the same time with ease. While he does come across some tough opponents, in toe to toe combat he always wins. Now there is a fight where he is cut up pretty bad by two brothers who are almost as good as he is, he only wins when a friend shows up to help.
    so give me your thoughts on having a op mc!
    There are lots of main characters that are really great at something. Some are really great at a few or even several things. Often they are referred to as "heros". Many readers find them inspiring. And some find them boring.

    Remember that writing is subjective. There's not really a right or wrong about most of it. Things that break "rules" are popular, and well crafted books languish, and visa versa. There's no truly magic formula that can guarantee success. But if YOU enjoy what you write, then at least one reader will be satisfied.

  7. #7
    Member Guard Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moderan View Post
    It's all right but it's boring as hell.
    It certainly can be, but there are ways around that.

    My MC won a fight against an entire race of odd-ball 'ravagers'... then their ship blew up shortly after he left it.

    Didn't hurt him too badly, but it completely destroyed the A.I. that ran his armor.

    Armor that he really needed to pull off what he had in mind to do next.

    ...and since that A.I. couldn't be easily repaired or replaced, another solution had to be found.

    ...which caused even further problems.

    So, even if the MC is over-powered and nearly indestructible... not everything or everyone he wants or needs is.

    And as I mentioned earlier, in a lot of ways he is his own worst enemy, and has a hard time 'getting out of his own way' at times.

    There's also a character in the story that, well... they cancel each other out.

    Neither can beat the other. If they fight, it can go on indefinitely, without a winner, or both of 'em lose. ( They run each other through at the same time, on one occasion. )


    G.D.
    Leave it be and it won't bother you.
    Screw with it, and it'll eat you alive.

    Soon enough, nations will play second fiddle to corporations.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."
    "Freedom is the value, not protection."

  8. #8
    As far as I'm concerned, at the beginning of a story, no character should be the best at everything, in fact, they shouldn't be the best at anything. They need room to grow and evolve. Maybe by the very end, they might be competent at some things but certainly they should never be great at everything. That's just absurdly unrealistic.

  9. #9
    It's okay for a character to be The Best There Is At The Thing, as long as most of their problems are not solvable via The Thing. If the Ultimate Swordsman gets put into a gladiatorial arena, then the story cannot be about 'winning the gladiator matches'. Because it's assumed that they will win. It's not bad that they get put there for some reason, but that's not the conflict. They're solving a mystery or trying to get information from someone or some such thing.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Guard Dog View Post
    It certainly can be, but there are ways around that.

    My MC won a fight against an entire race of odd-ball 'ravagers'... then their ship blew up shortly after he left it.

    Didn't hurt him too badly, but it completely destroyed the A.I. that ran his armor.

    Armor that he really needed to pull off what he had in mind to do next.

    ...and since that A.I. couldn't be easily repaired or replaced, another solution had to be found.

    ...which caused even further problems.

    So, even if the MC is over-powered and nearly indestructible... not everything or everyone he wants or needs is.

    And as I mentioned earlier, in a lot of ways he is his own worst enemy, and has a hard time 'getting out of his own way' at times.

    There's also a character in the story that, well... they cancel each other out.

    Neither can beat the other. If they fight, it can go on indefinitely, without a winner, or both of 'em lose. ( They run each other through at the same time, on one occasion. )


    G.D.
    Yeah. I've read thousands of comic books. And this is all comic-book-level stuff. That doesn't necessarily mean good or bad, just it is what it is. I wasn't talking about 'your' characters or story, just in general. My things transact on those levels fairly often as there's considerable demigod activity and Lovecraft/Smith gods show up from time to time, plus I deal with AI and nanotech.
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    "From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it." - Groucho Marx

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