The protagonist refusing the call to adventure vs. the opposite. - Page 2


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Thread: The protagonist refusing the call to adventure vs. the opposite.

  1. #11
    Oh okay. Well another thing is, I am beginning to wonder if the the scene of showing the boss hand the main character an assignment is really necessary. The scene that follows right after, is the main character knocking on a witnesses door, offering to take her into police protection.

    If I show a scene before hand of the boss saying, go offer to take this witness into protection, would it be unnecessary, since the reader can infer that that is the main character's assignment when he goes to take the witness into protection anyway? Or is the scene still necessary to have the refusal to the call? But is the refusal of the call even worth having, for a scene that is otherwise unnecessary if that makes sense?

  2. #12
    If the elements of your story do not change whether the character accepts the call or not, then there's no sense to include it. You can still use that kind of scenario if you want to show that the character has a tendency to refuse what he's told to, and plant that as a Chekhov's Gun where his refusal to do things comes into play at some point in the story so it doesn't come out of nowhere. If it doesn't serve the story in any way, hold it back.

  3. #13
    Oh okay thanks. Perhaps I don't need a refusal to the call to adventure then, if it may doesn't effect the rest so much, like you said. But, someone still has to come up with the idea for the call to adventure though. In my story, since it's about a cop taking on an assignment, someone still has to come up with the idea for the assignment, even if there is no refusal to the call. Either the main character can come up with the idea for the assignment and get his superior to sign on for it, or the superior can come up with the idea, and give it to the MC. But how do you decide which character should come up with the idea for the call to adventure then, since someone has to come up with it...

  4. #14
    The main character in three novels of my Extinction series was a pacifist. When he would act against the antagonist he would outsmart them such that their actions went against them. He only acted out physically once, and what he did haunted him afterward.

  5. #15
    WF Veteran Tettsuo's Avatar
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    Just having your main character not want to be involved in a difficult assignment is enough of a refusal to fit the narrative your looking for.
    Where you can purchase a copy of Fallen Sun, my second novel. Hidden Content

  6. #16
    That's true. But I am wondering if I should go the opposite and have the main character be the one to come up with the call to adventure, and his boss is the one doing the refusing, who needs convincing, or doesn't like going along with it. As a writer, how do you decide which character should be doing the resisting, between a protagonist, and a supporting character?

  7. #17
    WF Veteran Tettsuo's Avatar
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    It would depend wholly on your characters. Some people are go-getters and others are always looking to avoid responsibility. Only you, as the creator of the character, can make that decision.
    Where you can purchase a copy of Fallen Sun, my second novel. Hidden Content

  8. #18
    It's just that a lot of stories have it, and they teach you to use it in a writing class, and they tell you to do it in books, so I thought it was a useful tool therefore
    Forget about these admonitions and rules, for every example of people following you can find one of the opposite point of view that is equally valid.

    Rather, don't forget about them, but keep them as the background knowledge of possibilities you have for when you make your own decisions, there is no 'should', only recommendations that you can take or ignore at will.
    Last edited by Olly Buckle; January 15th, 2021 at 01:26 AM.
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  9. #19
    Member Sir-KP's Avatar
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    If the protagonist has the right to make the call and he refuse, then it would be credit roll afterwards.

    There should be a factor that reels him in. Just like Michael Corleone in Godfather 3. The reel-in factor was his nephew.

  10. #20
    What you're talking about is "Push, Pull, Hook".

    What pushes the character into action

    What pulls the character into action

    What hooks the character into continuing to the bitter end

    Pull and Hook also applies to the reader.

    Use all three according to your story. In some stories, characters will need a lot of push. Some, very little. Once pushed, you need something that pulls the character because at some point, you need your character to engage. Finally, you need something to hook the character to keep the character going in face of all the adversity thrown in their path. If there's no hook, there character will cut their losses and move on go something else. If you have ever run a role laying campaign and don't hook the characters, you know exactly what I mean.

    In fact, running a role playing game is a excellent way to learn Push, Pull, Hook.

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