Character’s Viewpoint

Heart Book

Sometimes deciding who the main character is one of the more frustrating decisions at the beginning of writing the story. Not only does this include deciding on your main character but also who has the biggest character arc. Should the story take place from the brooding warrior or the nerdy tech guy? Who will the reader relate to the most? Do you want the reader to relate to your main character or do you want more of an anti-hero?

Character arc is the line from where your character starts on his or her journey to where she or he will end up. Uncontrollable events, or the inciting incident, at the beginning of the story should shove the character onto the adventure she or he never expected. Such as a rich aunt dies and your main character has to stay to take over the family business to get the inheritance or your character is bitten by a werewolf and has to learn what to do before the next full moon. This is the event that starts the exciting part of the story. After that the character goes through a building action until they reach the climax. Then end the story with a resolution. Try not to do a cliffhanger unless you know there will be another book because it makes readers upset when there is no end to the story.

If you look at some of your favorite books most will probably have the main character change, learn, and grow from the beginning of the story to the end (and not always for the better). This arc is usually needed to create tension and drama. Without the arc the story can fall flat and readers feel disappointed that the character didn’t learn anything or change at all from his or her new found experiences.

Remember the most important aspect of writing the story is writing about the character with the most arc. The character that grows the most throughout the story should be the main character. Without the change, readers don’t understand why the story happened in the first place. The story should be driven by the character’s experiences. He or she should be shifting as he or she makes his or her way through her or his story. By the end the main character should not be the same.

So decide on your main character and keep writing!
And Happy New Year!

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About Infinity

I was born and raised in Colorado. I have a Master's degree in Psychology and several years experience in coaching, writing and graphic design. View all posts by Infinity

4 responses to “Character’s Viewpoint

  • Theo Fenraven

    I always know who the main character is before I start. Maybe I’m lucky. I also don’t outline. The story works itself out while I write.

    • Tabatha Heart

      I usually don’t outline my stories either, I like letting my characters take me where they want to go. I have had to work on a few stories where I wasn’t sure who my main character would be. I didn’t want my story to be too cliche so I decided about halfway through the story to change the main character’s POV.

  • Theo Fenraven

    I’ve never done that. I have, however, changed from first person to third or third or first after writing for a while. That’s a pain. I try not to do that anymore. ;/

    • Tabatha Heart

      I’ve done that a couple times too changing POV. It is quite a mess especially because find and replace doesn’t work for changing first to third person. 😦 I once completed an entire story and realized I needed to change it from first to third. Even now when I edit it I find parts where I missed the POV change and suddenly I’m reading in first person when it should be in third. Grrr!

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