The Head Honcho,
The Big Cheese,
King of the Castle,
Lord of his Domain,
Enter the Dragon, I mean the Main Character. He stands at the apex of the character pyramid. He, she or it (yes it can be an it although difficult to pull off) that lies at the center of the story. All successful main characters share certain, aspects, such as:
- Prime Mover/All Roads Leads to Him: The character is at the center of the action, either pushing or pulled by events in the story. All other characters revolved around him to a greater or lesser extent, even if they never meet him, seen him or even heard of him. He may not be the only player in town, but his actions (or lack thereof) determine the outcome of the plot. Easier done when the story is told from the MC’s view (1st person being optimal) but something to keep in mind, especially if one ends up with the infamous cast of thousands.
- Character Imperfect/Miracle of 3D: Unless dictated by the format, the hero needs flaws, some minor, other major. The minor flaws give the character flavor and a touch of believability. They act/react as we or people we known would to certain situations. To many minor flaws do add up, as do the wrong kind of major flaw and derail the connection between the reader and the character. He doesn’t have to be likable but he has to be attractive to the reader at some level.
- Sometimes You Get The Dragon/Sometimes the Dragon Gets You: Whether alone or at the head of an army, it is our MC who has to confront the source of conflict in the story (internal/external or both in whatever mix the author serves it up). He doesn’t have to win but he does have to struggle with said object and the story turns depending on his success or failure.
- Exit Stage Left/Enter Stage Right: He is not always the center of attention, other step in and share the lamplight or even snatch it for awhile (antagonist love to do this), but he always comes back into the story at the right time. If someone else spends more time on stage than him, does more or he is simply treated as offstage/off camera subject/object, then he is not your MC.
If the character in question has these aspects (and some others I’m sure I failed to mention), then he is your main character. Of course, you could have a few guys and gals that crossed the finished line a few fractions of a second after the MC. They are what I call Principal Characters and the subject of tomorrow’s blog post.
Note #1: Reaching the end of my current WIP. Just have to figure out the final action scene.
Note #2: Still looking for Betas, if your interested feel free to speak up in the comments.
Note# 3: Saw DH 1 today. Great movie. Ended just right!
And now for some music from Cosmic Gate featuring Emma Hewitt- Not Enough Time: