Friday, 12 November 2010

Your Work In Progress - Who's the MC?

"Excuse me."


"You're not paying me enough attention."


"Character A is getting too much viewpoint."

"But you're in most of the scenes and are playing a crucial role in moving the plot forward."

"That's my point."


"I've got more to lose than Character A and I'm a lot more interesting . . .and if I say so myself, a lot more attractive."

"So, what is it you want?"

"I should be the main character."

"What if you share?"

"That might work."

Has this happened to you?

Whilst plotting and continuing to write my Nanowrimo novel this week, the secondary viewpoint character, Talia, has started demanding to be the MC. I'm not prepared to hand over the role just yet but I am considering it. What would you do?


  1. I think I might have to let her be MC. In my WIP I believed Bernard was the MC, but it turns out that his wife, Ginny, probably is. I was quite surprised. LOL! :O)

  2. Interesting question. I have two MCs and you can't really tell where one starts and the other ends. But that's sort of the point. Everyone else (with maybe one exception) is really only there to drive the narrative forward.

    When in doubt think Wuthering Heights..... It could be argued that Heathcliff's the MC but it could also be argued that Cathy is. Then again you could say that their relationship is actually the MC. And as for how many times the narrator changes..... just don't get me started.

    Ho hum. Back to the word count.

  3. I don't have this problem yet, my secondary character is just as boring as my MC :D It's a good way to ensure they don't take over!

    I realised last night I've never shifted viewpoint from my MC and it works, because there are so many secrets in the novel it helps to be stuck in his confused POV.

    Oh, and I just noticed I crept ahead of you word count wise...mwuahahaha! (I've just opened myself up for a word count ass whooping haven't I?)

  4. I like it when they become "real" and behave in ways I don't expect. As long as it doesn't mess up your story, go for it. Spontaneity is the spice of life.

  5. My characters are getting along swimmingly. The main character is still in the limelight. The secondary character waves his hands around sometimes when he gets bored, but moves off dejected after a few minutes. He knows his place. But, he has his own time in the spotlight...

  6. I've the opposite problem right now - my second main character has yet to jump in.

  7. Hm... depends on the plot. If it works better with Talia, go for it! Or maybe you can just give her a sub plot?


    Take care

  9. Madeleine - I think that is how I feel at the moment. LOL. Maybe it's because her character is female and I can relate to her more? I don't know.

    MorningAJ - thanks for the advice. I'm planning another novel at the moment (am I crazy?) and the viewpoint vs. character situation sounds very similar to your WIP. I'm going to deliberately blur the lines between two of the characters. How is your nano word count going?

    Steve Chapman - I bet they're not boring! Oh, you've creeped ahead of me in the word count. Throwing tantrum. I'm falling too far behind!

    Nessa - thanks for the advice. Yep. I like it when they start talking to you. More worrying is when you start talking back or acting like them!

    Liz - LOL. I love the way you are in control!

    Alex J. Cavanaugh - Ooo. . .is that the love interest?

    Talli - thanks for the advice!

    Old Kitty - do make me laugh!

  10. Ellie, this happened to me in my current WIP. A character wanted to be the main character. I had to give in to his demands by making him the second lead and the main character's love interest.

  11. Keep writing and let the characters fight it out. :)

  12. Could be your subconscious giving you a prod - sometimes it knows things before the conscious mind does!

    Follow the voices in your head (until they tell you to kill!)

  13. Maybe switch between chapters for each pov?

  14. Yes this happened on my last short story- I wanted to write from a female perspective- but the male jumped out and said- "I'm the hero- she's my side kick why can't I be the MC?" I had to agree with him. Its not everyday a guy is right :)

  15. That's a hard one. In my novel my MC is my MC, the story is better for the reader from her viewpoint. But to me, in my head, I have seven main characters.... I know. I'm crazy

  16. Can Talia rule throughout the whole story??? If so then let her take control...

  17. These kinds of questions are not in my realm, since I don't write fiction! I greatly admire those of you that do, because I think it is much more difficult, than creative non-fiction. Keep on keepin' on!!

  18. Yep, I had that probalem, but it made me work on the MC a little more to make her more interesting --the 2nd character didn't like that, but she will have to deal with it ;)

  19. Rachna - I've decided to do the same with mine. Talia is now a second main character and may be the love interest of the first (I might leave that to the sequel, though).

    Janel - that's a good idea. I can always alter it on the second draft.

    brokenbiro - kill the main character! Kill the main character! I knew Talia has an ulterior motive. LOL.

    Carolyn - I've just spoken to a friend and she suggested the same thing. I think there will be a lot more scenes in the second draft. Thanks for the advice.

    Summer Ross - LOL. Men, hey?

    Melissa - I totally get that because when other, more minor, characters are not in a scene, they are stamping their feet and wanting to the centre of attention.

    Sharon k. Mayhew - she could do but Myron is just as important. Maybe the can both share and that would work?

    Becky - thank you!

    Lynda Young - I hadn't thought about it from that angle. Thank you!


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