4: Romance and protagonists

Now that the scifi debacle is over, I can get back to this romance thingy. This is why I didn’t give myself a timeline–I have roughly ten projects going on at any given time and I find it hard to concentr SQUIRREL!

Back to Romance; writing repair

Back to Romance

Okay, where was I?

Initially, I was thinking of having both characters play an equal role in the story telling. I’m glad I’ve had time to reconsider, because that’s just not how these stories are told.

There is usually a main character and a love interest and their stories are not given the same weight. If the main character is bitter, the love interest is kind. If the main character is down to earth and wholesome, the love interest is portrayed as arrogant. If the latter is the case, there’s always a reason that makes the reader or audience go “awwwwww” when they find out toward the end of the story. Thus, forgiving everything that they didn’t like about him/her, or at least giving perspective to his/her actions.

I’m going to make the dude from Colorado be the main character, because there is this trope (one that pisses me off like you wouldn’t believe) that rural people are nice and urban people are aloof and cold.

still from sweet home alabama

Reese’s reaction to my hatred of her movie (Honestly, I can’t imagine she’d care)

This was shown dramatically in Sweet Home Alabama. I adore Reese Witherspoon and pretty much everyone else in that movie, but I was ready to throw what was left of my three-gallon Diet Coke at the screen and storm out. I was livid.

But, I digress. In order to give the Boston guy a past that will be revealed at the right time, I need the focus to be on the other dude.

Protagonist

I see a few definitions of “protagonist” state that s/he is the person who changes over the course of the story. I call bullshit.

In many stories, especially in the serial detective stories I’ve been reading lately, the protagonist is a flat character. They walk out of the story the same way they walked in… well, maybe with an extra bullet hole or on crutches, but internally, they haven’t changed. But, they are still the protagonist. So, I take issue with that definition.

In short–and this is all semantics and sort of pointless–a protagonist is the person (or in some cases thing or force of nature) that drives the story forward.

Every story needs one. Period. Otherwise, the story wouldn’t go anywhere.

I just found a good (short) youtube video from Pen and Sword that explains this fairly well.

I’ve also found this list of movies on ranker.com where the protagonist isn’t the main character. I disagree with a few of them where they aren’t taking into account the classic mentor character who has a set of rules his/her self and definitely cannot be called the protagonist. But, it gives a general idea.

Main Character

The main character is the person the story is focussed on. It’s the person the reader wants to see succeed at whatever goal you’ve given them.

Hero

I’m not touching that one. It usually is but may not be the protagonist or main character. Like how I waffled there? Whether it’s saving the world or just putting one’s head down and plowing through horrible situations, we all know a hero when we see one.

At this stage of story planning, I’m still not sure of any heroism, protagging (I love verbing nouns–don’t judge me), etc. I just know I want third-person narrative with Colorado as the relatable main character and Boston as the misunderstood love interest.

That’s a lot of typing to come up with that one sentence. But, I’m trying to get my head back into the story, and since I am trying to hit 1,000,000 words written this year, blogs included, I don’t mind rambling.

I know the ‘grand gesture’ I want at the end of the book. And, some ideas are coming to me about the antagonist (actually, I’m considering two–Boston’s boss and Colorado’s best friend) but they need to be fleshed out.

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