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January 15th, 2004, 06:47 AM
i was just wondering about the main character, i was planning on having him kinda based on me, personality wise (why? cos i can :p), but i was thinking can a main character be a quiet, mysterious kinda guy but still leads from the front (that isnt all me) or does he have to be bold, daring, womaniser etc? i was planning on having him like the first part, but i dunno if people could relate.

January 15th, 2004, 11:36 AM
Well the main character can be whatever you want it to be so long as they come across as human (or alien if that's the goal). I imagine more people could relate to the quiet / mysterious type than the bold, daring, womanizer type but that could be my own jealousy and preconceptions about such people talking. I imagine that most people would LIKE to think of themselves as the latter, but aren't as bold or daring as they thought they were.

My personal opinion that quiet/mysterious and leading from the front are opposite personality traits. The person who leads from the front IS bold and daring because in most genres, the guy in front dies first unless of course they're the main character at which point the attacks come from the rear. There is no problem with the main character NOT being in charge of the group. Granted, that makes the author's job a little harder, but not overly so.

It's possible that they manipulate or the leader into going where they want/need to go. It's also possible that the leader secretly (or publically) relies upon the main character's decisions about things that the leader knows they don't understand. Play with it and I'm sure you'll find something you like.

January 15th, 2004, 03:55 PM
There's no rule that defines what a leading character's attributes must be.

I think you need to look at what you're trying to say with your story. Are you trying to examine the traits of a hero by putting someone with unconventional traits in a leadership position? Or are you just trying to focus on the adventure of the story and use a character that your readers will be able to identify? Or, are you writing as a form of personal escape/fantasy/recreation and would like to see how you would react to a given scenario?

Remember that its best not to state your character's attributes outright anyways. It's better to have the reader develop his or her own assessment based on the character's actions. For example, compare:

A) Joseph P. Canarey was a mean, nasty old man who hated kids.


B) When my baseball landed in Joseph P. Canarey's yard, the old man hobbled off of his portch, onto the lawn, picked it up and put it in a pail that he used to hold his collection of confiscated toys from the neighbourhood kids. He used to have a dog that would fetch stuff that landed in the yard and bring to the fence where it could be fished out without being noticed. But the dog died last summer and we all knew it was because Mr. Canarey kicked him too much. So when Katie's doll landed in his yard, I knew it was lost forever.

January 16th, 2004, 05:38 AM
Originally posted by Calis
i was thinking can a main character be a quiet, mysterious kinda guy but still leads from the front

Think of Maximus in Gladiator or Mad Max (what is with these guys called Max?). Jean Reno as "Leon".
I know these are all movie characters, but I don't read as much as the rest of you guys. :o
I would put Aragorn in that category also.

I think the "string, silent" type has quite global appeal so I wouldn't worry about people not relating to him.

January 19th, 2004, 12:22 PM
A quiet, mysterious type may have been waiting patiently, biding his time until its time to act.

Or simply someone thrust into a situation where there's no choice but to take the lead.

Many stories involve people changing - I don't see how this is a problem if a quiet mysterious character changes to become a guy who leads from the front - all you got to do is write it. ;)