There And Draft Again

A Fellowship of Fantasy Writers

The Main Decision November 16, 2013

Filed under: Writing — thereanddraftagain @ 10:05 pm

I thought for today’s post, it would be a good idea to discuss main characters. Not types of characters, but just male and female main characters. Each point-of-view brings something different and unique to the table. And for fantasy novels, choosing the correct main character can be crucial to the story’s success.

Unlike other genres, in fantasy, there doesn’t seem to be a clear favorite. For contemporary—female’s rule the narrative. For detective novels? Males. As far as old school fantasy goes, the male MC was the go-to and more recently, the female MC has been the hot trend. But how do you decide what is best for your specific story? Consider these points:

Tone– Think about the overall feel of your novel. Is it darker in tone, or more lighthearted and humorous? Consider which point-of-view you feel is better suited to get this sense of narrative mood across.

Category– Are you writing a middle grade fantasy? Young adult? New adult? Adult? Or maybe a chapter book? Depending on the audience you intend to reach, the main character’s sex can help connect with those readers.

Content– Look over your major plot points and review what happens in your novel. How is your character’s family set up? What is their personality and behavior supposed to be like? What major conflicts propel the narrative? These questions can help narrow down which to choose.

Voice– Most importantly, the type of voice you intend for the character can also clarify whether it should be a male or female. You could be writing a character that follows gender molds, or breaks them.

Carefully consider these aspects of your novel before settling on your main character as either male or female. But remember, there is no right answer. You must chose whatever feels right for your story. People may disagree and it might go against convention, but as long as you know it’s right, it will make all the difference in conveying your fantasy story.

~Rachel H

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