7 characters that shouldn't be your MC


Often when we write a character for our books, we tend to put more effort into everything but the character development of our hero. This lack of affection toward our beloved protagonist can even spill out into our secondary characters, which is definitely unwanted! As writers and authors, we want our readers to be drawn in by the characters and the world we have imagined... But this won't happen unless the characters and the world are both as gripping as if Tolkien or Lewis had created it themselves. So, I wish to share the seven big "No No's" I have found when writing and revising my first book. (Disclaimer! These tips mainly apply to adventure/fantasy books, though it could be useful in any other category.)

1. The Inhuman

Yes, our creation is supposed to be dashing and brave. They are courageous enough to bring an empire to its knees, as well as tender enough to aid an infant or grandma out of their distress. The citizens of the country praise the name of their hero, rejoicing in the victory! But, wait... The protagonist didn't do anything! Catastrophic events transpired, and the hero jumped over the hurdles as if they do this every other day! Why is the hero of this story even trying to save the world? What is the purpose of everything? Yes, I firmly believe we've all written this kind of story at some point in our lives. How do we avoid this type of character that will only succeed in making our book seem like rubbish? The answer is simple, though the application is a bit more intense. Give him/her a powerful reason to be fighting! Give them a weakness, a tender spot which the villain will use against them. This process may require a rewrite, or it may just need a few tweaks! Either way, try to avoid the Inhuman Protagonist.


2. The Yes-Man

Get a backbone, mate! This protagonist, or even secondary character, is one of the worst things you could create. They seem mindless, will-less, and lack courage. Despite everything that has happened, this person willingly follows the lead of whoever is in charge. Something is bound to make them disagree with their leader or companion, right? Why then do they not disagree on anything? Avoid this poisonous character by using a cheat sheet!Write down three or more things that your character likes, dislikes, believes and doesn't believe. Doing this will not only help you with your overall story, but it will also add more depth and life to your characters.

3.) The Hopeless Romantic

I'm not going to lie; this character is often a female. A handsome stranger swoops in, stealing her heart in one fail swoop and now she pines for him and him alone! Her every thought, every breath, every fiber is now committed to a man she saw for a few seconds. How can she live without him? When an evil villain snatches her up, he forces her to make a choice! Abandon her lover or face death! With resolve in her eyes she cries, "Give me death, for I will never forsake Tim!" (Yes, his name is Tim.) This is possibly an exaggerated version of a story we have read, written, or heard about. Either way, try to avoid writing such a cliche love story the best you can by giving the two a deep and unbreakable bond, one that will survive the fires of adversity.

4. The Crybaby

This character carries such a heavy burden on their shoulders. How can they hope to survive another day of such adversity? Easy. They complain about everything. It is understandable that there will be a complaint at some point in the book, though this character takes it up a notch! Every single time, without fail, when something does not go his or her way, our protagonist whines and cries over this obstacle. This is not a very endearing character, and it will only seem to frustrate or irritate our readers. So, how do we avoid it? If you spot your protagonist complaining about an event that isn't genuinely worth complaining about, remove it and make it spur your hero on to greatness instead of whininess.


5. The Model

Long, flowing golden hair caressed the perfectly chiseled face of the hero. Clear, blue eyes were cast toward the setting sun, making them shine like sapphires. There is not a blemish or mistake on them. Yes, they're attractive and the actual embodiment of perfection. We, as authors and writers, love to envision a beautiful human being and want our readers to see that too! So, to fix this minor error, give them something that makes them less perfect and more human. It may be that they have thin lips instead of luscious ones, or maybe a scar instead of unblemished skin. Either way, the more 'human' you make them, the more believable and relatable they will become.

6. The Angry Jerk.

Did you bump them in the shoulder? Well, prepare to die! This character has some serious anger issues that seem to stem from nowhere! They're just plain angry. Not only are they angry, but they're also a jerk too. This can take many forms, but it's usually through just beating people up for no reason, or calling them names. Your protagonist or even your secondary character should not have this issue... It only makes them seem two dimensional and sloppily written. When writing my secondary character, I basically created a rage monster. However; after the first draft, I toned him down and gave him a more reasonable and less-aggressive nature. Sure, he still has some issues with anger, but it comes from somewhere. Remember that rage doesn't make a character 'cooler', it just makes them look like a jerk. Make a note to tone them down a little. They don't need to pick fights, make the fights come to them.

7. Batman.

This character is Batman. Rich, good-looking, gloomy, dark, and can win any battle. This protagonist is a big no-no in writing! Not only does this character put distance between the reader and your hero, but it also limits what you can do with this character. It would seem odd to make them 'lighten up' or crack a joke. It would appear out of character for them to do something fun or take a spontaneous detour to check something interesting out. Give your protagonist a weakness or insecurity. Get them to crack a joke early on in the story so it establishes a connection and bond with your reader. Not only does your plot matter, but the characters also matter.

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