Wednesday, April 24, 2013
A Writing Realization: Surround Your MCs With People Who Hate Them
As I was eliminating characters right and left from my latest draft, I had a Realization. (I love capitalizing random words, in case you can't tell).
So here it is, my big Realization: If you want a tense and action packed book, the majority of characters surrounding your main character should dislike your MC.
This is, of course, an over simplification. You can have people who stand in your way who like you (and sometimes that's much more interesting). You can have people who hate you who really don't affect your life one way or the other.
But, overall, if you have the majority of people standing in the way of what your MC wants, that is a a great recipe for tension and action.
Although I do love a good friend or two to share in the adventures. Maybe I just read too much Anne of Green Gables when I was little, but I love a bosom buddy. And I'm a total sucker for a love interest. But, really, I think love interests are much more interesting if they start of not really liking each other very much, so even your love interest (if you have one) can fit into the anti-MC crowd at first.
So there you have it, the key to literary success: Make everyone hate your MC (except the reader, of course. The reader had better like your MC or you've got some serious problems.)