Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Not the Most Coolest Thing Since Sliced Bread

Hi all.

I know. I know. I've been a sort of lazy blogger lately.

But, I have a good reason. Well, a good one for me, anyway. I told a friend of mine I would help tech for a show she was working. Not a big tech role, just working moving set pieces around. It was loads of fun. It was a good show and a good production of it. Not to mention I got to be surrounded by the loads of awesome theater people involved. (Thespians are awesome people, in case I didn't tell you before. And techies, in my humble opinion, are salt of the Earth. But I might be biased.)

But, to relate this back to writing, because that should be done, at some point, on this blog, anyway...

My friend, who was the MC of this particular production, came to the realization about the second night of the show, "My character isn't funny. I'm supposed to be the main character here, and I don't get any laughs. None."

This wasn't entirely true, but, yes, in that particular production, most of the jokes and laughs were for the extras and the minor and supporting characters. The others got scripted jokes, not to mention some really hilarious improv material.

This isn't to say that the MC and Love Interest didn't have really great scenes, fun songs, or wonderful moments. They were great, really. They just didn't get to be the hilarious ones. They were just themselves.

They weren't the most awesome things since sliced bread. Some people might not think that's acceptable in an MC. Some people prefer the MCs to be 'big,' in a way. To have some things that they do better than anyone else in the book. And there are a lot of kick-butt-take-names MCs out there. Not to mention the ones who are funny, witty, smart, and understanding. Some even like bicylcing together and taking long, moonlit walks on the beach.

Me, though, I'm okay with a less than awesome MC. Because, well, some people aren't the most fabulous/funny/interesting you've ever met. In fact, I'd venture most people aren't the most awesome person you know. Some people are just ordinary people who are placed in interesting and unusual situations. I'm perfectly okay with MCs being ordinary people.

How do you feel about MCs not being the 'biggest' characters in their own stories? Can you think of good examples either way?


  1. I think as long as the reader cares about the character for some reason or another, any MC will do. Oh, and I've been a lazy blogger too.

  2. I don't think that every MC should be the biggest character. If an MC has it all, I can't relate. That's why supporting characters are so important. They round things out.

  3. I always end up loving my secondary characters when I write. They tend to get the best lines for some reason.

    One example I can think of is LOCK AND KEY by Sarh Dessen. Ruby was the main character but I loved her sister, Cora, and Cora's hubby Jamie more than anyone else in the book.

  4. I like when the MC is supported by strong secondary characters. It seems more realistic.

  5. Susan -- I think everyone needs to be a little lazy sometimes, or we burn out.

    L.T. -- You're right. It would be hard for readers to relate to a perfect MC. I didn't think of that part.

    KAH -- Sometimes it's hard to control who gets the best lines. If it's a secondary character, that can be a good thing.

    LnL -- Very true.