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I'm not sure where we got the notion that readers have to identify with the main character. We are one of the most narcissistic societies of recent memory but we are still interested in people other than ourselves. We do still read about characters who are interesting even though, or even because, they are not like us. I think there are four kinds of appeal ...


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Do not make him perfect, however, I think readers need someone to look up to. If you take Bridget Jones - she is more real and amazing than any of the perfect goddesses of most paperback novels. It's because she has flaws, we women recognize in ourselves. Most important of all is that your character should be in trouble the entire time - and being imperfect ...


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Part of the reason we read is to learn. Fiction places us in scenarios we might never encounter in real life, but we can still learn life lessons from them. In order to best learn from a character we need to a) perceive ways in which we are like that character, b) sometimes see the character making mistakes that we can thus learn to avoid, c) sometimes see ...


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sure, why not? I think as long as there is some coherent structure behind the character so that you can establish that this person would behave in thus-and-such a way, and it's consistent and credible, the nature of that structure is up to you. MBTI, Jungian, RPG alignment, personality quizzes — use whatever tool or combination of tools works for you. ...


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I think you are oversimplifying a complex issue. And it is complex because humans are complex beings. You can't compare two human beings in a general way, and therefore you can't make the claim that a MC is similar/better/worse than the intended reader - another assumption: is the intended reader a single person? At best, what you can do is present a ...


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This is at least the third question you've posted about revealing the name of a character. I think you're obsessing over this tiny point way too much. Just give him a name and be done with it. Most stories start out identifying the main characters' names in the first few paragraph, usually in a totally nonchalant way. Often at least one main character is ...


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According to the wiktionary, a "name" is "any nounal word or phrase which indicates a particular person, place, class, or thing." Implications: "The Dark Lord" is a fully valid name. There is no reason whatsoever why a character should not have more than one name. As a matter of fact he can have as many names as intelligent entities who are referring to ...


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The answer to this and your other similar question is the same: Your Mileage May Vary. If you can get it to work, go for it. There's no rule about it one way or the other. In Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, the main villain is always referred to as "the gentleman with the thistledown hair." He's never given a name at all. The book has ...


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What is your story purpose for giving the machine POV? Why does the reader need to get inside the machine's "head?" If you want to show the machine's limitations, it can be done with a POV human struggling to get the machine to understand. Now if you intend for the machine to make an important mistake at some point, then I can see using the machine's POV.


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First of all, every main character in the history of the world has to change in a certain way. That's how you know your character has grown. Whether it be coming out of their shell, growing up, or learning new things, your character has to change and learn something at the end of any story. Now, your character can't just change. There has to be buildup, ...


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Reading is an imaginative act on behalf of the reader which means two things: You need to give a reader all the information necessary to imagine whatever it is you want them to imagine. Readers will imagine whatever they want and you can only control them so much. Typically in more old fashioned writing you will see huge amounts of description telling ...


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You can do just about anything, including leaving a character unnamed, as long as you do it well. If we're in first-person POV, then leaving the character unnamed could be a way to invite the reader to identify with the character. So, yeah, you can totally do it. However, if you plan to reveal the character's name eventually, then it would probably be ...


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There are tons of beautiful stories out there with unnamed characters. Aimee Bender's collection The Girl in the Flammable Skirt is full of them. None of the characters in Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants," one of the best-known stories, are given names. In Aesop's Fables we don't learn the names of the hare or tortoise, or the ant or grasshopper. ...


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There may be a good reason to do this. But in general I'd say, don't. We normally identify people by their names. Sometimes we use a title or capsule description, like "the mayor" or "Sally's brother", if we don't know the person's name or if the description is important or is how the person is addressed. Referring to a person regularly without using a name ...


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If you intentionally do not want to reveal your character's name, this could be a very interesting way to write your story; it might become awkward to read, however, although less so if you're writing in first person: in this case the reader only learns the character's name once another character calls him out. The character himself knows his name; he ...


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Generally people read for details. On 12 December 2014, Captain James D. Arkey sat in front of his computer and typed furiously. His mind began calculating and he squinted at the response code that appeared on his screen and slammed a fist down on his desk. "They couldn't have," Arkey yelled at empty office. "Those dirty rotten..." A thought ...


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You don't need to overthink this. Readers will accept whatever reality you present to them so long as it is consistent. Just create a set of rules for the robot's AI then write the character as you would for a human. For example: It can only use 100 basic words and key phrases. It will only process the world as raw data. It doesn't see colors or humans; ...


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Write it as data inputs and responses. INPUT: USER 1 enters room RESPOND Y/N? Y OUTPUT_$content: {greeting}; {Salutation: 'Good'} {TOD: 1415, 'afteroon'}; INPUT: USER 1 response {"Good afternoon yourself. Did you finish compiling that report?"} SEARCH_DB6b.46: report {SMITH, CHARLES: activities prior 72 hours}; LOCATED COMPLETE Y/N? N ET COMPLETION: 4.7 ...


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A few possibile viewpoints: An omniscient narrator who describes what the machine does and says. One of the nearby sentient beings, when any are available to observe the machine's important actions or communications. Reports from someone who pieces together the machine's communications and actions from available evidence after the fact.


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I like that they're not romantic interests. It seems to always be romantic these days. In modern movies, and a bunch of YA books, it's often mandatory that they fall in love/have sex/sexual tension. It's like, a law or something of stories these days. But you DON'T. The sheer number of stories that have the woman be the romantic interest is just ...


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To me, your question sounds, as if you have trouble showing the gradual development of your character. A good discussion of how to provide well-rounded characters arcs is provided, for example, in Chris Vogler's The Writer's Journey: This was the most helpful book I've ever read about storytelling. It adresses the very essence of what a story is and how ...


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I think the previous answers are better than what I am about to tell you but if it was me writing it I'd give my character a REASON to stop running. I would have my character witness something so horrible s/he would realize that there is no running,that they personally would have to do something about it for the sake of others (or even just him/herself) s/he ...


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First of all, your protagonist almost must change, or there's not much point to your book. If s/he does not at some point stop running and pull him/herself together, your reader will feel like the book is a waste of time. To make it seem not rushed or fake, you need two things: sufficient buildup before the epiphany to give enough space to the epiphany ...


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What do you think the reader will expect? I don't think that when reading your novel, they will think: "Well, he is going to be scared the rest of the novel, he will never do anything, the end." I think, that by creating the conflict, and the scared protagonist, the readers will expect him to not be scared at some point, and do something about the conflict. ...


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I would firstly like to say that the answer by @Jay is excellent, and provides some good pointers on which characters should be one-dimensional or three-dimensional. Like others here, I have never heard of two- or three-dimensional characters. I have heard of one-dimensional and multi-dimensional. One-dimensional This reflects a character that lacks ...


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Some subjective examples in accordance with the definitions below: 1-dimensional: Katniss Everdeen. Harry Potter. 2-dimensional: I'm at a loss here, although I very much like Lauren's definition. However, I feel that remembering this special type of character is rather hard, since they neither annoy you like the 1-dimensional characters, nor do they stay ...


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In the novel Flatland, a book where the characters are all geometrical figures, there are one-dimensional characters: lines, two-dimentionsal characters: squares and circles, and three-dimensional characters: cubes and spheres. :-) Outside of that, we pretty much talk about "one-dimensional" versus "three-dimensional". The latter is also called "well ...



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