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13

I don't think your protagonist has to be ordinary to be relatable. While I haven't read the series, isn't the point of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid that the protagonist isn't the "healthy good guy hero" type? Writer Graham Moore just won an Oscar for his screenplay adapting The Imitation Game, a biography of codebreaker Alan Turing, and said that Turing was ...


7

I think you've gotten some bad advice. Lead characters do not need to be "ordinary", they need to be realistic. You could easily write a book from Luna Lovegood's point of view, provided you could make her actions relatable, which is to say, logical and reasonable. That's not the same as "ordinary", that just means we can understand why she's doing things. ...


7

It gives the most room to expand. As the story progresses, we observe the change of the protagonist, be it growth in strength or fall to corruption, or getting tangled with powers, or struggling to retain virtues against onslaught of temptations. By starting with someone "generic" you give yourself the most room to expand, to make the change more drastic ...


5

You can certainly write a successful story or novel with a non-traditional POV --I'm thinking of Room, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time --it will just be a different kind of narrative. The main thing is that a neutral POV acts like a window onto the wider world of your story --which you can then populate with many strange and ...


4

You really should be asking a lawyer rather than a group of writers. I am not a lawyer, but my understanding is that for something to be "libel": (a) It must be written or printed, i.e. not simply spoken (that's "slander"). (b) It must be about a "clearly identifiable person". (c) It must be false -- truth is an absolute defense against libel. (d) If it is ...


4

Relateable Characters My favorite childhood character growing up was Bilbo Baggins. He was a single-living half-sized creature with a magical ring who was cowardly but clever, and had a great reluctance to try to go on any sort of adventure. I'm nothing like Bilbo Baggins, yet I can relate to dreams of adventure and wanting to be a quick-witted hero. ...


4

"Glennkill" is written from a sheep's point of view. Which is one of its main points of attraction. I remember a story from the perspective of a cup (Böll maybe?). "The Remarkable Rocket" from Wilde's "The Happy Prince and Other Stories" has fireworks as protagonists. Of course, the Happy Prince himself is a statue. Many fairy tales have things as ...


3

When I was young and started to write, I was so in love with the process of writing that I thought to publish that process. I made a huge effort of recreating my notebooks into a layout program, with all the crossed out words, the notes in the margins, the sideways and upside down text. I got that book printed, and it looked very fine and interesting. I gave ...


3

The key thing is not that they are everyman, it's that people can relate to them. If it's Dr Who or Gandalf, no - they're totally other. But if it's someone like Einstein or Alan Turing, it can work if they're also going through normal human life struggles that your audience can relate to. The difference with using a non-traditional narrator, is that now ...


3

I think the important question is not whether this qualifies as a "flashback" by some technical definition, but rather whether you make it clear to the reader what is going on. I've occasionally read books where there was a flashback and I was well into it before I realized it was a flashback. I started getting confused, saying to myself, "Wait, I thought ...


2

You practically answered your own question. In these two cases, you should probably use a third party narrator. "very intelligent, like Sherlock Holmes (In the books, Dr. Watson is the point of view) very limited, some say stupid or mentally handicapped, like Hodor from A Song of Ice and Fire" The first person shouldn't narrate, and the second person ...


1

If you haven't done so already, get and read "One flew over the cuckoo's nest" from Ken Kesey. Don't bother with the movie. It misses the perspective of the book, sacrificing most of its power. The book is written from the perspective of Chief Bromden, a hallucinating shadow of a giant reduced into submission by drugs and psychological warfare. Reading ...


1

Your protagonist must be like your readers. At least in those aspects that are relevant for your story. People cannot relate to characters that are too much unlike them. So you need to define your target audience, and then make your protagonist "ordinary" for those readers. If you write for children, you protagonist must be childlike (no matter his age or ...


1

Gael Baudino sort of did this in her Water! trilogy. In the three books (O Greenest Branch, The Dove Looked In, Branch and Crown) she kept switching not merely narrator and POV, but the entire narrative style: parts were standard narration, then parts were being told by a marketing guy as he was getting mugged, then parts were a stone-cutting manual which ...


1

Samuel Delany does this effectively near the end of Dhalgren, but only for fairly brief passages. As with any stylistic innovation, you have to make it worth the reader's effort to adjust to it. Remember, "realism is just another style." I would use this sparingly and only for things you actually want to convey to the reader, not just for the sake of ...


1

It doesn't matter if your book is 95% one person speaking. If your character is speaking aloud, and especially if you have a second person who interrupts even once a chapter, you must have punctuation indicating that someone is speaking. Also, I very strongly recommend that you don't just present your story as a wall of 95% one person speaking aloud. If ...


1

If your character "Ivan the Eastern European" is a real estate tycoon, and you give him a hairpiece that everyone jokes about, and have him host a TV show about apprentices, and then have Ivan do despicable and/or humiliating things, then The Donald is for sure going to sue you for libel. At the least, he'll do it for the publicity, and settle out of court. ...



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