Monday, January 9, 2012

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

I've been working on some scenes in my new project and I'm struggling a bit. My main character is strong-willed, stubborn, and completely distrusting of others. She has some darn good reasons for it, but as she's growing and evolving, I want her to learn to accept help from other people, but not too much help. The balance is hard to find.

See, here's the problem. I have an intense dislike for books where the main character is dragged along with things happening to them along the way. I want dynamic main characters who take action and make things happen. Sometimes it feels like accepting help from other characters takes away from that initiative and I don't want to steal that from her. What do you think? Do you guys ever run into these problems? Any suggestions?


  1. I've that that a couple times. Usually my character tends to bond to one person at first to ease her in. Some times it's a really off the wall personality, calm or even someone a little like her or him depending on who my main is. Or the main sees this person struggling with the same problem and doesn't attach but tries to show that person it's hard going through life in this way. Hopefully that helps :^)

  2. I think Rebekah had a good suggestion about bonding to others. Another idea would be to brainstorm something that your main character needs that they can only get from outside sources.

    If your MC is shoved between a rock and a hard place, she has to accept help from somewhere else--otherwise, she'd just do it herself. Maybe it's just making another character's abilities or knowledge so necessary that your hard-headed MC doesn't have other options. ;)

  3. I hate stories like that, too! Especially when the MC doesn't make decisions.

    It is a fine line! I think you can definitely get help from friends... on the little things. The really big things that matter-- MC needs to make those choices himself/herself.