Aug 16, 2011

MC Part 2

by Terri Wagner

I'd like to carry on a bit more about Kristin's post yesterday. What happens when the Main Character grows up or fails to? Do people lose interest in the story? Does it start altering the ending? I can think of two story lines that I thought "jump the shark" in this regard.

Luke Skywalker. In Return of the Jedi, we first see him opening Jabba's doors and choking the guards and rescuing Han. Then we're treated to him going back to Yoda in a completely wasted scene where Yoda passes on to Jedi Heaven and Luke suddenly looks like the boyish kid he was when we left in The Empire Strikes Back. I always thought that scene was either in the wrong place, wrong movie or just not necessary. Luke's dramatic entrance was enough to establish he was on his way to being a powerful Jedi.

The other were the last few books of the famed Anne of Green Gables books. I love them, re-read them often except for the last few. Somehow once Anne and Gilbert finally marry something precious is lost. The story of their marriage and children should have been as sweet and lovely as their stormy childhood romance. But the author went off track. In maturing Anne, she (to me) lost the appeal of Anne.

In fairness I have to point out a place where I think the MC matured fairly well. And that was Harry Potter. He grew up, gained wisdom, showed great courage and completed his task. Perhaps the best part was the ending. Just fast forwarding to when he sends his son off to Hogwarts.

Dealing with the maturing of your MC is tricky, especially for devoted readers. As a reader, I know I like my MC to remain the same unless the storyline calls for maturity and at some point (like most rom-com sitcoms) there just isn't anymore story to tell. We as a writer must sometimes make what can be a painful's time to draw the curtain.


  1. Great comments, Terri. I feel the same way about Anne! I haven't read the HP books (shocking, I know!),but I will eventually. hugs~

  2. I think it's hard to watch a beloved character literally grow up. I also loved the ending of Harry Potter, where we get to see how well his experiences have shaped him as a father and husband. However, it was a bit sad and sentimental for me to see him so suddenly older when I was used to him as a kid. (Doesn't mean I think it was a bad scene.)

    It's just my personal preference that the MCs stay within a few years of the age that they started out in the first book, but I *do* love to see that they've emotionally matured and learned to handle their problems much better than they did when the story began.


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