Why Your MC Should Be Special

3:13 PM




Today, I'm here to show you exactly what a unique, special, fun MC (main character) looks like. With Psych GIFs, because those are cool.

[Name that preferably begins with A for some reason here] is just an [average, ordinary, boring, normal, etc.] girl. She's not [pretty, popular, good at sports, noticeable] and she belongs to an [average, boring, normal, etc.] family. She doesn't have any friends because she's not popular and is shy and would rather keep to herself, except for [one or two quirky and way more interesting than her friends also with more interesting names]. Until she finds out that she's [a wizard, the chosen one, caught up in a prophecy, the very best at something she's never even heard of, etc.]. There she meets [name of attractive guy who is more than likely either a cardboard cutout, insanely attractive, a jerk, or all three]. 



Yawn. 

Look, I get it, I really do. Most of us feel shy, unpopular, unpretty, ordinary, average, and so on. Most of us would love to randomly find out that we're special. That's totally true, and the idea is to have main characters that we can relate to. The problem with that? 

Now that's gotten old. Like, really old. 

This isn't necessarily a diversity thing. I'm not going to talk about that today. Want I need to rant about is the fact that now, in our efforts to have a bunch of ordinary, average, shy, unpopular MCs running around becoming special, most of them are just cardboard cutouts with no real personalities to speak of. 

My feelings regarding these sorts of characters when
I'm forced to read about them. 

I'm NOT saying we shouldn't ever write about average, ordinary characters. I'm just saying that the fact is, fictional 'average' is pretty darn close to 'no personality'. 

Because no one's really average, are they? We all have our own quirks, hobbies, personalities, friends, favorite things, habits, strong opinions, favorite foods, and so on, that make us different from each other and not just normal and boring. We all do odd things. We are all the quirky book best friend. Just let that sink in. Because honestly, I've read so many books with the 'average MC' who happens to have no hobbies outside of being normal and shy and bookish and clumsy (why is every MC clumsy?) that if I have to read another I'm going to scream.
Like that. Yeah. 

My point? Your main character should be special. Because we're all special. Your main character doesn't have to be average and clumsy and ordinary to be relatable. You can write about someone who's incredibly talented at something, and uses those talents, or has a quirky hobby, or is loud and has lots of friends (and isn't the 'mean popular girl') and they can still be relatable. Right? Right? 


Also, can't MCs be outgoing? I'm a loud extrovert type myself, and I realize that some people are shy and that's totally okay. I respect that. But I'd love to see more social, outgoing, people-person extrovert type MCs. Is that hard? Not everyone interesting is shy, bookish, misunderstood, and has few friends. And that's okay. Really. 

I don't even know what happened to this post. I'm a rambly person today.

Last note: The whole 'average person is actually the 'chosen one' thing. Most of the time (NOT ALL THE TIME. I REPEAT. ALL THESE POINTS APPLY TO THE MAJORITY, DEFINITELY WITH EXCEPTIONS) this is used as a great way to drag our shy, bookish, unpopular MC into the story and make them special. Usually, but not always, this is a disappointing cop-out for me. Don't make them special automatically (*looks at Harry Potter*) please. Make them work for it. Let's have some bold people with the guts to go after things, work hard for them, and change the course of the story themselves. Let them make themselves extraordinary, instead of being forced into it. You feel me?

I don't even know how this applies but I wanted to use it.
So there. 

And with that, I leave it to you. What sums up a unique, special MC for you? Do you think we're drowning in shy, bookish, cardboard MCs, or do you disagree with me? Comment away. 

Rant concluded. 

I'll just leave you with this. 

7 comments

  1. As a rather introverted, somewhat shy, and bookish person myself, I do have to agree that introverted, somewhat shy, and bookish characters are often Mary Sues. *shudders* they're all the saaaameee... *grabs hair*
    Also I really do like innocent unassuming characters pulled into wild adventures *looking at Watson and Bilbo Baggins here btw* it's always just kinda funny for them to be like ";-;-;-;-;-; scary ;-;" xD

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    1. I agree, it can be funny....what I appreciated about Bilbo and Watson was that they overcame that and got the courage to overcome those situations, and they certainly weren't dragged into winning because they were the 'chosen one', unlike a lot of YA books today.

      Thanks for reading!

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  2. LOVE THIS
    As usual, you naied it. XD
    But, as usual... I have some guilt in this haha
    But then again, my MC Tess basically has superpowers. She just needs some more personality outside of those powers I guess.
    *sighs because my "Gifted" charries are cardboard and it frustrates me*

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    1. Thanks for reading! (And, like I said, this doesn't always apply. There are definitely exceptions :) )

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  3. Okay but firstly: I FREAKING LOVE PSYCH. I've watched all the seasons but I still think it's one of my most favourite things that has ever happened to me. The End. Psychhhhhhh.
    *ahem*
    So yes, I get tired of reading the "plain" character being the narrator. But I used to get really angry about it, but I kiiiind of understand the why more now. Like if I personally was narrating my life, of course I'd say how funny/awesome/fabulous my best friend is. Because I SEE her. I don't see me. I'm watching what she does and that's my first narration. So I totally get why MC's seem flat and cardboard compared to secondary characters sometimes. But seriously? I love the characters that pop. Like I just finished reading White Cat by Holly Black and that's like one of the BEST narrator's I've ever read. He's got so much personality. All books should be like that! HUZZAH.

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    1. Yay Psych fans! *fistbump* I haven't finished all the seasons yet but I'm kind of really in love with it. It's so wonderful :D
      Ooh, that's a good point, and something I, um, neglected to mention in writing this post. xD That makes a lot of sense and I'm glad you brought it up; we definitely tend to see our friends as much more unique and special than we are. I do think we could have more characters who don't necessarily acknowledge but definitely have more quirky habits, though, if that makes any sense at all.
      Narrators that pop are just the best (and White Cat is actually totally on my TBR list, thanks to you!) One of my favorites is David from Steelheart, personally. And all the MCs in the Lunar Chronicles. And Darrow from Red Rising. *stops rant*

      Thanks so much for reading!

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  4. I realize that yeah, we have a lot of cookie cutter characters, and it kind of freaks me out, because I know it's something that I struggle with. I'm really afraid that I'm going to write a character that's completely average and normal—I think that's one of my concerns with my current WIP, although she has kind of the opposite problem that you write about here. Because she's still kind of normal.

    I don't know. I feel like I should be part of the solution but I don't necessarily know if I'd be good at it or if it's even possible for me. D:

    You make excellent points, though, and I love your GIF use. :D

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