I’ve been doing a lot of research and reading on characters, character dynamics, character roles and archetypes this week. I’m in the middle of doing deep edits on LL and have been updating my plot spreadsheet with the new information that has been coming up. The characters are pretty much set but one whose role is changing.
So in my studies I’ve come across different definitions and character role types.
And I’ve been reminded of my Dramatica Pro days. Note: I am neither endorsing nor am I not endorsing this software. And I’ve gotten a few blog posts planned dealing with different character types/roles. But first I’ll start with a few definitions.
“Main Character”, “Hero”, “Heroine”, “Protagonist” – They are usually the same person. And these terms are often used interchangeably, depending on personal preference.
The Hero/Heroine of a story is the character you root for, the one you want to win, triumph over adversity. The Main Character is the character the story is mostly about, who has the most to lose, who stands to gain the most. And the Protagonist is the character who changes, grows the most during the course of the story, the character who is on a journey for one thing, going after a specific goal but discovers during the story that they want or need something else.
If you go by Dramatica, then these are the basic definitions of Hero/Heroine, Main Character and Protagonist.
The Protagonist is the person who moves the plot, primarily. The Main Character is the person readers experience the story through. And the Hero/Heroine is a combination of both the Main Character and the Protagonist.
For example, in one of my favorite books and movies, To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus can be looked at as the Protagonist, Scout is the Main Character.
I’ll get more into these in later posts.