What makes a Main Character?

There are lots of different ways you can define the concept of a main character. They’re the ones with the Points of View (POVs), they’re the ones with the most chapters, or they’re the ones that the story revolves around.

A main character, for me, is a little bit of all of those three. Importantly, they’re the ones that drive the story towards it’s ending point, and the one whose growth arc is considered the “main arc” of your story. Yes, this means they’re the character the story revolves around but it’s more than that – they are vital for the story you are telling.

At the end of the day, characters are simply tools in your story. They exist in your story in order to deliver the narrative you want to sell to your reader. You want your characters to feel like living and breathing people to your reader whilst they’re reading, but whilst you craft your story it is worth bearing in mind the tool that your main character is to your story.

A consequence of your main character driving your story forward is more POVs, is more chapters, is the way the story revolves around them. However, the reason that they’re a main character is because you, the write have chosen them to tell a particular narrative to the reader. Remembering this can be fundamental to writing, especially during the editing phase, when you’re trying to choose between different characters and storylines for your novel.


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