“A story leaves a deeper impression when it’s impossible to tell which side the author is on.” (Tolstoy)

When you’re writing a book or a short story chances are you’ll want your protagoniost to win, like any good parent would. He or she is the hero after all, the one who will fix everything and save the day! Your reader, however, mustn’t sense your bias. Here’s why.

If your readers know from the very beginning that the protagonist has a really good chance of winning there’s no point of reading until the end any more. They’ll already know who you support. It also makes for more one-sided story-telling. Your antagonist needs to be as rich and well thought through as your hero, and you need to talk about them in exactly the same way. Every book should have the chance of your hero failing until the very end. If your bias towards your main character is clear right away I won’t believe that this chance exists. What’s more, if your antagonist is just as rich and detailed your readers might begin to see your antagonist’s point and maybe even understand why they’re doing what they’re doing.

Long story short, your characters will be more believable when your bias isn’t obvious and things could go either way. And that’s a good thing.

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