Main Character Status (Mainly Target at Serious Fanfic Writers)

The main character saved the day yet again.

One would see this a lot in fanfics.  No, I’m not talking about Mary-Sues or Gary-Stus, because some of the characters that I have read are simply fantastically written, yet they still fall into the trap of saving the day over and over again even though the stories are not meant to be heroic by any standards (which by the way, I find some of the most well-written stories about heroes are those that are willing to give their heroes hell).  Maybe not all, but most (serious) fanfic writers are too afraid to give their precious characters enough obstacles throughout the characters’ journey.  Rarely would I get to see any Death Note style of extreme, seemingly dead ends and unpredictability.

Death Note -- battle of wits and supernatural stuff.

Death Note — battle of wits and supernatural stuff.

I have only ever finished the animated version of Death Note completely.  I recalled that I was figuratively at the edge of my seat by the end of each episode wondering, ‘How can there be more to the story when there is no way out of this situation?  The story would have to end now, right?’ Maybe I was just too young back then, but I thought the story was well-thought out on all angles and the creator had definitely considered creative ways to solve those difficult puzzles he presented that even mystery lovers such as I could not have imagined.  The creator would throw characters into seemingly irreversible situations just to prove us, the self-proclaimed mystery solvers, wrong again and again.

Writing is a way to grow, and fanfic writing is one of teenagers’ favourite pastimes.  I believe that by putting the story’s main character through seemingly unbeatable challenges or even not letting her to get her ways once in a while would not only help in the progress of character development (no, I’m not talking about trapping her with the only guy she finds insufferable in this whole, wide world just to have the guy to become her husband in the end…oh dear, I’m definitely not talking about this kind of plot – at least, not today), but it would also help the writer in discovering more about her own self and to come to term with her own identity.  Therefore, I hope to see more (serious) fanfic writers throwing themselves into these writing challenges once in a while.  Please, don’t let your main character win all the freakin’ time.  As someone who has previously let her main characters win all the time solely because of their main character status, I can honestly say the quality of the story isn’t that great (especially since it’s supposed to be an adventurous type of story) .  However, most importantly, I felt as I have done injustices to those characters.  Also, as someone that’s kind of lazy to go back and edit the story, the act of letting those main characters win has become irreversible.

 

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