You know, I feel like I’ve been hammering the poor protagonists of our stories quite a lot lately.
Which is kind of the point. #BeMeanToCharacters and all.
However, notice that above it says characters, not just main character or protagonist.
This means that your life as an author just got infinitely more fun.
Here’s a quick example. Let’s dip into the Forgotten Realms. Drizzt is a dark elf, one of the best fighters with a sword on the planet and an awesome character. Artemis is an assassin, the only person to test Drizzt’s skills and also an awesome character.
They hate each other. Drizzt cares for his friends, helps strangers and refuses to give up on anyone. Artemis is a heartless shell whose only purpose in life is to kill people. It’s more complicated than that, but that’s the gist.
And each of them are bound and determined to show that they are the better fighter because their way of life is better. Drizzt-loves people. Artemis feels attachments are a waste and only lead to problems.
Well, these two meet time and time again, with no one ever claiming a decisive victory. At least not for a while.
At one point, the author pulls a great trick. He tosses them into an ongoing situation where they have to work together.
At first you think, poor Drizzt. But don’t forget that being stuck with the biggest goody-goody on the planet isn’t exactly a picnic for Artemis.
Do you see? The author decided to be mean to EVERYONE. Not just the good guys.
And this means that all of those little ploys you’ve been using on your main characters can spill over to other characters too. Even bad guys.
#BeMeanToCharacters, it’s not just for protagonists anymore.
Equal opportunity meanness people. Do it!