Which Order to Introduce Multiple Protagonists

by Grant
(Texas)

Question: Who's story goes first in a multi-narrative story that involves a false protagonist who dies before Protagonists A & B are introduced and none of the protagonists know each other?


Should I start my story with the false protagonist since they are essentially the victim that moves the plot forward?

-or-

Should I start my story with Protagonist C who was with the false protagonist when the false protagonist dies?

-or-

Should I start my story with Protagonist A who is affected the most by the death of the false protagonist?

By the way, Protagonist B is the detective trying to figure out how the false protagonist died and Protagonist B only knows Protagonist A for one scene.

Answer: I can't give you a definitive answer, but here are some things you may want to consider when making your decision...

1. Readers do tend to latch on to the first POV character they encounter. It can be disconcerting if he/she dies early or turns out not to be the main character.

2. If this is a murder mystery, it would be most typical to write from the detective's point of view.

3. Sometimes, the early death of a character is told in a prologue, so the reader knows he/she is not necessarily the real main character. However, some people dislike prologues and skip them.

4. When in doubt, write more than one opening, show them to people you trust, and see which one grabs their attention more and makes them want to keep reading.

Best of luck.

Click here to post comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions About Novel Writing.


 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook


NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles


"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards



"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero