How to handle multiple protagonists?

by Austin

Question: I'm writing a story where most of the many characters will be deceased by the end of the story, and I want multiple protagonists because in stories like this people usually think that the main character is invincible. My reasoning is that with multiple protagonists it rips away that comfort.

Anyways, I just need some advice on writing multiple protagonists.

(Also, I'm made submitting more than one question so I apologize if I'm being annoying.)

Answer: The trade off with multiple main or point-of-view characters is that the more POV characters you have the less connection the reader experiences with any one character. It makes the story more of an objective experience.

That is not necessarily a bad thing. It's just something you have to consider. YA books, for example, usually have one POV character on the grounds that YA readers are more narrowly focused on their personal experience.

As for letting characters die...

The meaning of a story derives from seeing the choice the main character makes at the crisis and whether that choice results in the story goal being achieved and/or the main character ending up happier, at peace, or in a better situation.

If a main character dies in the end, the story has more of a tragic feel. It implies that, just when everything was going their way, the character made a fatal error that led to their downfall.

Now, you could have a story in which several POV characters make the wrong choice (choose to resolve their inner conflict in a way that leads to a worse state for them) and one makes a good choice. And perhaps that may seem more realistic, since in life not everyone ends up happy. It will be a more complex book, because you will have to develop the inner conflict of each character so that the reader understands the significance of the choice they make and the tragedy of it.

But there's absolutely no reason why you shouldn't write it.

Best of luck.

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