Synopsis With Two Main Characters

by Vijay Kumar Kerji

Hi, Glen,

Thank you for your time.

After completing the first draft, I started filling plotting workbook. In my romance work, Hero and Heroine share an equal number of chapters with their own third POV. They each have their own goals, requirements, consequences etc.

My question is, whom I should consider as MC while I fill the logline and write the synopsis (which I send it to agents, eventually)? Both appear like main characters. Being a male writer, I am inclined towards the hero. (And he is the loser in the end and his role is a bit negative). I need your advice.

Thank you so much for your help!

Vijay Kumar Kerji

Answer: Hi Vijay,

Romances are almost invariably written for a female audience, and therefore have female main characters. Your ideal reader wants to imagine herself in the shoes of the heroine.

The male romantic lead is usually the impact character. However, it is also common to make him a secondary point-of-view character with his own inner journey. (From his perspective, she may be the impact character.)

Incidentally, the 8 plot elements (goal, requirements, forewarnings, etc.) usually refer to the overall throughline rather than the subjective throughlines of the main and impact characters. In a romance, the overall throughline is generally the plot that gets the two lovers to interact so their relationship can develop. (Not that there's anything wrong with anything you're doing, if it makes the story more compelling.)

The subjective throughlines follow the inner conflict and growth of the main & impact characters and that of their relationship.

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Open with Protagonist or Antagonist?
by: Vijay Kumar Kerji

Hi, Glen,

Thank you so much for spending your time to answer me. You changed my mindset to consider female character as a protagonist instead of male character.

As per your suggestion in the above link, I wrote my first chapter involving male character and his girlfriend. Is it okay since I'm opening with his goal and motivation? Or should I bring the female character first?

Please do answer. I appreciate you for helping us all.

To Vijay
by: Glen

It is typical to write a romance from the point of view of the female lead -- whether you are using first or third person narration.

You might check which publishers you are interested in. Some of the big romance publishers have a number of lines with different requirements and niche audiences. Some, for example, want the two lovers relationship established almost immediately.

(That doesn't necessarily mean love at first sight, just that they either meet for the first time in Chapter 1 or something happens that shows how the relationship stands in the beginning. Some couples start off hating each other. Usually act two is where the relationship deepens and becomes more serious.)

For other lines, you might introduce the female lead first.

I haven't heard of a line that focuses more on the male lead, but you may find one that interests you if you look around.

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