Character Cases || The Main Character

Hi guys! Today is beginning a new series that I’m calling Character Cases, where I’ll investigate different types of characters. This is more about their personality and traits than whether they’re a protagonist or antagonist. I’ll give a summary of what they’re like, list some traits, give my ratings and show some examples. Of course, this is all from my opinion, so feel free to state yours in the comments. Today we’re going to dive into four types of main characters. I’m not saying those are the only types of main characters out there, but they’re pretty common.

The Insecure Main Character

Description: As the name states, the insecure main character is more timid than the average brave main character. Many characters are insecure, but some show it more than others. They might be more indecisive and show their worries more as opposed to others who might hide them. A common trend with these characters is that over time, they end up finding that they have more bravery in them than they thought, which makes for an uplifting character arc.

Traits: Indecisive, Low self confidence, Worried

Examples: Kiko from Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman and Genie from As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds, Michael from The Eye of Minds by James Dashner.

My rating: Thankfully, these aren’t as common, because they’re not my favorite (although Genie was the best). Sometimes it bothers me when main characters (or anyone, really) is too indecisive. I just want something to happen. They do make realistic characters, though. I think out of the four, they’re the most openly honest, though.

The “Perfect” Main Character

Description: They seem to be perfect, and to the point that they’re somewhat impersonal or too likeable. In some character arcs, the more “human” aspects of their personalities are revealed. They sometimes act “perfect” to hide their flaws.

Traits: Perfect on the outside, hiding something on the inside.

Examples: Britta from The Girls of July by Alex Flinn (although at the end, she’s better), Zoya from The King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo (I love Zoya though).

My opinions on this type: I don’t like these as much, which is why they’re not too common, because if they’re too perfect, they’re hard to relate to.

The Main Character with Another Agenda

Description: This character might seem like they’re on the good side, or at least seem to have a certain point of view, but they actually are in that position for their own gain, or for a different group than they said. They might seem like a traitor (and they probably are), but expect plenty of plot twists with this character. This makes far a really interesting character arc, especially in a trilogy or a series.

Traits: Seemingly innocent with a deeper agenda.

Examples: Nova from the Renegades trilogy by Marissa Meyer, Kaz (byfar the most mysterious of the three), Matthias and Nina (they’re only minor offenders) from Six of Crows and The Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, Kasey from The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He.

My opinions on this type: These are my favorite characters. I love the drama and uncertainty they bring to a plot — keep them coming!

The Seemingly Unfeeling/Brooding Main Character

Description: These characters are generally more about acting or plotting than talking. They certainly know how to cut to the chase, and their talent and hard exterior allows for them to make for amazing heroes (even if they don’t want to be), although it’s usually bad for relationships. Generally there’s deeper trauma that causes the hard exterior and it’s sometimes explored throughout their character arc. Depending on the genre, they may or may not seem physically strong.

Traits: Brooding, Brave, Strong (in mind, body, or both)

Examples: Nate from One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus, Four from Divergent by Veronica Roth, Nasir from We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal (if you haven’t read it yet, you need to), Kaz from Six of Crows.

My opinions on this type: Definitely a close second to the main character with another agenda, or maybe even a tie.

What’s your favorite type of main character? Who’s your favorite main character? Do you have any other types you’ve noticed in your reading? Let me know in the comments!


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