Is it the right word?
Is it a better word?
Which one makes sense?
Which one is valid?
And the hardest question of all,
Which one is RIGHT?
As you struggle with words and terms, the life of a writer pushes you to question, to research, to bombard your mind with so many ideas and directions that if you’re not lost, then you’re not doing it right.
How do you make sense of this?
The life of a writer, is it really pristine work, is it this augmented lifestyle that evokes those on this road with superhuman powers?
Like all artistic endeavors, being a writer is not a conscious decision, it is an emotional decision, a mental chore, a spiritual sojourn.
Somehow, you wake up one day and come to the realization.
I am a writer.
And from that day forward, your problems begin.
And of all your problems, it seems the hardest ones are the easiest, what you term the traps.
Traps, yep that’s what you call them.
Very small footprints with heavy resonance.
Today, you will tackle a small trap.
It’s a hard question, but you’re the writer remember, this is not your job, this is your life.
So, tighten up!
People have used this word for thousands of years to describe the main character of a story, but is this really the right word?
Calling someone a heroine, it has its connotative meaning, but doesn’t the denotative meaning carry more weight?
NOTE: Is it Patriarchal that the word HEROINE sounds the EXACT same as Heroin?
What is a Heroine?
A heroine is defined as “a mythological or legendary figure, often of divine descent, endowed with great strength or ability.”
In today’s world, that’s a hard definition to keep abreast of yourself as you create your stories.
Come on, really, is your main character a hero?
If so, is she mythological?
Divine, come on man, how you’re going to explain that lawyer you created last night at dinner as being of divine descent when she works dead-end jobs for dead beat clients?
It seems this definition of the hero is a bit dated, as it should be.
The worlds of magical realms, those medieval tales of romance, their influence is captivating, but hardly durable for modern storytelling.
Right now, you’re undecided and you’ll come back to this.
Maybe this is the right word.
Protagonist is defined as “the principal character in a literary work (as a drama or story).”
The principal character, not the main character.
A bit awkward, don’t you think?
Why not use the term main, why use the term principal?
Don’t you hate these late night rants, chasing for an answer that no one cares about but you.
Principal, let’s look at this one first.
Principal is defined as “most important, consequential, or influential.”
Great one, this is what you’ve been looking for!
However, the deeper truth seeps in as your eyes, thought satisfied, creep down to the second definition.
In this case, principal is defined as “of, relating to, or constituting principal or a principal.”
This is where the definition shines because you learned years ago, don’t remember where you read it, that the hero of a story is the reason for everything happening in a story and as such, that makes her the principal part of the story.
Makes sense to you, why waste the time looking up main anyway, don’t you have a book to read from the library that’s been sitting for two weeks?
Cool, let’s do this.
Protagonist, it’s worth using because when we look at the other characters, this makes sense, a whole lot of sense.
If there’s a protagonist, then there’s got to be an antagonist, someone pitted against the protagonist, but this doesn’t mean the person is bad or evil.
Sometimes, the antagonist may want what’s best for the protagonist, but the protagonist doesn’t want to give in.
In this case, would be it be fair to call the antagonist a villain, the bad guy, or the shadow?
Those sound very literary, but are they useful?
Of course not, especially at two in the morning with a half-eaten piece of wheat toast and green tea wasting space in front of you.
- Heroine and Villain
- Heroine and Shadow
- Good Girl and Bad Girl
- Good Girl and Bad Guy
- Protagonist and Antagonist
Listen to it again.
Protagonist and Antagonist.
Sounds good to me, how 'bout you?