Noobs or Pros, which type of char do you prefer?

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Darwin, May 13, 2017.

  1. Cyphon

    Cyphon Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    Like many it ultimately depends on how they are written but I will say this. I tend to buy into the noobs learning fast and winning than I do pros losing. So for me I always like to see what an author plans to do with an ultra powerful character who is a good guy. They have to find ways to basically write them out of certain conflicts so that they don't just solo everything.

    I particularly like what you can do with causing a sense of dread in readers when a really powerful ally is defeated or killed. The sense of despair can be pretty intense if their power and how much they are relied upon is really built up. One instance that has always stood out to me was early on in the Naruto manga when they killed off the 3rd Hokage.

    I am also a sucker for the history and power levels of stronger characters. Like if an author tells you character A fought character B to a standstill 10 years ago but character A had an injury at the time I am always like "well what would have happened if he didn't have it? How much would it have changed?" and things like that. Can't get enough of it. On the flipside though, I hate when they never explore it and you are left with all of those questions even when the series ends.
  2. Nuomer1

    Nuomer1 Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    Its not that simple. The problem is that so many of the 'noob'-type stories are YA - and while there are exceptions, and most of the exceptions are pretty damn good, the reader still needs to choose his/her books carefully - or admit to liking YA (which I do sometimes, but let's not go too far down that road!)
  3. Alucard

    Alucard In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge! Staff Member

    I like middle grade books more than I like YA to be honest. YA suffers often from tropes like love triangles which I care not for.
    Also 'boy with the sword' is a typical noob setup and it's so utterly boring after you read like 5 books with the same premise. By that point you'd be begging for a master torturer. Say one thing about Glokta, say he's not boring.

    You have to be realistic about things. :playful:
  4. Darwin

    Darwin Journeyed there and back again

    PoV noobs aren't just in YA, and professionals don't have to be sidekicks. These are just common author choices, but there's plenty of counterexamples. An important question, I think, is why authors so frequently choose to write noob PoV characters. I think authors so often choose a young and inexperienced protagonists because 1) they're easier to write and 2) it's such a pervasive trope that it's probably just an assumed starting point for most aspiring authors.
  5. Nuomer1

    Nuomer1 Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    Agreed - strongly!

    And again.

    True - one measure of an aspiring author is how hard they try (and hopefully succeed, at least in part) to take a pervasive trope that is easy to write and twist it into something worth reading.
  6. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    I generally don't care much for YA novels. Particularly when little kids play hero, are wise beyond their years, and smarter than the adults around them. So books like Narnia and His Dark Materials are not suited to MY personal tastes.
  7. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    And 3: they're easier to identify with for the young readers, which is often the target audience for fantasy authors.
  8. Ryan W. Mueller

    Ryan W. Mueller Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    In my own writing, I think I've chosen most of my characters to be somewhere between the two. Or they're pros in some areas but noobs in others.

    I actually think this approach can work in your favor as an author. By giving your characters some basic competencies, you avoid a lot of the bumbling around that complete noobs do. At the same time, I feel like making your characters pros right from the beginning could make it more difficult to develop them later on.
  9. MorteTorment

    MorteTorment Knows Who John Uskglass Is

    This is what I know.

    Most books start off where the main character starts off a noob.

    I'd like to see more stuff more often like Dresden, where he's extremely powerful, but he's constantly way over his head regardless.

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