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Monday, February 6, 2012

World Builders' Encyclopedia: Protagonist

Setting the World not World Setting
Focus on world building. Focus on setting. Don't dictate without proper reason. Settings comprised mainly factual information are lots for information dumping. Initial world building should comprise of databases containing basic necessities. Build the World When Advancement is Necessary. Pursue Constant Development. Moderately well settings can suddenly transform into worlds overly developed or lacking development. Readers can quickly become dis-involved when the plot veers from the setting and vice versa. Very successful worlds are emulated and revered to the point of fandoms: Masashi Kishimoto, J.K. Rowling, Eiichiro Oda, J.R.R. Tolkien, Tite Kubo, Anne Rice, etc.

Build The World When Necessary
The initial development of a world should answer one of two questions. Is this world development pro-protagonist or anti-protagonist? In the essences of world building the protagonist is defined as the focus of the story, whether he is the hero or the villain. If the budding world is meant to help consider the world a sword, if it is meant to destroy consider a shield. the Composers' Laboratory coins the phrase "pro-protagonist" and "anti-protagonist" by this definition: Is the budding development expresses scenes that aim to help or hinder the main character as the plot develops.

The Shield - The Anti-Protagonist
Shields block to defend. If the protagonist must shield themselves from not only uncharted territory but also plot devices, then consider constructing an anti-protagonist world. Horror and suspense stories are good examples. Tonogai Yoshiki's Doubt spins a tale of mystery and suspense that leaves readers with a surprise ending.

The Sword - The Pro-Protagonist
Swords attack to defend. If the protagonist decides to use uncharted territory to defend against plot devices, then consider constructing a pro-protagonist world. Most genres, especially in the romance genre, enter this category. Disney's and Square Soft's Kingdom Hearts is a thrilling tale filled with adventure.

Invoking The Mimic
When reading dialogue, the internal brain mimics the action presented in the story, this is called the readers' imagination. Since the human imagination is endless, it is the writer's goal to engross readers. Lack of settings lead to assumptions that veers from the writer's intention. It's a common pitfall.
Mimicking pertains to the reenactment of emotions and visual images replayed within the mind.

Think back to a child's imagination. When a child images a bird flying, they don't imaging the bird but rather themselves as the bird. The setting itself is not the sky but the act of flying. The feeling of the air current holding the body steading in the air, the rumbling of clouds in the distance, the hissing of the wind through the ears.

Think back to an adolescent's imagination. The true setting is not the child reading the book, but rather the contents of the book the child is reading. The contents of the book invokes the direction and atmosphere that shapes the world around the character. If the hero/heroine is deeply engrossed in danger and strange noises, the adolescent too will begin to believe in hearing strange noises. Even when there is silence.


A world can be shaped to help or crush the main character. How the writer wants to invoke the tale depends on the direction the writer takes the world.

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