Plot Gravity Character YKTTW Discussion

Plot Gravity Character
The plot, or a big part of it, orbits around this character
(permanent link) added: 2011-09-19 14:17:10 sponsor: Xzenu (last reply: 2011-11-21 05:55:48)

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There are many ways to get a plot going and keep it going. One of these ways is to have at least one character with a certain... gravitational pull. A character who's mere existence passively sucks plot into his or her orbit.

For such a character to work out in a good work of fiction, three things are needed.

  1. First of all, the character need to have certain traits that make the whole thing believable. Ranging from charisma to divinity, the list of traits can include anything that fit the story. Whatever these traits are, they provoke or inspire other characters to do the actions that make up the plot. A charismatic or beautiful characters may have people falling in love with him or resent him. A divine character may merely have pilgrims seeking her favor, but it may also be that the universe revolve around her in some metaphysical or literal sense.

  2. Second, the story must not focus too closely on the greatness of such a character. If there are several Plot Gravity Characters they can balance out each other, and if there is only one then he need to often take a back seat in favor of lesser characters.

  3. Third, it really help if the character's gravitational pull is a part of the basic premise from square one. If the character is introduced later (say, in a sequel, a later season of a series, or in Fan Fiction), it is likely to at best result in a Broken Base as some fans are going to resent the new dynamics of the work. And this is assuming the character is worked into the story in a good way, not just suddenly show up and take over.

These three needed things are not needed to create a Plot Gravity Character. However, they are needed to create a good Plot Gravity Character, rather than some variant of Mary Sue.

Please keep the example list to canon characters - no Fan Fiction or real life.

Contrast Villains Act, Heroes React for a very different (and much more common) way to build a plot.


Comic Books
  • The Sandman has Lord Morpheus himself. Him being the lord of the dreaming is the central fount of the plot. In some stories he is not main character, in others he is balanced out by other ancient deities such as Death and Destiniy.
  • Lucifer has two: Lucifer himself, and the true ruler of the universe who creation itself revolve around. No, not Yahweh. Elaine.
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