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Playing Protagonist Ball.:

Euo will do!
Discussing a revamp of the Tower of God pages (the character folders are getting... ridiculous), it occurred me that we are missing a Ball Trope: the Protagonist Ball.

For when you're not dealing with one Protagonist (and Supporting Characters). Nor a case of Deuteragonists or even Tritagonists* working with Staff. But, the writer has presented you with a pool of main characters, any one of which will pick up Designated Protagonist Syndrome at any point and run with the plot focus for a while. Sometimes even sharing the duty evenly with others, before the Plot Focus Bubble* shifts away. They may even drop the Ball entirely and fade to more "support" roles. (I'm not talking Anyone Can Die-style retirement, here, either.)

Please note: I'm not seeing this as fairly important Support Characters getting plot-relevant A Day in the Limelight segments, as they start clocking too many hours for way too many arcs to be considered agency staff any more. Prime examples of this would be in The Wheel of Time and A Song of Ice and Fire. Heck, any decent Doorstopper or Kudzu Plot worth its hard-copy carbon capture status will do this, these days.

Some characters in the main character pool will sometimes be more main than others, but each of them still pulls Protagonist duty for whole chunks of the full story arc. See under the Ta'veren Folder for nicely realised examples of this in The Wheel of Time.*

Hence, I'm working on a write up for it I shall be putting forward to YKTTW when it's starting looking workable.

My problem is... describing the various Ball Tropes with this one alongside starts looking less like a game of e.g. 5-a-side rugby or a weird form of dodge-ball-with-status-effects, and more like Calvin Ball, with the Protagonist Ball suddenly turning into the Idiot Ball, Hero Ball or Villain Ball (or suddenly gifting newly spawned lesser-status Balls to other characters as the plot demands, while still being hugged by its currently preferred person in Protagonist Ball mode, as well) as this becomes necessary for the Plot Focus Bubble to move along at a lick.

Worse is when being hit with the Protagonist Ball in full Designated Protagonist Syndrome giving mode means... you've changed the type of Protagonist you've become since the last time you came down with the rash, probably due to Character Development.

How do I make this sound like sense? Without losing the analogy? Or, do I need a new one?

edited 5th Jul '12 7:48:22 AM by Euodiachloris

"When all else failed, she tried being reasonable." ~ Pratchett, Johnny and the Bomb
Maybe if you tried digital?

Euo will do!
hehehehehe <collapse> tongue
"When all else failed, she tried being reasonable." ~ Pratchett, Johnny and the Bomb
Maybe it would help to lose the snowclone and think of it in its own terms instead of in terms of Idiot Ball.
Rhymes with "Protracted."
Euo will do!
Well, I didn't actually start thinking about it as a snowclone. When you start discussing how the protagonist role is being passed around various people as the plot demands, warping with their character's role... balls just... come up. That, and parcels.
"When all else failed, she tried being reasonable." ~ Pratchett, Johnny and the Bomb
The other "Ball" tropes are mainly about someone acting out-of-character as a way of furthering the plot. I think you're describing something broader than that.

Euo will do!
Um... um... maybe I should think about this when I'm not in a dizzy-sick, brain-fogged state of existence.

But, I've tried coming up with other means, and hit blanks. It's basically why I'm asking for help. smile
"When all else failed, she tried being reasonable." ~ Pratchett, Johnny and the Bomb
Euo will do!
I came up with something: car pooling. Would that work as a better example?

Whoever is in the front seat (or seats) of the plot, are currently the "protagonist", but the car can be driven by a designated pool of drivers.

The sphere of focus follows the car, not the drivers.
"When all else failed, she tried being reasonable." ~ Pratchett, Johnny and the Bomb
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Total posts: 8
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