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How much fail is too much fail?:

Dr. JŠn Ĩtor
Looking at the material I have written for a series I've been working on, it becomes abundantly clear that the main character(s) seem doomed to fail in their every undertaking. The problem is that I feel as though the characters should come across as forces to be reckoned with, in-universe.

The series is a blend of action/comedy, which centers around the exploits of a pair of bounty hunters who hop from country to country, taking in criminals. The main, character, Quinton, unfortunately seems to fail at everything at this point in writing. He's intended to be a goofy, yet capable character, but looking at most of the material, I've sacrificed the cool-factor for the sake of over-the-top comedy. Well, for the earlier episodes mostly, causing dissonance with later episodes.

Basically, can anyone offer advice on making a character appear respectively competent and skilled, but simultaneously fallible and unreliable?
The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
Have him succeed, but never let things go as planned. Make him incapable of doing everything right, but quite skilled at fixing everything after the inevitable screw-up.
Dr. JŠn Ĩtor
The thing is, I can't have him failing constantly, as it becomes predictable. Balancing failure with success is proving difficult.
The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
 4 Major Tom, Thu, 4th Nov '10 2:05:40 PM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
^^ That trips a few warning flags. Chiefly that if you do that, the plot can devolve into just solving things via Ass Pull or Deus ex Machina.

If you're going to run plans for either side of a story, make sure that either side can succeed according to plan. Even if it's for something minor.

A plan always failing or the Indy Ploy always succeeding can have drastic consequences down the road if not taken in care.
"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
Dr. JŠn Ĩtor
Loking at a few of the situations where they do succeed, I'd say that deus ex machina moments have been avoided, save for an instance or two of a timely rescue (A rescue which severely cuts the reward for the task they were performing, leaving the main character infuriated, and not to mention the laughingstock of the agency where he's employed.).

There's meant to be a flow to the series. Failure is the essence of the first season, as the main character is unskilled and prone to bad decisions, including everything from showboating to basic gun-safety. Gradually, he becomes more capable, managing to scrape a victory or two, though being overshadowed by the "stars" of the agency he works for. Try as he might to become the best at what he does, he's usually knocked back down to earth, which does feel cheap at times in certain episodes, I'd say. Funny as hell, but cheap.
The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
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Total posts: 5
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