Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dear Protagonist

You and I have been together for almost ten years. Over that time, I have gotten to know you very well. I've watched you grow and change and evolve. And despite our differences, I still want to tell your story.

But I would be lying if I said we didn't have a problem. In fact, we have a very big problem.

I have always accepted the fact that you are, well, not a very good person. I know you are selfish, judgmental, manipulative, and dishonest. And I'm okay with that--in fact, that's part of the reason why I love writing you so much.

But there is a limit--because when I look back at this most recent draft, I realize that your thoughts and actions make you more than just "unlikable." In fact, sometimes I feel like you're an outright sociopath. Selfish is one thing, but do you even care when other characters are in mortal danger?

I'm not saying you can't be selfish, or that we need to do away with your cold utilitarianism. But if I'm going to let you out into the world, you're going to have to prove to me that you can occasionally care about other people--even if it is in a grudging and condescending sort of way. Your story arc calls for something, well, more, and at the rate you're going, there's no way anyone's going to believe your transformation.

So let's work on this some more. We'll go through your thoughts and maybe find some ways to be more sympathetic and considerate of other people's feelings. It shouldn't be that hard, right? (After all, you are an empath.)


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