What makes a good mc?

Discussion in 'Author Discussions' started by LuceLucky, Apr 2, 2020.

  1. LuceLucky

    LuceLucky Active Member

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    Hello, it's me again! Last time I asked what romance isekai tropes y'all liked and hated. This time the question is: what makes you like an MC (main character)? And what sort of MC makes you completely drop a story? It can be a male protagonist or a female protagonist. I'll go first:

    Male protagonist:
    Like
    : guys like Daniel from Lookism, weak to strong, cares about sidecharacters, tries to help, good with kids, badass oneliners, wins a fight in a clever or unexpected way (surprise me during fights. If an mc wins a fight with just his words, consider me sold), acknowledges mistakes he makes (and apologies for them), has feelings other than berserk anger or obsessive love with big titty mama or pessimism, social butterflies (emo loners can die alone in their chosen corners)

    Dislike: overly selfish guys who only think about their own profit even though they've never suffered before (like a NEET suddenly gainubg powers and becoming a real asshole), weak wimpy guys, perverts (I despise these guys), forgives his abusers too quickly, holier-than-thou complex, monologuing 'philosophical' assholes (you're not Socrates, sit the hell down Author-nim)

    Female protagonist:
    Like: clever manipulative girls, trying their best to survive, gets sweet revenge on her abusers, funny girls, tries her best to better her life and herself, independent but still okay with getting support, when they curse (always a lol moment for me)

    Dislike: faceslappers, damsel in distress (never saves herself), goes back to the guy who cheated on her or bullied her or humiliated her (like gurl watchu doin?), cries to get het way, sees every other girl as an enemy, inferiority complex, has no storyline aside from trying to bag the guy, doesn't learn from previous mistakes

    Curious to read y'all's opinions!
     
  2. Maomaomao

    Maomaomao Cardboard cutout

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    I agree with almost everything you said about the MLs, but sometimes I like some dark stories with loner MLs. I also agree with what you said about FLs except I like face slappers, it's fun ^^.
     
  3. LuceLucky

    LuceLucky Active Member

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    Tbh yeah some novels write really good loner mcs (solo-leveling). About faceslapping, I have it too in a fanfic of mine but it's a man doing it to another man lol and it's supposed to be funny, not dramatic
     
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  4. Reyrey

    Reyrey Well-Known Member

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    I like mc that are very goal oriented. Fang Yuan from Reverend Insanity, Klein Moretti from lords of Mysteries, and Qin Mu from tales of the Herding gods are the few MC that is very dedicated to their goal even if there's some detract somewhere.
     
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  5. pass1478

    pass1478 A girl in a bear suit pajama

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    Ah. So you like Mr. Perfects and Mary Sues.

    The type of protagonists that are "Good" are the type that properly develop and have character. Most traits you dislike are a staple for the start of a possibly good novel. Why? Because there's room for development.

    A weak and wimpy protagonist may grow his character into a strong and brave dude, like the protagonist in "The second coming of gluttony." People tend to forget that he was originally a scumbag before he went to paradise.
    Emo loners can learn to trust others and rely on the people around them more. Overly-selfish or arrogant guys can learn humility and how to be altruistic.

    Same logic applies to female protagonists. An overly-reliant damsel in distress can learn to be independant and self-reliant, an insecure one can gain self-confidence, etc.

    Though, it's same the other way around. Good attributes can turn bad depending on the story. A good guy gets betrayed and now has trust issues, resulting in him becoming a loner; a nice girl gets face slapped by reality and realizes that kindness isn't always the answer and that violence sometimes is the only way, etc.

    Note that there isn't just one way/direction one's character development can go. Good -> bad -> good -> bad-> ...

    In conclusion, it just depends on how well the author(s) develop said protagonist that won't go against the story.
     
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  6. Lisarra

    Lisarra 『 The one under the rock 』

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    I agree with most of your opinions except for some.

    For MLs I like the lonely kinds who have stories which made them that way, not abusive yandere though. Normal mild yanderes are fine but Abusive yanderes are a big NO NO.

    For FLs, yea mild face slapping is ok but excessive use of face slapping drama kind of gets annoying.
     
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  7. ExcitableFoci

    ExcitableFoci Well-Known Member

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    Like:

    Complex character with both good and bad. Capable of instrospection as well.

    Dislike: Harem, harem, harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem, harem harem, harem, harem, harem aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand harem.

    Polyamory as a whole in be it CNs or JPs, are full of shit. Nothing against the concept and application IRL but in the stories its always pathetic wish fulfillment.
     
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  8. pass1478

    pass1478 A girl in a bear suit pajama

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    I don't particularly dislike harems, but harems that are stable with the participants in harmony with each other? Come on, now.

    Most good harems are just sub-plot power struggles between the participants.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
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  9. eray.gns

    eray.gns Well-Known Member

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    "I have all these heroines gunning for me, but I would rather watch these two flies copulate than get one of them as my girlfriend" Male MCs. God damn there is a limit to how beta one can get.

    "I'm beautiful, smart, spunky, all the males are below me (until I meet the ML and have shady, rapey sex with him since enjoying sex as a female is a nono)" Female MCs. Get out.
     
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  10. XIII

    XIII Well-Known Member

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    Well for me, since i only read novels w/ male mc, he has to be atleast:
    -arrogant but not narcisistic
    -can be wimpy but atleast grows eventually
    -is not M******n DENSE
    -cunning and knows how to use his brain
    and Most of all, Not afraid of women and knows how to handle them

    that's just for me guys :p
     
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  11. Feng Tian

    Feng Tian Well-Known Member

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    A good MC, or as we should call them: protagonist, has several qualities of which some are *optional*.
    But there is one which isn't optional. That single mandatory one which cannot be avoided since it is the basis of the plot:

    A goal he is actively trying to achieve, and something opposing him or her from achieving it. (Technically two but we)

    No matter how stupidly overpowered a character is he MUST NOT break this rule. Else the novel is a complete dumpsterfire. Unavoidably so. This is the very foundation of your plot, and the reason your character is considered a protagonist, not a reactionist.
     
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  12. brigs11

    brigs11 Well-Known Member

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    A good MC needs a good author.
     
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  13. LuceLucky

    LuceLucky Active Member

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    I completely agree with you! And you out it so eloquently! I should've added this to the first post but all the negative attributes I listed were meant to point at stories with no chatacter development. If I'm 100 chapterd in and the mc is still the wimpy virgin pervert he was at the beginning, I do not see why I should be continuing the story. No character development is essentially the main villain behind all these pet peeves of mine. (Then again, if a male protagonist is a pervert I drop that story right away and no amount of promised character development is gonna make me give the stort a chance. Some things i just can't stomach)

    No i dont like gary and mary stues :blobdizzy:
     
  14. ladyartemis

    ladyartemis Well-Known Member

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    I like MCs like Cale Henituse, Kim Dokja and Klein Moretti. :aww::aww::aww:
     
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  15. sapassde

    sapassde [Big Rock] [Double Clown]

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    Well I'm not sure how to just put only characteristics so I'll just list some MCs I like (there would still be more but I don't want to type too much).
    For male MCs it would be like Godou from Campione, Hector from The Zombie Knight Saga and Shirou from Fate/Stay Night while for female MCs it would be like Kumoko from Kumo Desu, Yona from Akatsuki no Yona and Tanya from Youjo Senki.
     
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  16. Martialegg

    Martialegg [World's most powerful Egg] [HazyPrecise's Senpai]

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    As for me, for both male and female, there are only two main characteristics that I feel very important:
    1. 3 Dimensional personality.
    It doesn't matter if the MC is cold/warm, ruthless/naive, or deceptive/honest. The main point is that the MC has many sides to him and realistic enough for us to believe it.
    For example: A cold, ruthless character to most strangers, very protective to his family, sweet tooth, has fear of heights, dislike money.
    like orange color, and clean freak.

    2. Character growth and development.
    Imo, one of the key aspect of a good MC is that he/she doesn't start perfect. Overtime, the character would change as the story went on. This is crucial because it means the MC is learning through his experience, changing him slowly to become the perfect MC that the author wants. However, the key aspect of his fundamental personality is unchanged.
    Example: Naruto or Demon Slayer's Tanjiro is a good example.

    Conclusion: Imo, I think what separating a good and a bad MC is when we're able to see the MC as 'alive' and able to empathize with him.
     
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  17. ludagad

    ludagad Addicted to escapist novels

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    I like interesting characters that intrigue me. Ambitious and motivated. I like them a bit different from the standard, a bit vicious, more like a villain than a hero. Someone with slightly questionable morals, but not reprehensible.

    A very good example of a male protagonist that I loved was Gon from HunterxHunter - has all the makings of a goody-two-shoes 'friendship is power' shonen protagonist, but his moral compass is out of whack and I loved that about him. Or the MC from Dexter (the serial killer series) is also one I found very intriguing. The MC from One Outs (manga and anime), or Akagi (manga and anime), or Matthew's character from True Detective. Honestly, most male MC's are a bit boring to me, because they fit a certain protagonist standard. I still like a lot of them, but I can't think of anything about their character that I find interesting. Like I love the MC from Solo Leveling (the webtoon art certainly helps huehue) and I like how badass he is, but character-wise, I'm just happy he's a decent guy and that's it. In that regard I prefer The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor, World of Cultivation, or Ze Tian Ji's MC's who have a little quirk about them to make them memorable characters.

    Female MC's... just don't be a boring blank slate for a reader self-insert. Or a weak-willed victim complex poor heroine who never learns to stand up for herself. Or someone who always relies on men to get things done, sigh. Or someone who's both stupid and self-righteous, so always stirs up shit and someone else has to clean it up. My blood pressure can't handle these heroines. I do like a lot of female MC's though, mostly from Chinese novels - the revenge-bound ones lol. Their characters are to my taste and not annoying and I do have a thing for the revenge genre. Not to forget they should be smart and a good schemer, cause I can't stand a revenge-bound heroine who falls for the villain's traps left and right...
     
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