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Writing with different types of characters in fantasy


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I, as a trying fantasy author, started to classify protagonists in epic fantasy, and came up with the following categories for people who are somehow related to magic (there are quite a few other kinds, but that is not my point), and I'm thinking how to use them.


1) The Mysterious Wizard


They are usually old. Very old. Their powers are vast, their knowledge immersive, but for some reason they don't act that often. If they do, the world trembles.


Examples: most prominent are Gandalf and Dumbledore and Merlin.


Usage: Use with great care. Since these people are essencially so powerfull, that they can make the whole story go Deus Ex Machina, it's probably better not to put any Mysterious Wizard in the book, but if you do, you should have at least a good excuse why they don't walk on the frontline and kick their enemies all the way back to Mordor or somthing

They are the excellent kind of teacher for most other magic wielders, but you also have to have a good reason why they don't give the main all the necessary advice straight in the beginning. Same goes for viewpoints. They know almost everything, so giving a viewpoint to them is difficult without spoiling half the fun.


2) The Allrounder


They are young, powerful and motivated. They have gotten every magic power they could with relative ease, and know when and how to use it (at the end of the first volume). They are flashy, often heroic, often a bit tragic.


Examples: Probably one of the most often kind of main protagonist, especially if they come from a farm or from the street. Rand from WoT, Vin, Alcatraz, Eragon etc.


Usage: Probably the easiest kind of character to handle. They are probably not the most powerful magic-wielder in the universe, but they are pretty close, so you can throw anything on them and watch, how they solve it. But it also is kind of a trap, since what can stop an unstobable force? The main goal is to make the problem they face not solvable by brute force. That doesn't mean that their power is good for nothing, but they need to work for the solution. They have find a loophole, set their own rules, something like that - but try them to do so without breaking the consistency.


3) The Chosen One


They are also young and motivated, but they are not that powerfull. Indeed, in terms of power and skill they are average. But they have a prophecy written over their head, or possess something unique and that is what makes them special. Usually they don't like it.


Examples: Frodo, Harry Potter, the Newman Twins from the Nicholas Flamel series, Luke Skywalker for that matter.


Usage: Develope the prophecy or whatever makes them special step by step. Feed it to the readers slowly, so they starve for the next bit. If they possess an Artifact, make sure everybody knows that it's an artifact at first, then it's somehow related to the problem they are facing, and then how to use it to their advantage. But slowly. And when the final showdown comes, make something surprising. For example chande the rules to the disadvantage of the character. Seemingly to the disadvantage, but instead it's the edge that they need to "trigger" the prophecy or the artifact or something else.

They are most often fighting at disadvantage, since their opponent is often something between an Allrounder, a Mysterious Wizard or a Force of Nature. Give them a good team of either people alot akin to them (but without the prophecy) or of Specialists to help them, and probably an Mysterious Wizard as an counselor. They won't survive with less.
NOTE: Allrounders and Chosen Ones are pretty close to each other, so they can interchange depending on book and viewpoint.


4) The Specialist


They are a lot less powerful than the Allrounders and Mysterious Wizards. They come up with a good bit of badchullity or something alike to compensate that, and are good at it. They are good at their kind of magic.


Examples: Wax, Kaladin, Mat/Perrin, Bartimaeus


Usage: These people go in, and survive barely or by sheer luck. They need to use other skills than their magic, and that makes them much more human than the three classes above. Their fights are much less one-sided than those of Allrounders and Chosen Ones, since at any time, any universe can summon dozens of different specialists on any side of a conflict. Some don't survive. Try not to make them overpowered after the first few conflicts, it's too easy to forget, that if the Specialist barely survived an encounter woth two murderers is probably not that likely to handle twenty soldiers easy.


5) The Savant


They have small to none powers. But they either can use their small powers better than any sepcialist, or can help others with their usages.


Examples: Joel, Teia from the Ligthbringer Series,


Usage: What they lack in power, they make up in knowledge. Twice. Or thrice. If they would somehow get the amount of power an Allrounder wields, they would easily become almost Mysterious Wizards. Use them in a team of people (they work best with a team of specialists or  with one Allrounder, who can do everything,  just not that one damned thing). Their insights are quite interesting, since they approach magic in a very unique manner. They are lloked down on, but they are the edge somebody will need sooner or later. People most likely won't tell them even thanks, so they are often kind of tragic people.



So, my question:
Do you think there are other types, do any other character belong in this categories, and with which you like to work most?

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Guys, guys, you dont link people to Tv Tropes. Thats just evil. What if he was going to do stuff today?

Sooner or later he would find himself on TVTropes, it was inevitable. Better to start building immunity now.

(for example right now I have only FOUR tabs opened and I am about to close one and I haven't clicked on a single link in that tab. Another one of the tabs doesn't have any links. Soon I will master the TVTropes! *cue dramatic music*)

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Well, there's one more type I can think of, the Reluctant User (though there must a be a better name for it).


The type of wizard who hates his own powers and refuses to use them, or at least tries to (think Rand in The Great Hunt), either because of social stigma, because of personal trauma or because the power is overly (self)destructive or downright evil. Bonus points if the person in question can't help but use the power (i.e. the nuclear bomb guy from Heroes). These characters tend to be too 'tragic hero' for my taste, but that's just personal preference.

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