Problematic MC?

Ok, guys. I’m thinking of making my MC a bit problematic and close-minded. For instance, she believes a lot of stereotypes (like all gays are feminine, or Christians and Muslims are enemies or something). As the story progresses, I want her to become more open-minded. It is not the main plot, it’s more like character development. The only problem is that I don’t know if readers will understand that she is close-minded but will improve. Like, I don’t know if readers will think I as a writer actually believe stereotypes. I don’t know, what do you think?


It’s a great way to leave room for character development, not to mention a realistic character flaw. While people aren’t necessarily born prejudiced, we’re not born woke, either, and living in an environment where discrimination does happen can cause people to internalize problematic ideas easily. We need to acknowledge that people can learn, grow, and improve.

As for how to keep readers from thinking you’re endorsing the main character’s way of thinking, you could show the impact her thoughts and behavior have on others. Show her making negative, stereotyped assumptions about people, but also show how people notice that and are affected when her assumptions show through her words and behavior. Make it clear that her close-mindedness is a flaw. It can also help to show people she grew up with, such as family members, behaving in a similar, or potentially worse, way, so people can see how these attitudes don’t develop spontaneously. You could also give her an awareness of the problems and stereotypes that affect her directly to balance things out and highlight the hypocrisy that’s often present in close-minded people (“gay men are too feminine but how dare someone suggest I’m weak because I’m a girl” is one example I see a lot in real life).


Thank you so much! This helps a lot and I’ll be sure to add these points in. I definitely agree with you on all your points, that it is a human flaw, and has consequences.
Thank you for your input!

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Good luck with that. Try not to get demonized.


What? Lol


I think @purplezombieattack said it best. You could add a authors note at the beginning of the episode to explain you don’t believe in the views that the character is expressing?


You could give a disclaimer that there are a lot of different views in this story, and not all of them you believe in.

And you could also make the story from the narrator’s point of view, instead of first person, so that you could be free to discuss different views, and if one view is wrong, the narrator can express that in a way that the reader knows that you don’t believe these beliefs.

You could have her have future friends that are a lot different from the sterotypes, and throughout the whole story, have them witnessing what she’s saying and expressing their thoughts about it, then in the end, they become friends with her, and help her become more open minded.