marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

why professionals do not make good fantasy adventurers

Was further pondering the problems of fully adult characters as the protagonist of fantasy adventures. . . .

There are the professionals.  People whose jobs are adventures. . . the canonical heroes of sword and sorcery, to be sure. . . but there are issues even with traveling mercenaries.

I start with the observation that the green adventurer is either a young adult, or someone whose change of profession has to be explained. (Hmm. Perhaps a little more scope for explanations that the usual quest. A man might take up a quest for revenge after his family farm was utterly destroyed with total slaughter, but he might hire on as a soldier to pay off debts while the rest still work the farm.) But the normal fully adult professional adventurer is experienced.

Which of course limits his utility as a means of info-dumping. You have to work out how to inclue the readers about things the point-of-view character takes as a matter of course.

More restricting is that, of course, only certain types of characters would voluntarily take on these roles. A character might, like Bilbo Baggins, oscillate between home-body and adventurer, but anyone who seriously loves settled life, or even peace and quiet, will choose a job with less travel and dangers. Anyone who thinks of adventure as someone else having a hard time a long way away is out. (Involuntary brings its own problems, too.)

Not to mention that if you are professional, you are in it for the money. Lots of fantasy adventures would not be undertaken by someone who was in it for the money. And doing it it out of pure love of adventure requires that you either be rich already (and not lose the money while gallivanting) or run out money and have to do it for the cash.

Some rich adventurers -- a dashing explorer, for instance -- would work, but then motives are still limited. Just differently.
Tags: characterization, discovery, exposition, motives and purposes, world-building: aging and coming of age, world-building: economics, world-building: social classes

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