What profession should an adult protagonist have?

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Jo'ogn
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What profession should an adult protagonist have?

#1 Post by Jo'ogn » Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:30 pm

Since I am out of the high school phase my stories (or ideas about stories) are concerning adults. A couple of RenPy VNs I played where pretty geeky (computer stuff), which - being a geek myself - I like(d). But it might be off-putting players who are less technically inclined. In quite a number of Japanese anime adults appear to be just boring office workers. This doesn't appeal to me at all either.

What would be an interesting profession for a male and/or female protagonist?

Since a profession eats away a lot of life time and therefore has a big effect on the daily routine, health and happiness or lack thereof, it 'colours' or dulls the life of a person considerably.

I have this one idea in my mind where one person slips into the role of another and somehow needs to manage the other person's tasks in order to not raise any attention or suspicion. Yet the profession in itself shall not dominate the story.

Suggestions and reasoning behind it welcome.


[EDIT] Since I design my VN-games very menu interactive:
The questions refers to what would a player most likely enjoy and what likely not.
Last edited by Jo'ogn on Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:22 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: What profession should an adult protagonist have?

#2 Post by SundownKid » Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:35 pm

Making them a doctor should definitely work. It takes up a lot of time and energy, esp. if you work in the hospital.

For something really out there, they could be a garbageman. Or an exterminator?

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Re: What profession should an adult protagonist have?

#3 Post by Jo'ogn » Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:47 pm

A doctor might be a bit too hardcore. Exterminator isn't a bad idea. Since you come around this way.

One idea is an analytical chemist. So the protagonist would need direction, but would not be too involved to end up endangering his environment too quickly, since the story shall lead to a different revelation.
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Re: What profession should an adult protagonist have?

#4 Post by fleet » Mon Apr 15, 2013 3:05 pm

Member of the police force
Private detective.
Any health care profession (doctor,nurse, orderly, nurse's aid
College professor
Soldier
Salesperson who works on commission
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Re: What profession should an adult protagonist have?

#5 Post by Funnyguts » Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:03 pm

One that feels like what the protagonist would pick when given the chance, unless that protagonist has a distinct reason preventing them from getting what they want in this regard. What does your protagonist want to do, and why? If they can't do what they want, what do they do instead?
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Re: What profession should an adult protagonist have?

#6 Post by Haze » Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:11 pm

Maybe a freelance author?

I'm saying this because the protagonist could probably be able to take a break from his/her work, even if it's in the middle of the day, since they're freelance. This may or may not be true, however, depending on your story. Also, writing may or may not be something that someone can pick up on easily...
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Re: What profession should an adult protagonist have?

#7 Post by gekiganwing » Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:40 pm

Normally I'd say "whatever is appropriate for the story," but then I noticed that Jo'ogn mentioned slipping into the role of another person. Maybe if the main character is a person who has a variety of temp jobs, and who's used to constantly taking on new tasks...
Jo'ogn wrote:n quite a number of Japanese anime adults appear to be just boring office workers. This doesn't appeal to me at all either.
Depends on what show you're watching. There's been characters with mysterious and never-disclosed jobs (Yotsuya from Maison Ikkoku), ones with badass jobs (title character from Master Keaton), characters whose jobs take a toll on them (the mother from Toradora), characters who are thoroughly ashamed of their jobs (Negishi from Detroit Metal City), characters whose boring jobs are related to the call to adventure (Tanaka from Legend of Black Heaven), and so on. [/off-topic]

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Re: What profession should an adult protagonist have?

#8 Post by LVUER » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:38 pm

Just like Gekiganwing said, my short answer will be "depending on the story" and "any job can be interesting".
Jo'ogn wrote:In quite a number of Japanese anime adults appear to be just boring office workers. This doesn't appeal to me at all either.
May be that's because majority of people are boring office workers. Not lots of people become spy or mysterious crime fighter. So by the protagonist having a common job, more people can associate with the protagonist.

Anyway, from your situation, we can have two kind of story here:

The first is being the job is simply not for everyone, hence the protagonist have great difficulty performing the job (especially when he need to make sure no one know the protagonist is replacing someone). May be like a model (where the protagonist need to cross-dress) or a famous politician where lots of people after his life (become body double). May be the protagonist being coerced into taking this job? Some interesting job I can think of:
- Politician
- Doctor
- Priest
- President!?

The second is the job being easy enough for anyone to do but there's simply a reason why that person can't leave the job. The protagonist is chosen simply by chance. May be the person ask the favor is protagonist childhood friend or the protagonist owes a great favor to this person.
- Librarian (anyone will be troubled if your local public library suddenly closes for several days)
- Teacher
- Nurse (not the one in hospital but the one in take care center or something)
- Work at pet store (the animals need to be taken care daily)
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Re: What profession should an adult protagonist have?

#9 Post by dramspringfeald » Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:14 pm

depends on the story. If it is an adventure story then have them with a Learning/teaching background. If they are in science then Pick an engineering background. they don't need doctorates but an understanding of what is going on would be nice.

Though I do love "Fish out of water" protagonists. Take an Engineer and put them babysitting a demon. Or take a soldier and have him baking cakes.
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Re: What profession should an adult protagonist have?

#10 Post by Jo'ogn » Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:21 am

Interesting input, thank you - all of you. I deliberately did not disclose how the protagonist comes to having to take the place of another person. But reading your answers I should have worded my question differently. Granted most of you are writers and this is it what shows in your replies :wink: I should add that the setting will be in the future, perhaps 30 to 50 years from now. And it's not supposed to be a comedy (so cross-dressing is out)

Since I design my VN-games very menu interactive:

Asking the Player: What kind of work would you like your protagonist to have?

Not necessarily what suits my story's need - which can be tailoered - but rather what is a profession that is not too over the top - like a "special forces stealth agent", or too technical/geeky - say in a manly way, but neither too womanly (glamour fashion model) in order not to alienate male players ;D

I look for inspiration for jobs which are not too boring or 'uneducated', but also do not need too specific knowledge and abilities, which would make it unrealistic, that the protagonist can perfom them easily (like a surgeon). Just a bit of thrill of "Oh, need to know a couple of things before I can do that work so nobody will notice I am not the person who should be here instead."
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