Catalyst Characters in Stories

There are several types of characters in books. They range from protagonists, antagonists, major characters, secondary characters, and minor characters. However, I believe some characters serve as catalyst characters, who are the reasons why a plot truly begins or maybe why the antagonists start to oppose the protagonist. Let me bring some examples.

Les Mis- Spoilers (I believe there are two)

The Bishop

Look, Valjean left prison as a hardened and angry man. Many people weren’t going to give him a chance just because he was a prisoner. No one would give him a job or giving him shelter or food, etc……They even were beating him up, which made Valjean even more angry at society.

Look what the bishop did- he gave him a place to stay and food to eat despite the fact that he was a convict. Despite all the compassion, Valjean still stole the bishop’s silver. However, when the police came back with Valjean and the bishop’s silver, the bishop lied to the police and said the silver was a gift, which left Valjean stunned. The bishop actually taught Valjean the ways of the Lord- mercy, compassion, and forgiveness. That explains the rest of Valjean’s actions- showing compassion to Fantine, turning himself in to protect an innocent man, mercy towards Javert, etc………..

Cosette

Why do you think I said there are two catalyst characters in Les Mis? Cosette is another catalyst character for Valjean. Cosette made a huge impact on Valjean’s life- Valjean literally promised her mother that he would raise Cosette as his own not knowing the huge impact Cosette would have on his life. Cosette would become the best thing in his life- explaining why he became such an overprotective father and why he rescued Marius from the barricades. He got to die with both Cosette and Marius by his side.

Tale of The Cattail Forest- my main WIP

Marge

It can be hard to say this at times, but Marge is my antagonist’s younger cousin. Unlike Sarge, she was born with a loving family. That resulted in Marge being Sarge’s easiest target and for her to be easily misunderstood by her own kind- all of that led to her having an incredible amount of wisdom and knowing how lonely Graysloup became. Once Sparkle, my main character, heard about the bleak situation going on in Graysloup, she decided to take action. Her first decision was to befriend Marge, and the rest of the story goes from there. Not only did she decide to befriend Marge, but she also made the decision for all the The Fairy Frogs to try to befriend all the Toads despite knowing how hard that would be.

What about you, do you understand the idea of catalyst characters?

3 thoughts on “Catalyst Characters in Stories

  1. Ooh, this was such an interesting post! I love the Bishop. I feel he doesn’t get enough credit for what he did – because really, he was the reason all the events in Les Mis happened. I also love the relationship between Cosette and Valjean.
    Thanks for giving us a snippet into your WIP! I always enjoy hearing about others’ works. I think Sparkle sounds like a great protagonist. I’ve never really thought about catalyst characters in my own story, honestly, so it will be interesting to think about that!

    Like

    • Without the Bishop, there really wouldn’t be a story in Les Mis. He was the reason why Valjean’s journey truly began, which would eventually led to Valjean’s adoption of Cosette

      Sparkle is an incredible protagonist- due to how invested she is in her craft, she entered Graysloup (which was against the rules for Fairy Frogs). Graysloup is where she eventually discovered Marge, while working on a drawing

      Liked by 1 person

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