The Problem with Smart Characters

Currently, I am writing a novel in which one of the lead characters is a supposed genius. See, I appreciate knowing everything about my characters and what they are thinking at all times. The problem is that I couldn’t quite possibly understand anything that my prodigy character is thinking. His brain is a much too brilliant thing for me to ever be able to comprehend, even if I consider myself intelligent. Because of this, I cannot narrate him in first person, no matter how much I want to. My solution is to keep him as a main character but leave his complex thoughts to himself. I’m sure that he wouldn’t like me revealing his secrets to the world anyway.

As a reader, I understand what it’s like to be completely indisposed with “genius” characters. A lot of times, I’m just not convinced that the highly intelligent character is at all smarter than any of his/her peers. Of course, the majority of the genius characters that I am unhappy with aren’t needed to be intelligent. There is no purpose for their super-powered brains. I’m hoping that if I have a purpose for my character, everything will work out.

How do you write characters that are smarter than you? What do you think about “genius” characters? Be sure to comment, and thank you very much for taking the time to read this!


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