When is the Best Time to Introduce the Mentor?

Forums Fiction Plotting When is the Best Time to Introduce the Mentor?

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    I was working on my story when I discovered the mentor needed to come into the story sooner, then I found that he came in to soon and needed to be moved back. This led to the question of ‘when would be the best time to introduce the Mentor?’ Or is any time ok?

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by StorySeeker.
    K.M. Small


    I’m assuming you’re referring to the archetype Mentor character? I’m not sure of any hard and fast rules, but I’d think within the first act/quarter of the story would be best, or at least before the midpoint. If he were introduced in the first act, he would slowly begin to reveal the protagonist’s inner problems and help propel him out of complacency at the 1st plot point. That’s like what you have for Gandalf in both The Hobbit and the Fellowship of the Ring. On the other hand, the Mentor could show up any time once the second act begins to advise the protagonist on ways to overcome the Lie or the antagonistic force that the protagonist is now fighting against. I think any time after that, into the second part of the book, would be too late, as you generally want to introduce all necessary elements within the first half of the book. Though it could work if the Mentor is frequently spoken of throughout the first half of the book, and then only meets the protagonist in the second half.

    I hope that helps 🙂

    ~ Khylie
    "Beauty will save the world." - Dostoevsky


    Okay, thanks!

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