I'm currently writing a story with two main protagonists. I have one outline complete for one protagonist, but the second one I am struggling on. It's infuriating because I am hitting a brick wall on how I want to write his outline. I'm struggling with his motivation in the story and its overall believability. Please be free to give any advice that you deem acceptable.

For this character (let us call him Bob), Bob is the first born son of a noble house, but recently announced the second son to the throne (in his culture, brothers are supposed to rival each other to see who is worthy to the father's possessions and favor). It has been 6 months since the announcement, and Bob has been depressed over the announcement (hasn't happened in over 300 years) and now finds himself traveling to Altor ( a free city where humans, Drogs, and Anu live under one elected ruler for 5 years). The book takes place a year before reelections, and the ceremony for future candidates is the start of Bob's adventure. His father sent him to assist his sister with her candidacy, in hopes to influence the cities politics.

Here is where I am drawing a blank. The book is called the Shadow Archives, and its premise is about Bob finding the ancient Shadow Archives which is controlled by the Shadow Merchant ( a mysterious figure who influenced every aspect of society). The Shadow Merchant had disappeared over a century ago (at least his activities have), but at the ceremony, he appears once more by killing the current head os Altor.

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My question is, should Bob's plot focus more on the politics revolving the recent turmoil of the death of the recent head of Altor? I was thinking that it would be a more tightly knit story inside the struggles of higher politics, but I am struggling with his motivation to find the Shadow Archives with this idea. I can see him wanting to entertain the idea of running for the head of Altor (being the second son), but not searching for the Shadow Archives which is where I need the story to go.

My other idea is essentially a fetch quest (for lack of term) mixed with a love story. Bob had recently become the second son, his throne lost, and most of all the one he loved. Her death was his fault, and with the passing months he had searched and studied for a way to bring her back. Thus…this is where the Shadow Archives would enter the story, with him searching for the mysterious Shadow Archives in hopes to bring back his lost love.

I don't want to go into too much detail, for this post would be many pages long, and I don't want to waste too much time for my fellow Redditors. Like I have stated, please feel free to offer any solutions or advice that you deem worthy. I was pondering the idea of combining both ideas, but I've had the same results.

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