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Writing antagonists



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  #1  
Old October 13th, 2010, 5:13 pm
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Writing antagonists

I've just been planning the back story of an antagonist for my novel, so I thought to see how everybody enjoys/plans writing their villains.

Okay some questions to get started:
- How important do you think villains/antagonists are, for the story as a whole?

- Do you enjoy writing antagonists? Or do you find it difficult?

- Do you prefer to provide a back story for your villains/antagonists?

- Have you ever been really fond of a villain you've written? If so, what was the most remarkable thing about them?

- More thoughts?


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  #2  
Old October 16th, 2010, 7:39 pm
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Re: Writing antagonists

Good idea for a thread Bella .

Quote:
- How important do you think villains/antagonists are, for the story as a whole?
Good question... I think it depends on the story itself. There are some stories where they would be more important (like in a science fiction type piece or an action/adventure one, for example) and others where they wouldn't be as important.

Quote:
- Do you enjoy writing antagonists? Or do you find it difficult?
I do, it can tend to be a challenge at times, but it is truly (most of the time) more fun to have the freedom in terms of what they do and such.

Quote:
- Do you prefer to provide a back story for your villains/antagonists?
Again, it depends on the kind of story here. If it requires a villains/antagonists story to be told, then I'd go and do just that.
Quote:
- Have you ever been really fond of a villain you've written? If so, what was the most remarkable thing about them?
Yep. I wrote an HP fan fic just for fun and I really liked how I wrote Snape. His snarkyness .

Quote:
- More thoughts?
Just don't give up if you end up stuck while writing an villian/antagonist... what you need there will come to you in due time. It just takes longer every so often. Patience is key here, no matter what you're writing about.


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Last edited by Fawkesfan1; October 16th, 2010 at 7:42 pm.
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  #3  
Old October 18th, 2010, 2:55 pm
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Re: Writing antagonists

- How important do you think villains/antagonists are, for the story as a whole?

I think they give the story its main atmosphere. If the villain is 'really bad', it makes it really difficult for the protagonist to beat them without committing 'wrong things'. In other words, it makes a great challenge for the protagonist, and thus makes the story more exciting and enjoyable.

- Do you enjoy writing antagonists? Or do you find it difficult?

I find it quite difficult actually. It's not really easy to make an original villain. It takes a lot to make him/her believable and scary/ugly without exaggerating them, at the same time. Even if one is writing fantasy/sci-fi, things need to be believable.

- Do you prefer to provide a back story for your villains/antagonists?

Yes, I think it makes them more understandable. I don't like a person (villain) who goes bad just for the sake of it. I think there must be a strong reason, why someone should turn bad.

- Have you ever been really fond of a villain you've written? If so, what was the most remarkable thing about them?

Not yet. But I'm hoping the one I'm currently writing would turn out well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fawkesfan1
Just don't give up if you end up stuck while writing an villian/antagonist... what you need there will come to you in due time. It just takes longer every so often. Patience is key here, no matter what you're writing about.
I agree. Patience is the key to everything in writing, and not just villains.


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  #4  
Old October 18th, 2010, 6:38 pm
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Re: Writing antagonists

Quote:
I think they give the story its main atmosphere. If the villain is 'really bad', it makes it really difficult for the protagonist to beat them without committing 'wrong things'. In other words, it makes a great challenge for the protagonist, and thus makes the story more exciting and enjoyable.
Definitely. That kind of thing can really add to the books atmosphere itself and give the good guys something that they have to go up against and stuff.


Quote:
I find it quite difficult actually. It's not really easy to make an original villain. It takes a lot to make him/her believable and scary/ugly without exaggerating them, at the same time. Even if one is writing fantasy/sci-fi, things need to be believable.
Yep. There's too much that can go wrong there . Like you said, it's too easy to exaggerate them and stuff. And at the end of the day, they have to be believable, not silly or ridiculous.


Quote:
I agree. Patience is the key to everything in writing, and not just villains.
Yea if we weren't patient then the writing wouldn't turn out that well.


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Last edited by Fawkesfan1; October 18th, 2010 at 9:20 pm.
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  #5  
Old January 6th, 2012, 4:52 am
HersheyLipGloss  Female.gif HersheyLipGloss is offline
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Re: Writing antagonists

I love writing antagonists.Mostly I enjoy it because if there is a nonexistent or weak antagonist,there is no point to the book.I would recommend a back story for your villain,as long as you don't get to the point of Dr.Doof(Phineas and Ferb)type back story.


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Old January 10th, 2012, 3:57 pm
Midnightsfire  Undisclosed.gif Midnightsfire is offline
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Re: Writing antagonists

- How important do you think villains/antagonists are, for the story as a whole?
Without any villains there wouldn't need to be any heroes.

Now I need to go on a semi-rant about "the making of a villain."

In most of what constitutes popular literature (and in this regard I can only come out on the fantasy genre), the villains of the biggie, "Lord of the Rings," which is a grand epic typically on everyone's fantasy pedestal, where the villains of the piece are however remote. We really don't know them. It's seems kinda strange that some of the best stories have such unfathomable villains. Perhaps if a story is well-written enough with plenty to engage the reader the reason for said villains existence is simply to provide impetus for a storyline that shows another world, showcases ideas/beliefs... Of course, many of us just like having an uncomplicated villain. Just look at "Lord Voldemort." (No offense, but he is an "easy" villain to create)

Most of the genre is good vs. evil. But evil for its own sake doesn't make a lot of sense to me, unless the "evil" in question is either alien in nature or insanity, which ironically does make sense to me.

Typically when the "evil" in question does become understood, how the character arrives to making such decisions, seeing through his/her eyes...that can be powerful if written well enough. We see this in the Dragonlance Chronicles, and even moreso in the Dragonlance Legends through the character of Raistlin Majere, a character that the authors (Weis and Hickman) were initially surprised to find was the most popular in the series. When such a character is written I think most readers find that s/he is more of the "anti-hero" type, especially when that character is stacked against other villains in the story.
We see this villain/antihero in another series of books re: Harry Dresden series, in the character of "Gentleman Johnnie Marcone," (and to a lesser extent, the "Hellhound" Jared Kincaid)

I myself have been attempting to write a story for a while now. My villians are "ignorance" and insanity, and devils/demoniacal entities. A mix of easy to make villians and not-so-easy. And the not-so-easy are the longest to write about because although their motivations are simple, they need to be logically understood by the reader who isn't...me.


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Last edited by Midnightsfire; January 10th, 2012 at 4:00 pm.
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  #7  
Old January 17th, 2012, 11:30 pm
DarkMarkBella  Female.gif DarkMarkBella is offline
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Re: Writing antagonists

I find writing the 'bad' characters easier than the good. Because I am a psychologist, and it's my 'job' to determine why people are the way they are and why they do the things they do... and I find it easier if I take a destructive and damaged character and try to determine why they are so. With good characters, it's easy to get caught up in writing these flawless, wonderful characters who always do right and bad things happen to them but they triumph... blah, blah.

Any direct Qs RE writing *** Evil Folk, let me know.


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Old January 18th, 2012, 1:52 am
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Re: Writing antagonists

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnightsfire View Post
- How important do you think villains/antagonists are, for the story as a whole?
Without any villains there wouldn't need to be any heroes.

Now I need to go on a semi-rant about "the making of a villain."

In most of what constitutes popular literature (and in this regard I can only come out on the fantasy genre), the villains of the biggie, "Lord of the Rings," which is a grand epic typically on everyone's fantasy pedestal, where the villains of the piece are however remote. We really don't know them. It's seems kinda strange that some of the best stories have such unfathomable villains.
In spec fic (fantasy, horror, sci fi) it holds true that the best villains are unfathomable forces. In the first two books we really know nothing of Hannibal Lecter, Randall Flagg's true self was only hinted at in The Stand and even old Darth Vader was much more interesting before the whole whiny adolescent to Luke's father thing was played out.


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Old January 18th, 2012, 11:57 pm
Midnightsfire  Undisclosed.gif Midnightsfire is offline
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Re: Writing antagonists

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkMarkBella View Post
With good characters, it's easy to get caught up in writing these flawless, wonderful characters who always do right and bad things happen to them but they triumph... blah, blah.
Not how I write them.
My heroes are good despite their flaws. They have to triumph over themselves first and foremost.


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All fighters are pig-headed some way or another: some part of them always thinks they know better than you about something. Truth is: even if they're wrong, even if that one thing is going to be the ruin of them, if you can beat that last bad out of them... they ain't fighters at all.

---Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris (Million Dollar Baby)
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Old February 9th, 2012, 5:07 pm
lacerta_lynx  Female.gif lacerta_lynx is offline
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Re: Writing antagonists

1. How important do you think villains/antagonists are, for the story as a whole?
I think a story must have a good hero and a good villain. If there's light, there's shadow, and I believe making a great hero and a lousy villain is the worst mistake a writer can make.
2.Do you enjoy writing antagonists? Or do you find it difficult?
Enjoy. A lot. You don't have to worry too much about moral and all the villains seem to have a thing for snarkiness, and I love it.
3.Do you prefer to provide a back story for your villains/antagonists?
Again, a good villain is important for a story. I don't think a villain without a backstory and actual reasons for doing what he's doing or will do, or did, is poorly written.
4.Have you ever been really fond of a villain you've written? If so, what was the most remarkable thing about them?
Not really... I'm young, and a beginner, and I'm still pretty bad at writing to write good characters.
5. More thoughts?
I do have a thing for villains. When I was seven, and I first read PS/SS I just loved Snape because he was snarky, to put it mildly, and my favorite character in Star Wars is Darth Vader. Also, I have a thing for Loki.


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