1. Brandon P.
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    Brandon P. Senior Member

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    A fantasy villainess in a heroine's clothes

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Brandon P., Aug 27, 2012.

    I have a special fondness for the theme of evil masquerading as good. I love villains who trick you into thinking they're good guys and then shock you when the time comes for them to show their true colors. In fact I submit that such villains would enjoy greater success than those who visibly flaunted their evilness, as they could more successfully manipulate genuinely good people into carrying out their agenda.

    I have an ostensibly sweet and cheerful young woman who tells the male hero that her people are under attack by a tyrannical sorceress and asks him to recover an object which is the source of the sorceress's power. The hero steals this object and gives it to the first woman only to discover that she's the real aggressor who wants to use the object for evil ends. From that point forward the hero joins the second woman's cause and must undo the damage he inflicted in the first act.

    My question is precisely how shocking my twist should be. Should I drop in a few clues that the second woman isn't the actual bad guy in the first act even before the big revelation? If so, while the hero might initially gloss over these clues due to his preconceptions, readers might figure the whole thing out prematurely.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You ARE the writer. This is your decision and no one else's.
     
  3. Brandon P.
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    Brandon P. Senior Member

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    All right, I'm sorry. I tend to get really excited about my ideas and so have a hard time suppressing my desire to talk about them before actually writing anything. My bad.
     
  4. maidahl
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    maidahl Banned

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    I'm into foreshadowing when done properly. I want to play guessing with the author until I figure out why and how the author left that gemmy clue for me. Oh and I like cyclical foreshadowing. It's hot.
     
  5. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    I prefer to not add any foreshadowing at all. It is better that your readers do not know anything yet. When your twist comes, it will surprise the living hell out of your readers.
     
  6. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Foreshadowing, when done well, will not in any way "give away" your game. Foreshadowing refers to creating a mood that hints at the way the reader will feel when the event you are foreshadowing takes place. In this case, you can have someone or something else not be who they pretend to be, or even a pretty apple that, when hero picks it up from the side of the road, falls apart from all the maggots inside. Something totally symbolic works best, as long as you don't make a song and dance about it but understate it well enough that it doesn't raise an alarm.
    But it''s true that it is up to you. It's these things that make or break the book, so, yeah, you have to come up with a way to do it.

    Personally, I wouldn't give away that she is bad until very late in the book (more than half way through). Present everything upside down, but in enough detail that when all is revealed, the reader can immediately empathise with the plight of the people who were wronged.
     
  7. maidahl
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    maidahl Banned

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    foreshadowing is game
     

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