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  1. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    A Villain, but No Protagonist?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Killer300, Oct 12, 2011.

    Ever have this problem? You get an AMAZING villain character(in this case an entire organization) but... you have no protagonist for the story? No hero, no opposing force. Because, now I have that, with a villain that appears to be one of the most unique in awhile, especially as conspiracies are concerned, but no protagonist in mind.

    If you have had this problem, did you find a solution? Or did you give on the story, as a cool concept, but nothing more?
     
  2. TheSpiderJoe
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    TheSpiderJoe Senior Member

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    A protagonist does not have to be a "person". It could be an idea, a force, a drive, something that impacts the antagonist in a positive/negative way. And I'm sure you've heard this before but a hero is only as good as his villain (and vice versa)

    I've never had this exact problem but I know where you're coming from. It's the same idea new writers for DC comics come into when they try to make Superman relevant for new audiences. How do you make a villain that can stand toe-to-toe with the most powerful being on earth?

    Something that might help you in your quest is to figure out a flaw that your Villain has and find a way to exploit it. Whether it be through another person or even something as simple as an idea. Your entire plot could even grow to this villain taking on the entire world.
     
  3. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Ah, interesting point with DC actually. Fortunately, my villain isn't that overpowered(although global conspiracy is nothing to scoff at) so I should have an easier time finding a protagonist.
     
  4. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    I cannot help but think of Mastermind right now :D.

    The protagonist could be the villains flaw. This idea keeps coming back to him and trying to change his character - it would be the battle from the antagonist's point of view.
     
  5. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    Actually sort of did. My WIP started out as a idea of a political economic set up across multiple planets in space. That actually came from some interesting thoughts I had looking at some designs from a urban design school of thought. (I know weird)
    Anywise I sort of just fleshed out the ideas and came up with some groups, and individuals that had their own political agendas that would come into conflict.
     
  6. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Thanks guys, think I've got a protagonist now.
     
  7. Remes_H
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    Remes_H Member

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    Have you consider to have your villain as your main character? An antihero perhaps? Although we like to see good triumphs, but sometime the evil might be necessary or simply the fittest force according to nature's law? If you think your villain is far more interesting than any of the heros you can come up with. Why not simply focus on
     
  8. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    create one. All you need is a guy that wants the opposite to the villain, someone who makes it hard for the villain to achieve his goal. Then you have to figure out who is going to be the protagonist: the villain or the "good guy". :)
     
  9. Mr What
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    Mr What Member

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    A villain/antagonist without a 'protaganist' as you define one isn't a villain at all. Even Patrick Bateman is classed as an antihero. Remember a protagonist isn't neccesarily a good guy by default, but rather the main or focal character.
     
  10. Batgoat
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    Batgoat Senior Member

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    Why can't a "bad guy" be a "good guy?" And not without the whole "change of heart scenario." The whole challenge would be to garner a reader's sympathy for the supposed bad guy and follow the tale through his perspective.
     
  11. ShadowScribbler
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    ShadowScribbler Member

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    I raise my hand in representation of those who develop feelings for the villain! I don't know why I do this, but they're usually my favourite characters.
     
  12. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Well, the villain isn't exactly a main character, but an organization. Now, they could be the focus... hmm. There's an idea. May be one of the first stories like it.
     
  13. tristan.n
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    tristan.n Active Member

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    I've never really thought of the protagonist as "the good guy," but more or less who the story revolves around, or who's telling it.
     
  14. JGHunter
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    JGHunter Member

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    As many have said (and can be evidenced etymologically) protagonists are the focus: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=protagonist&searchmode=none

    If you can't be bothered to read the link (I don't blame you), the "proto" element is what makes them the focus. The misunderstanding is based on mistranslation of the Greek "pro" meaning "for". This is a split of the aforementioned word proto— a red herring. Something similar is the case for antagonist. The 'anti' means a competitor, fighting against or running parallel. Such can be evidenced in the Ante- named mountain ranges where one range is against another. However, anti has many very negative connotations as being restrictive, but it just means 'against'. A man who saves the world would be the antagonist if the protagonist of the story is a dictator hellbent to commit global genocide.
     
  15. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Why would you give up on the story? It's easy to come up with a hero. Make the hero want exactly what the villan wants, but holds a different view. Or whatever the villan wants, make it interfer with what the hero wants. I think it best if both hero and villan have logical reasons to support their views, so the line between good and evil is blurred.

    Once you have that part nailed down, think about what kind of hero would best suit the story. So first come up with a plot. I have a whole process for this. It works really well and has helped many people that watched the video series. if you are interested, let me know.
     

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