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  1. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    Antagonist?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Lucy E., Jul 1, 2008.

    I wasn't entirely sure where to put this, but it affects the plot more than anything so I decided to put it here.
    What's everyone's take on the antagonist living? The plan was, originally, for my antagonist to die, but I figured that it might be an interesting twist if my protagonists managed to save her instead. She HAS tried to kill them and wipe out the non-magical race (hmmm...), but she has a very good reason for trying to do so.
    Opinions, please?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A refusal to kill an antagonist, or even a decision to rescue him or her, is a choice often taken to build the moral strength of the protagonist. It makes him or her "the better person".

    Sometimes it comes off as corny, but other times it works well.

    On the oher hand, if the antagonist dies, how the protagonist reacts to that death is also an opportunity for character building.

    Every decision of this nature changes the story. Your job as a writer is to decide what the effect of that decision is on the story and on all your characters, and choose the path that makes the message of the story strongest.
     
  3. Leo
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    Leo Senior Member

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    I don't know how well this would fit into what you're doing...
    But what if the protagonist saves the antagonist, believing them to have reformed, or whatever. But then the antagonist kills the protagonist.
    Or attempts to, if you need the protagonist to live.
     
  4. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    Thanks for your input. :)

    Cog:
    My protagonists aren't trying to save her because they want to be the 'better people', they're trying to save her because they have reason to believe that she can be saved and should be saved. I also want to keep her in the story because one of her biggest regrets in life is something my MC will come to face. I thought it would be kind of 'uplifting' (that's not the right word, but I can't think of it at the moment) to have them share this.
    My biggest doubt is the fact that I already have too many characters (a problem I think I'm halfway to solving).

    Leo: I'm not sure if it would be possible for my antagonist to kill my protagonist, as that would more or less defeat my goal for the entire story. But that's a very interesting twist.
     
  5. Leo
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    Leo Senior Member

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    Well yeah, I suppose it does kinda screw up the whole story if you need your MC to be, like, a living person...
     
  6. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    Lol! For some reason, that cracked me up. :)
     
  7. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Can you spell...S E Q U E L!

    LOL
     
  8. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    Even if I couldn't, you just spelt it for me. :D
     
  9. Liem
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    Liem New Member

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    You can ultimately do what you wish, but I think the best thing you can do is go along with what the main character would want. If the protagonist wants to save the antagonist, then you should write about it that way.

    Instead of bending your characters to suit the plot, let your characters act according to the personalities you gave them. The plot will unfold itself naturally in the choices your characters make.

    Of course it's still up to you whether the protagonist will succeed or not, it really depends on what you feel makes sense.
     
  10. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the advice. :) Taking everything into account, I think my protagonists would be all for saving her now that they know and understand her motivation.
     
  11. Leo
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    Leo Senior Member

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    LoL

    My work here is done...
     
  12. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    Yup...and you're still alive. That's usually good. To keep it that way, I won't kill Leo and Emma. LOL.
     
  13. Samswriting
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    Samswriting Senior Member

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    you tripped across something that can be very powerful.. "now that they understand her motivation"

    In the larger scheme its not uncommon for the good and bad guys to be fighting for the same reasons more or less, and when the MC begins to understand this, it can add depth to their character, and really screw up how easy it is to just hose the bad guy.

    *Knight in shining armor comes in...
    "Ah I see you villain prepare to die, for you have stolen a hamburger."

    The knight raises his trusty cudgel and spreads the blood of his foe far and wide.

    "Yes you see I am righteous and I have defeated a heathen."
    *
    *
    The thoughtful knight comes in.

    "You with the hamburge stop, for though hast not paid."

    "sir please I know the law says you must bludgeon me but I have no money and my children are hungry"

    The knight looks to the corner where 3 small children huddle hungry and cold.

    He must kill the woman, but she is just trying to save her kids... conflict.

    Fear not for our knight is good and noble.

    The knight raises his weapon and beats the life from the sickly villain. But he has grown. He now understands better.

    "come children while I was forced to kill your mother, I have the right to confiscate this hamburger, come we shall dine"
    ***

    See much better :)

    LOL I crack me up, but I think the point is easily seen even here.
     
  14. Smithy
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    Smithy Senior Member

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    Whatver you ultimately decide to do, I think it would be a good thing if your protagonists aren't united on this issue. Perhaps some have suffered worse than others from the antagonists plans, or else they simply don't have a temperament for forgiveness. Either way, I think that the 'what to do with the beaten antagonist' debate can provide a great oppurtunity for a dramatic scene as tensions run high (they are discussing life and death after all) and divisions are revealed within the group.
     
  15. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    Thanks for your input, Smithy. I'll consider what you said.
     
  16. Leo
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    Leo Senior Member

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    Always good to know LOL.

    If I'd known I was suggesting my own death I...well, wouldn't have...
     
  17. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    Yes, it's usually a pretty good thing to be aware of. LMAO.

    Be careful what you say when you're around me. LOL.
     
  18. Leo
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    Leo Senior Member

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    Be careful what I wish for?

    Or you'll turn my namesake into a toad?!?
     
  19. Chickidy
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    Chickidy Contributing Member

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    I don't know about you fine folks here, but when I get a really good antagonist, not good as in a model citizen, but good as in works well, I get just as attached to them as the MC, sometimes even more, to the point where I want to see them succeed. My sinister side I suppose, but thats not the point. The point is is that it is often just as difficult to kill them off as a MC if you like them, but then again sometime I despise and loath them, but sometimes I feel the same way about my MC and have sympathy for the villain. So my question to you is simply this, is your antagonist good, once again not traditionally, but good as in fun to write about, fun to be evil with, having a hell of a time raising a hell of a lot of hell? If so, then I think the answer is pretty clear, plus in this case it sounds like it would enrich the story a bit too, so you have that going at least.
     
  20. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    Thanks. :) Much appreciated.

    And yes Leo, I shall turn your namesake into a toad...MUAHAHA.
     
  21. Kirby Tails
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    Kirby Tails Member

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    A lot of times, your plans don't always work well. In my story, The Dowry, I intended for my two protagonists to die, but I kind of ended up killing off my antagonists...and they were my favorites. :(
     

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