1. TkTish
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    TkTish Member

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    Antagonist's Goals?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by TkTish, Feb 9, 2016.

    The antagonist in my story is a sorcerer and has one main goal of taking over a kingdom for himself. He seemingly accomplishes this. He killed the king, banished the crown prince (and by banished, I mean opened a portal and tossed the poor protagonist through into the middle of nowhere), he forced the princess to be his wife, and he dispersed his men through the city to enforce his rule.

    I'm good with all of that. But! Before he banished the prince, he toyed with the prince a little by forcing a feral spirit into his body, which changed the prince into a shapeshifter-like creature. This, of course, comes back to bite the sorcerer in the ass later on. My question is, does the antagonist have to have some detailed reason for why he did this to the prince? Or can the reason just simply be because he wanted to see what would happen and it was fun?
     
  2. MelFyre
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    MelFyre Member

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    If anything it depends on the psycho social context you want to set up for the character ( at least to me ) because I feel that there are two very different minds behind those two decision making processes.

    The scientist / experimenter / sorcerer in him - to see what would happen in the merging of the two parts ( say he wants to test this out on his men that he'll disperse through the city but doesn't want to risk them before he knows better what will happen )

    vs

    the little boy pulling the cat's tail - this looks fun! let's see how many times I can pull the cat's tail before it swipes at me ( kind of idea ) - this one feels more heinous because there's very little relatable reasoning behind his actions vs the 'scientific' idea because we can at least identify the personality traits that lead to amoral experimenting.

    At least to me anyway
     
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  3. Defender
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    Defender Senior Member

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    well i agree with melfyre you need to decide which mentality you want, but if you want it to be something like the cats tail, it could be an experiment to see what would happen, or maybe even that the sorcerer made a deal with the spirit saying if he helped the sorcerer get the kingdom, he would give him a body and a share of power, and after he got the kingdom, the prince was the body, but when the sorcerer betrayed the now embodied spirit by casting him through a portal, when he returns he comes back to get revenge?
     
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  4. Feo Takahari
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    Feo Takahari Active Member

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    Let's tie this into a bigger question: why does the antagonist banish the prince rather than killing him like his father?

    My first idea is that he makes the prince into a monster and then shows him off to the city. "This is my power. This is what I can do to anyone who gets in my way." Or maybe he frames himself as a liberator. "The old king was consorting with monsters this whole time! Look, his son is half human and half beast!"

    Another idea is that perhaps the antagonist sees something in the prince that he doesn't see in himself, and he feels compelled to destroy and pervert that. Something about the young prince is beautiful or charming or draws people in, something the antagonist can't match. In essence, it's his revenge on the prince for existing and reminding him of his own failures.

    Or maybe there's something specific in the prince's bloodline or the kingdom's mythology. "The legends say the old royals shared the souls of animals. If they're true, then perhaps . . . Bah, this twisted monstrosity won't be good for anything! Out of my sight!"
     
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  5. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would recommend that, yes.

    Maybe the portal can only directly transport an incorporeal spirit, meaning that any corporeal creature would need to be bonded to the spirit so as to be carried through the portal indirectly?

    If so, then then this can't be the only time he did something this random. You need to establish the villain as being the kind of person to do other things like this at other times, and you need to establish that this character trait has worked for the villain in the past (preferably by showing one of his more-successful hijinks "onscreen" in addition to mentioning other times that he did something "offscreen").

    If you make the villain a generally cautious, methodical planner, then your readers won't like the idea of him breaking character solely to let the hero win, but if you him prone to hijinks that only ever blow up in his face, then you make it look like he lost because he's less competent (rather than because the hero's more competent).

    Maybe before the spirit-binding:

    *The sorcerer dramatically executes most of the prisoners in some group

    *After demonstrating his power, he gives a gold medallion to the last survivor with specific instructions to deliver it to a specific person at a specific location at a specific time, or else the sorcerer will claim the souls of the prisoner's children and grandchildren to be groomed as soldiers for the forces of darkness

    *The sorcerer's newest apprentice asks about the medallion at some later point

    *The sorcerer (or one of his more experienced apprentices) laughs that he has no idea whether there will be a person at the time and place or not, that the sorcerer always inserts random instructions in the middle of his actual plans so that his enemies devote extra resources to wild goose chases
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016
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  6. TkTish
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    TkTish Member

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    Ahh, unfortunately, the spirit doesn't have a mind of its own. It's just simply an animal spirit ripped from a race of creatures that can turn into the animal of their spirit (ie - the he or she looks human, but can turn into a large felid).

    These are all great ideas! I could definitely use the "This is my power." line of thinking, because there are people living in the city that actually can naturally shift into animal forms. It could be a way for him to subdue that portion of the population (especially since he's been killing these people all for the sake of experimenting with the spirits and it's royally pissing them off).

    As a side note, the result of the experiment on the prince is that he can't control his shifting. Extreme emotions (especially fear) causes him to involuntarily shift and he can't shift back on his own until the magic fueling the shift runs out (about 24 hours). So, it's a good show of the sorcerer's power, but the experiment itself doesn't quite work (yet). Naturally-born shifters are taught from a young age how to control their shifting.

    The prince is also punted through the portal because 1) the experiment didn't work the way the sorcerer wanted it to and 2) since the prince can't control the spirit, the sorcerer figures the spirit will kill him anyway with the erratic shifting, so he'll just let nature take it's course (huge mistake, obviously, but the sorcerer is arrogant as all hell). Of course, the prince meets two people that will end up helping him.

    Thanks for everyone's help so far! :agreed:
     
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  7. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Can you tell me more about the sorcerer? So far, you've presented a pretty superficial, stereotypical character. If that us genuinely all there is to him, don't leave it that. Heeds at very least fleshed-out background, mannerisms, and ways of thinking. I would be interested to see him with some sympathetic elements. It doesn't have to be that he thinks he's a saint. Just that he feels more human and less demon. A love story, for example, can happen with ecen the most cold-hearted people as long as they're not strongly ace. Or you could give him a sympathetic back story or psychological excuse e.g. spoiling.
     
  8. TkTish
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    TkTish Member

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    I actually haven't even gotten that far! :bigoops: This post was mostly cleaning up some plot points I was struggling with. None of my characters are super fleshed out yet and I haven't even started writing the story. Everything is still in the planning stages. But I'll definitely keep it in mind to make the antagonist as strong, character-wise, as possible.
     
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