1. Wynter
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    Wynter Active Member

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    Are Kings as Villains Overdone?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Wynter, Aug 19, 2014.

    I'm contemplating this as I'm forming my plot and I know that depending on how well written it is almost anything can work, but as a general notion, does anyone feel Kings as the Main Villain is something that occurs to much?
     
  2. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    Just my opinion, but I think kings as characters are overdone. Browsing through the forum, one could easily get the impression that everyone here writes fantasy. I wonder if it wouldn't be a good idea for members to try writing in other genres.
     
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  3. ToDandy
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    ToDandy Contributing Member

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    You see more fantasy topics on writing forums because a huge part of fantasy is world building. That's the main draw to the genre for most people. So naturally when you are constructing your entire world from the ground up, there is more stuff to get help and feedback on.



    On topic, I think the position of power that your villain is in isn't really what's important. It all comes down to the character. How do you make that person unique and how do you make him feel real? If you can do those two things then it really doesn't matter how many other villain kings there are.
     
  4. Mike Hill
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    Mike Hill Natural born citizen of republic of Finland.

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    I'm defiantly not fan of fantasy. It's idea is good but like religion people who do it mess it up. I think that fantasy should get out of the Medieval era. No more Dungeons and Dragons please:)
    You should think about your story and move it to a world you invented without any borders. Use your imagination and write it well then you have a great book or short story whatever you decide.
     
  5. Alex C
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    Alex C New Member

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    I don't think there's such a thing as an overdone character that is archetypal, whether the king is the villain or the good guy. It's how you spin the character to the audience. I'm a BIG fan of kings, queens, swords and castles kind of fantasy. That being said, it can appear dry if you haven't built him in a way that's unique to your story, similar to... So many of Martin's characters. LOTS of what some may consider 'overdone' characters, but given the right traits/faults, can be made into really good reading.
     
  6. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think that's true.
     
  7. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    We have a good variety of works in the Workshop but a lot of the talk on the boards - is definitely fantasy stuff.
     
  8. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    2 kings who are married, or Henrietta's 8 boyfriends. Kings are always just fine. People's hearts leap and they swoon when they see a new one of 'their' books in the series - on the shelf. Enjoy the write and if you change your mind make him a grandiose builder, cowboy, cat breeder..
     
  9. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    A villain needs to have power to be an effective villain so I guess this is one of easiest ways to bestow it upon him. Plus if the King has turned bad then he affects more than just your protagonist so the stakes are higher should your main character fail. For the record though by far the most common villain I've encountered in books have been sorceror's, diplomats, other high ranking officials with the King ending up being the patsy in the plot. I agree though that it would be worthwhile seeing a differnt kind of villain from time to time.
     
  10. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    It doesn't matter. If he's the kind of fantasy King that actively rules his kingdom, there will be people in his land that hate him and people that love him. How to decide which side of him shines through the story is dependant on who's pov the story is written from and what the king's actual goals are.

    I don't write fantasy, I wouldn't know where to start!
     
  11. J.W.Exeter
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    J.W.Exeter Member

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    This might be just me, but I never get tired of a good Evil King/Dark Empire story. So long as the King/Empire feels believable and real.

    Looking back through Roman history alone, there were plenty of emperors you could have easily considered to be evil, so it's not like it's an unrealistic character.
     
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  12. Sheriff Woody
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    Sheriff Woody Active Member

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    Using kings as villains in the same fashion as everyone else is overdone.

    If you have a new take or twist on a kingly character, by all means, do it!
     
  13. Empty Bird
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    Empty Bird Member

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    Exactly!

    It doesn't matter if he's a King. Being a King (hopefully) isn't going to be his main character aspect, anyway. He's going to have other personality traits, an agenda we haven't seen before, something else, something else...

    If you want an evil King- go for it! Don't be put down by people who moan that they've read too much of this and that. People like to read certain formulas a lot of the time. You pick up a book and read it- why? Because that's the thing you like to read. Just because Freddy hates Kings, doesn't mean all of a sudden you should ditch evil Kings. Sally over there might really love them!

    You're not going to be able to please everyone. It's a sad, hard fact we have to accept.

    If you can write an engaging evil King, you go ahead and write an engaging, evil King. As long as he's your own character, no one's going to mind.
     
  14. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that overpowered characters are overdone, and that kings are overpowered characters. To look back to when I played Call of Cthulhu, I get tired of meeting Cthulhu in the first adventure; I'd rather just get a fuzzy snapshot of something that might be a Deep One.
     
  15. BoddaGetta
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    BoddaGetta Active Member

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    Many times in history the king isn't the one holding the true "power" in the land. It is even more relevant to today, where many monarchs are often glorified mascots of the country, rather than having complete control.

    It would be interesting to read a story about an irrelevant figurehead.
     

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