1. mystrian101
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    mystrian101 New Member

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    Are my evil characters...

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by mystrian101, Jun 18, 2011.

    ...way too cliche? I need help making them better. Here's my cast of main villains:

    Zyaji- Lord of Darkness, cold and cunning, part black dragon.

    Velu- Zyaji's Daughter, seductive, vampire

    Zonafu- Velu's brother, merciless, shadow ghost

    Jalixio(HA-Leex-eeoh)- Hired general from the dark realm of Yovania, maniac, part demon

    Slith- Strong hired general, earth elemental, axe wielder


    Of course, it is pretty cliche as the genre I am writing needs this(plus I kind of grew up on the whole idea of "Lord of all Evil" playing Legend of Zelda and fighting Ganondorf.

    Any suggestions and help would be nice!
     
  2. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    Seductive female villains are done to death, imo. I'd love to see a villainess who was simply badass, maybe even ugly and comfortable with it. Though Miho from Sin City (guardian of prostitutes) manages to be both sexy and badass, but she doesn't try to be suductive. I'm not sure if she counts as a villain though.
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    These all seem cliche to me. Lord of Darkness? Come on.

    WHY are these characters evil? What is it they want to achieve, and why, that makes them evil? Do they just want to "take over the universe" or something like that?

    Give your villains a REASON to be villainous! "Well, I'm the Lord of Darkness, so I guess I have to be evil" isn't enough.
     
  4. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    ^ Good question. Any good villain needs a good backstory, they can't just be evil for evil's sake, that's boring.
     
  5. katica
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    katica Senior Member

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    ^ No, being evil for evil's sake is unrealistic. Everyone believes that they are the hero of their own world and that the reason they are doing whatever they are doing is a good reason, even if what they are doing is a bad thing.

    If all your villains are is the things you listed, then yes, they are boring. If you have more depth to them than that, backstory, motivation, etc., then you can use all these villains and them be interesting. You have to challenge yourself to make them interesting.
     
  6. Malo Beto
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    Malo Beto Member

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    Sounds like you just gave everyone a name, a race, and a vice. For the most part they would be pretty boring. If you want realism you should at least give them a few redeeming qualities or at least explain how they became the epitimy of evil.
     
  7. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    How can a half-dragon have a vampire daughter and shadow ghost son? Not sure if I want to see that family tree. :p And btw, what the heck is a shadow ghost anyway? Ghosts are usually too etheral to cast a shadow, and shadows can't die and become ghosts?

    I agree that they are quite a bit clichéd. Lord of Darkness? Seductive, female vampire? Part demon? If that general was an actual demon, I might be a bit more interested. Why are all half-breeds?
     
  8. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    I'm pretty sure this is a troll. Sorry if not. And I don't think there's any genre that needs such cliches.
     
  9. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Can't really say if these villains are cliche until you give us more info. What are their motivations? Do they have things they care for? Just because someone is a villain doesn't mean they can't have children they love.

    Villains are really only cliche if they are evil for evil's sake.
     
  10. mystrian101
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    mystrian101 New Member

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    No this isn't a troll, and I've had these characters forever and I kind of like the cliches. I just need help developing them into something slightly more original. This is my actual stuff. Maybe I didn't really explain too much, so at first glance they are a bit cliche.

    The reason he's the Lord of Darkness? I've actually been working on this for a while so... here's sort of the backstory, as told to the protagonist sometime in the story.

    He was once like you Xhalite... he believed he could save the world from all evil... About seven generations of White Wizards ago, back in the 3rd age, he was a White Wizard like you. In fact, he was of your element, Earth. Back then, the world as we know it was a total mess. Ruled by a terrible entity whom was corrupting the governments of each country. The White Wizards knew they had to put a stop to it, and Zyaji was their leader in this operation. Somehow though, he was influenced by the madness, and felt that instead of defeating the evil, he'd take it's place and become much greater and the lead the world into great prosperity. This was a lie, he drank from the immortal waters and gained enormous power. He not only overthrew the powerful entity, but he destroyed it. The beginning of his rule was peaceful, but then, slowly, many countries were taken over... history repeated itself... In time, his affinity changed to dark because of his lust for power... The other White Wizards tried to stop him, and they did succeed in sealing the majority of his soul in the gap between dimensions. He swore that if he ever got out, he would annilate all the White Wizards and their descendants. But, he has others that do his work for him. They are trying to revive him by using the power of the sacred stars, you must stop them!

    Of course, that is a rough draft, but I hope that explains a little. I also have no idea how to explain all that without boring the reader....
     
  11. mystrian101
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    mystrian101 New Member

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    Reply to all:

    Well, at first glance they are evil for evil's sake, but that's not completely true. Sure, "Lord of Darkness" sounds evil for evil's sake, but I just posted a rough draft of the back story for that guy. And, yes, Zyaji love his son and daughter, but mostly because they are doing his work for him. Velu likes the hired general, Jalixio, even if he is somewhat insane. I even wrote a throw away story of them playing super smash bros. In fact, with a lot of characters I've wrote stuff similar to that.

    But on with the point. Zyaji, he's almost evil for evil's sake, but really, he just wants revenge against the White Wizards and has become dark affinity due to his soul getting changed by his anger. Velu, well she's a vampire so she basically goes after people for their blood by her nature, but still likes to laugh and enjoy herself. Zonafu, he's silent and hides behind his demon skull mask and stays in his shadow form most of the time. He hates the White Wizards just as much as his father since he was killed by one and turned into the dark ghost thing. Jalixio(imagine Grimmjow from Bleach, but looks different, sounds different, and has the same sort of personality), he worked his way to the top so that he could take Zyaji's place at the right time(and because he likes Velu). Slith, he's just a powerful axe wielder without much purpose, he is basically in control of the army. Most of his brains are in his muscles if you know what I mean.

    Hope that clarifies things further!:)
     
  12. mystrian101
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    mystrian101 New Member

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    More clarification:

    Okay, yes, I see your point. If you look at the post above, I think I explained the shadow ghost part. But you kind of got confused I see, now, he's a ghost made of shadow, a shadow being, a dark soul. The daughter is a vampire because she once had a vampire boyfriend a long time ago.
     
  13. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    I'm still not sure why you like these cliches. I think cliches can be used but only sparingly, otherwise your characters will become trite and dull. If you want people to read your work I'm sorry to say that these characters are going to need a big overhaul. Still, a starts a start. :)
     
  14. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Then your villains are not evil for evil's sake. They have wants and desires. You've already started fleshing them out so they aren't two dimensional cardboard cutouts.

    Villains that destroy stuff just to destroy stuff don't work out very well in stories, unless you are Evil the Cat from Earthworm Jim. :)
     
  15. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Writing them is how you make them not cliché. All characters are clichés - they come from stereotypes (or archetypes if you don't want to sound like you're slagging off literature as a whole) which make them recognisable to the reader, from their function in the story to their perception from the point of view of society. It's just up to the writer to twist them into a story that is engaging to read. We can never forget that everything's been done before and we're just playing with it.

    So I'm guessing your question is more "is it awful that they're so obviously cliché?" to which I say, we can't know without reading the story. If you have the class to pull off a campy fun story with super over the top villains, then go for it.

    Just remember, most characters will sound cliché if summarised in a few words with their role in the story. It's why writers hate being asked what their story is about so much.
     
  16. Mr Mr
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    Mr Mr Active Member

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    Mabye try switching up their traits, if you realy want to be different you could do:

    Zyaji- Lord of Darkness, cold and cunning, fairy. (bad example, thought it would be funny)

    Slith- Strong hired general, water elemental, axe wielder
    an axe wielding, strong, earth controlling general is very cliche, mabye try another element or build?

    It doesn't matter too much if your characters are cliche aslong as they're interesting and well written
     
  17. JPGriffin
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    JPGriffin Senior Member

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    As much as I hate to talk down on some characters, the base traits are way overdone. I like to think of those as more video-game-based villains, just because nobody cares about their story, but about their abilities. These characters aren't completely trash, though. Switch them up a bit (a seductive vampiress is too predictable in strategy, elementals are good, but don't use fire or earth, and the shadow creature is fine, but only with a unique set of abilities) and they won't be as dull or boring, and make sure that their motives are present, their origins explained, and just generally give them more than a single trait to be known by.
     
  18. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    The way you described them is cliche. Before everyone copied it - in sone way - sparkling vampires were new and fairly original - and stupid.

    If the characters are no deeper than the description you gave them, then yes, they are cliche. Add another dimension to them, and they will appear cliche, but at least be a tad interesting.
     

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