1. QueenVictoria73
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    QueenVictoria73 Member

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    Do my antagonists deserve more attention?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by QueenVictoria73, Aug 11, 2010.

    I've noticed that all of my "good characters" tend to be more well rounded and complete then my "bad characters". The good ones are all very dynamic and round, with flaws and contrast of interests ect., but the bad ones are very static stock characters. For example, I have the greedy, stuck up business woman, the bratty-princess-rich-girl-bully, and the heartless, powerful gang leader. Is this okay or should i spend more time developing my villains?
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Depends on the story. If it's more plot-driven, you might get away with it. If it's character-driven, you want them to be more realistic.

    Think about what roles your villains serve in the story, and go based on that.
     
  3. Aeschylus
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    Aeschylus Contributing Member

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    It really depends how important a role these characters play in the story. For example, the gang leader is rarely seen by the reader but merely affects the story subtly through the actions of his gang, his own personal character doesn't matter much. But if he's on a first-name basis with the "good guys" or has his own POV/scenes, you want to round him out. Same for the other villains. It depends how significant they are in the story. But it also matters how the POV character(s) see(s) them.
     
  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that even if you don't devote a lot of pages in the book to these characters, _you_ should know them, and know why they are the way they are and do what they do. Most people see themselves as the good guys in their own stories, so I think that it's important to know how these people explain their actions to themselves.
     
  5. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    Yes, antagonists deserve the same attention as any other chars in your story. In many ways, they are the ones against which protagonists' characters are measured against. So, they are important.

    But it is not always feasible to develop them as well as the protagonist, may be the plot requires them to be just static... in such cases, as chickenfreak said, you should give us a page or two about how they have become what they are and why they do what they do. In that regard, recalling a past incident involving the antagonist is always helpful.
     
  6. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Even if they play a small role in the sense that the POV character doesn't see them much (like what Aesch was referring to), or even if they can get away with being flat, they still have to have a motivation for being an antag. What causes them to get in the protag's way? What is THEIR goal? This is pretty simple to come up with -- you don't have to go overboard with their psychology or internal struggles or anything, but it's still important.
     
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    My first story only two of my antagonists are given much air time and the only one that is sort of developed gets shot in the next chapter:)

    In the second one I develop them so much that in the end only one antagonist remains and right now I am the only person that knows who he is, not sure if I am going to reveal it.

    You have to do what is right for your story, my stories are not about the antagonists they are about the main characters and developing them. I only give them the time I need to develop my main character.
     
  8. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Seems like your gut feeling tells you they need it, since you are asking the question. Go for it.
     
  9. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe you need to get more in touch with your own dark sides so you'll be able to see the world from the villain's perspective. If you fully understand and feel what drives your villain, he/she will become much more believable and have much more of an impact on readers.
     

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