1. JGC137
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    JGC137 Member

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    Fantasy War Dilemma

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by JGC137, Feb 22, 2009.

    Hello all =) Here is my dilemma, in typical fantasy stories, the good guy always has a bad guy, but what if the story is from the bad guy point of view, how would you go about it?

    Example: Your main character is a werewolf and is 'evil'. Your enemies are either vampires or humans.

    Now what thoughts come to mind to create a not to neither typical nor boring 'war' between them?
     
  2. Leo
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    Leo Senior Member

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    You've got to show how the bad guys really aren't so bad after all- create some sympathy for them. For example, werewolves have to change every full moon, they don't have a choice. And once they change they're out of control and they kill people- and hence they're bad.
     
  3. best_fullback
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    best_fullback Member

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    Yeah as said above really. Every character has to have strengths and weaknesses so the other side (the 'good' side) must have some flaws which render them not so perfect.

    Perhaps you feel their persistent war against you for just being werewolves is a form of scapegoating and unjustified.
     
  4. Paul_V
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    Paul_V Member

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    As an alternative, banish the concepts of good and bad from your mind. There aren't any "good guys" or "bad guys." There are simply vampires and werewolves. Why do they fight? Millions and millions of reasons. Resources (the humans, territory, etc), the right to rule, as a result of an ancient vendetta, competition turned nasty, because the gods will it so, etc.

    You might want to dig a little deeper on the origin of your creatures. Who created them? Why? Are there any common denominators for each race (ferocity for the werewolves, cunning for the vampires, resourcefulness for the humans, etc)? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What do they want, as a race? Who are the heroes and legends of every race? How were they, personally? What made them famous? Reading RPG books will help on this regard, especially those of White Wolf that begin with all these names. Not saying that you should rip off, but they might help you. The key here is asking the questions that a curious reader would. Once you answer them, their reason to fight will become obvious.

    Oh, and I almost forgot the most important question: What Makes Your Vampires/Werewolves Different?
     
  5. Leo
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    Leo Senior Member

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    Agreed, I do find the concept of 'good guys and bad guys' can get a bit stale- in reality there are no good guys and bad guys, only different sides of one war.
     
  6. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would nto try to make the 'bad' guy seem less bad. Make them vile and despicable. But also give enough insight into them so that the reader can understand, and relate to them. Look at Darth Vader; the dude was a BAD guy. By the end of the story, however, we can see why he is the way he is. No one would want to be his friend, but we can atleast understand him.

    I think that makes for a more compelling story, a bad guy we all hate, but that is still human (acts in human ways, is driven by human desires)
     
  7. JGC137
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    JGC137 Member

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    My Werewolf is cunning, handsome, wealthy and evil, ruthless. He changes at will, not because he has too. Even when 'changed' he's in control. He has other very different features but I don't wanna give it away. His parents and him are the leading clan, all other werewolf clans basically follow their lead. This is set in a futuristic NY.

    I'm trying to figure out if I should stick to vampires being the enemy or remove them and just use humans as the 'enemy'.
     
  8. Paul_V
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    Paul_V Member

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    So, he's basically a vampire who doesn't need to suck blood? You know, since (in some stories, like Dracula) Vampires can transform into wolves as well...

    You miiiiiiiiight want to dig a little deeper.
     
  9. Leo
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    Leo Senior Member

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    Maybe a mix of werewolf and vampire qualities- but fighting more of their own kind. Having them up against puny humans seems a bit...one sided.
     
  10. JGC137
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    JGC137 Member

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    lol he doesn't 'suck' blood but he eats girls.
     
  11. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Doesn't seem too one sideded if there are 6.x BILLION of us and a few thousand of them.
     
  12. Paul_V
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    Paul_V Member

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    Well, colour me unimpressed. What makes him different than the countless other vamps we've seen? He needs to perform a heinous act to sustain himself, which allows him to continue to keep on living a life of power. Pardon me if I roll my eyes now. Sure, you have some minor cosmetic differences (Gasp! He's actually a werewolf! By golly!), but that still doesn't even begin to separate itself from the clichéd mould.
     
  13. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    Now, I can relate to that. I'm bonding with your character already.

    Seriously though...

    I think the old good and evil struggles have been getting pretty stale. And if your protagonist is clearly a 'bad guy', then you should certainly keep him that way. The most interesting stories these days take the perspective of a villain as he goes about his villainous way. We like to condemn him when discussing the book... but when we are reading, we indulge in sick fantasy and thoroughly enjoy it. So, by all means, explore this character's disgusting nature.

    Nobody wants to listen to: "yeah, we're all good people, eh? Let's hold hands and Kumbaya."

    If I read your story I would like to be shocked. Show me just how despicable this monster can be. Because in reality... "We're all sick mother____, eh?

    I'm not sure if you really need an epic 'war' at all with a character like this. If you can really bring him to life, the character himself would be much more interesting than some kind of contrived struggle. Maybe he has a very naughty human girlfriend who likes it ruff. Perhaps they rule the drug trade. I can't imagine better enforcers than werewolves. That would give you plenty of conflicts. Maybe they fight with other werewolf packs. Those annoying upstarts! Bad guy vs bad guy is always better than bad guy vs good guy.

    Once in a while, if you really want the good vs evil conflict, you could just have them joyously slaughter the hapless twits on the side of light. You know, a nice little treat once in a while, like going to a fancy restaraunt. Then they go back to the more serious business of crushing that rebel clan.

    But I also think that the vampire/werewolf conflict has been done to death. I would drop your book like a ton of bricks as soon as I caught the words vampire and werewolf on the same page... sorry.:cool:

    If I were writing this, though, I might drop the war theme altogether, and just focus on him more personally.
     
  14. JGC137
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    JGC137 Member

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    Your completly right. Thank you for your imput. Its nice to see i'm not the only one that enjoys slaughter lol:p I think i will drop the 'war' and vampire thoughts. Just because Werewolves exist doesn't mean Vampires have to in my world =)
     
  15. Maveryck
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    Maveryck New Member

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    I would stay away from a vampires vs werewolves theme. Underworld comes to mind everytime I read mention of vamps & wolves battling it out. Have the werewolf fight against some other nefarious group. Like a band of witches, for example. Maybe the witches were behind the creation of werewolves. I dunno...just throwing it out.
     
  16. JGC137
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    JGC137 Member

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    I never actually said he was completely different. I plan to use the stereotype to my advantage and exploit it. People think werewolf and think fury monster that can eat you. lol What's wrong with using that, but making it terrifying and unique all at once with the circumstances of the story?:p
     
  17. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    You write the bad guys the same way you write the good guys.
    One thing you have to remember is that bad guys RARELY do evil because they just want to do evil.

    Either, the bad guys THINK that what they are doing is GOOD, with earnest sincerity, or; they can't HELP but do the evil.

    In the first case, there is often no help for them, unless you can SOMEHOW make them 'see the light' and comprehend the reason that what they are doing is evil.

    In the case of the latter, the person has a few choices:

    1. He can realize that he cannot quell or suppress his desire to do what ever evil he may do, and consequently become purposefully evil without regret.

    2. He can continue through out eternity to attempt to repent from his ways, but continually fail until death.

    3. He can, in the end, find a way to not do this evil thing that he never wanted to do, but could not help.

    Think of a kleptomaniac. That person has these three options, I think, which I have noted.
    There are other, more -- creative options, but I leave those to your own imagination. ^_~*
     
  18. Paul_V
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    Paul_V Member

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    Unless you can put an interesting or unique spin into the stereotype itself, you won't catch many eyes, if you know what I mean. If you use a character out of the cookie-cutter mould and just insert in an otherwise original and unique story, then it's going to lower the quality of said story, simply because you didn't take the time and effort to think it through. Just FYI.

    Atari: You forgot some options. You assume that this character is mentally stable and normal. You forget sociopaths, psychopaths and other variations of the insane. Also, there are people who aren't guilt-wracked or that particularly enjoy performing such heinous acts. They simply rationalise them as necessary. There is a broad spectrum of human emotion that can't be accurately summed up, so you actually have to give some thought to what your character is feeling, and get to know him and his motivations.
     
  19. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    As I stated, Paul; I cannot name every option in existence. Those are the three base options, though.

    Personally, I think even 'insane' people are a bit more sane than given credit for. (Save for, perhaps, the REALLY big lunatics who just don't know what on earth is happening)
     
  20. ManicParroT
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    I think the best type of evil characters are the ones that are clearly bad (they cause enormous amounts of trouble for the good characters), yet the reader is at least partially persuaded by the logic of the situation from their perspective.

    That's the mark of a good writer. When I read George R R Martin's books, I get indignant on behalf of the good characters when they get screwed over. I become angry at the bad guys. And then, when he switches perspective, I grudgingly come around to seeing the bad guy's point of view.

    In The Stranger, Albert Camus writes about a man who is essentially a sociopath. It's written in first person, and yet I felt inclined to come around to his perspective, because Camus writes it in such a way that his internal logic becomes accessable and compelling.
     
  21. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I agree. The way Camus writes it makes society look like the bad guy.
     

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