1. shelabama
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    shelabama Member

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    Hiding an Antagonist in a Protagonist.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by shelabama, Feb 16, 2012.

    I've been thinking over a plot idea since October and it finally seems to be coming together. However, I'm wondering if my plot can handle what I have coming for it. Here's a little background:

    Foster Kitch is fresh out of Boston University with a degree in Journalism. After a father and two older brothers than devoted their lives to football, Foster has decided to follow his own dreams, but still feels the need to prove himself. A company has agreed to sign him on, big time, if he can get a story worthy of the front page. Foster decides to follow a string of murders spanning more than two-hundred years, believed to be cult activity, and never solved (but always remaining open, as a new murder happens approximately once a month). He moves to New Orleans, LA, where the murders are currently taking place.

    Every muder in New Orleans has taken place in Audubon Park, so Foster rents a house just outside the park so he can be close to any developing news. Across the street from his rental house lives a mid-twenties girl named Emily Roux. Foster, new to the city, befriends Emily. She helps him do research, tells him everything she knows about the city, and generally is there for him to vent to or talk to when he needs a shoulder.

    Now, my main problem...Emily is the killer. She is one of the last living (*currently unnamed creatures*) that is initiated into this immortal world of killing humans to sustain life. Emily was initiated by her Mother and Grandmother, who were also some of these (*currently unnamed creatures*). They obviously appear human, act human, eat, sleep, etc., but they also kill. Emily moves around every 20 or so years to avoid suspiscion. Her mother is dead; her Grandmother is not.

    Do you think it will be possible to make a main character turn out to be the bad guy that my other main character is chasing?

    On top of all this, I have already decided on how these "creatures" can be killed. They can only be truly killed by someone they love and trust. So if Emily falls in love with Foster, and he figures out what she is...he could kill her. But I want to avoid all of the cliches.
     
  2. TheTranskinator
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    TheTranskinator Member

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    This sounds like a very interesting concept. I don't just think that making a main character the antagonist is possible, but I think that in this case it's the best choice. My only concern would be either making it overly obvious or failing to make the reader actually care about the two main characters' relationship. But if you write their relationship well and make the revelation of the true culprit right I think that the story could be very emotionally impacting and have an excellent climax.

    And also, most stories are cliche in some senses. As long as you make the relationship between the two characters believable and touching I think the cliches that could possibly be present won't even be noticed.

    Also, as you may be able to tell from my post, I really enjoy reading stories that portray relationships well and have good plots. Which I'm sure is a trait common among most readers...
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Happens all the time.

    The question is not whether it can be done. The question is whether you can write it. You'll only know if you try, and whether you can keep trying until you succeed.

    Read. Read mystery and suspense thrillers, and stories of intrigue and espionage. You'll find plenty of examples, and you will also see how the writers mislead you and yet keep the characters believable in their betrayals.
     
  4. shelabama
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    shelabama Member

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    Thank you (both of you) for your advice.

    Somehow, it seems that I am wanting to write a mystery novel without having ready many mystery novels myself. I think this definitely calls for a trip to the library.
     
  5. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Don't forget to supplement your reading with some brilliant mystery movies/TV: Hitchcock films, The Illusionist, Dark City, Memento, The Machinist, and Fracture to name a few I like. Oh, and Are You Afraid of the Dark?
     
  6. Jamez
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    Jamez Member

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    Some recommended reading for this: The Exception by Christian Jungerson.
     
  7. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Oh, and if you are interested in fantasy/mystery: The Dresden Files.
     
  8. shelabama
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    shelabama Member

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    Thank you very much! I'll add these to my list.

    (I actually own Fracture! Amazing movie!)
     
  9. PhillySS
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    PhillySS Member

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    This is a really interesting concept. I try to do this with some of the short stories but i can never achieve it :[ if you come across any good advice pm me:D
     
  10. Force
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    Force New Member

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    I recommend you read Hunter by Robert Bidinotto. I think the concept and yours is simliar, without the supernatural stuff of course :).
     
  11. riggbren
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    riggbren Member

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    It can definitely be done. Like others have have said, just keep the relationship between the characters believable.
     
  12. Imprive
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    Imprive Member

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    It's been done many many times before. I've read a few books that have had the MC turn out to be the antagonist. There is one by Ian M. Banks called Use of Weapons in which you learn at the end that the protagonist is actually the antagonist and the person who you thought he was had been dead for a while (it sounds confusing, but once you read it you will understand).
    In the book above you did not learn this until the very end, but other stories can reveal that information earlier on. All you need to do is concel some information, and possibly throw in tiny little hints (if its a mystery or the MC learns about the true identity by putting pieces together).
     

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