1. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    I Need an Antagonist

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by JTheGreat, Feb 17, 2010.

    I'm working on a story, and it's awesome. I have cool characters, lots of angst, some action in planning.... Just one problem though: I have no villain!

    My story is about an alchemist, the Time Alchemist. Count Draven has cultivated a way to actually slow down time through the process of cooling the molecules in the air, thus slowing them down.

    He, his niece Kathryn, and his swordplay student Drake are setting off on a journey to the Archives of Esperanza, a library holding the key to the Philosopher's Stone. The journey there routes through Sanri, a desert land where alchemy is taboo.

    Characters include Drake's disfunctional family, the count's housekeeper, an orphan girl, an owl, and a chessmaster princess.

    The princess is an anti-hero, but other than that there's no solid antagonistic character.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    i usually need to create a source of conflict to come up w/ a 'villain'. also, elaboration on what the source of angst is exactly might help lay the ground work for antagonism.

    maybe someone trying to do the same thing, a rival? or trying to stop the Count? or do the exact opposite thing: heat up the air, accelerate time?

    yours seems like the kind of story that could make good use of polarity (good/evil, black/white, ect), i'd consider developing that.

    just my 2 cents
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    how does fiddling with time make him an 'alchemist'?
     
  4. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    By definition, an alchemist is a scientist (or wizard, if you want to look at it that way) that studies the chemical nature of something, breaks it down, and reconstructs it. Count Draven does exactly that, but with molecules in the air.

    It's not magic or anything because it follows the rule of Equivalent Exchange. The heat from the molecules gets absorbed into the alchemist's body. So if he attempted to turn back time or stop it all together, he'd burn up.
     
  5. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    There's lots of philisophical issues in my story. It follows the Fullmetal Alchemist method of alchemy: a transmutation circle is drawn with certain symbols, and alchemical energy is summoned to react in ordinance with said symbols. The energy comes from the souls of the deceased. There is a flow in the world, and the passing of souls contribute to that.

    The residents of Sanri are raised to believe that tinkering with the flow is sinful, which is why they detest the alchemists. Ehh... I hate rhyming.
     
  6. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    im vaguely familiar w/ fllmtl achmst but most likely not enough to give much feedback about achemy in general. the taboo aspect of the story does sound pretty interesting tho; i usually like a cultural/sociological slant to a story personally.

    edit: perhaps the/an antagonist could be the leader of a/the group opposing alchemy or something..?
     
  7. coldu
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    coldu Member

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    He didn't say it did make him one.
    He said he was a alchemist who time travels, not that time travelling makes him an alchemist.
    It's like saying, how does a hoop of fire make a dog a dog simply becasue he jumps through it. Now, that is nonsensical.
     
  8. iolair
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    iolair Active Member

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    Your villain could

    ... think all this alchemy stuff is unnatural / against God and must be stopped. (He could come from the Sanri culture you mentioned).

    ... want to steal the secret of time for himself
    (bonus points if he has some big personal reason for wanting it ... stop some terrible event in his past, maybe one he caused, from taking place).

    ... be a political opponent of the count, maybe as simple as wanting the Count's lands or assets

    ... be a member of Drake's dysfunctional family that is particularly resourceful and wants to ruin things for Drake (again probably because of some event or series of events in the past he blames Drake for)
     
  9. Cosmos
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    Cosmos Contributing Member

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    All the villians iolair mentioned sound good to me. What was said about an antagonist is true--in order to have a good antagonist you have to understand what is the "problem" in the story. What is the conflict? What are some complications? Once you discover what stands in your hero's way you can create a character that creates this for him.

    For that matter you can even choose one of the characters you've already created and make them a backstabbing villian, particularly if being the hero's ally gets them closer to their goal (money for the alchemist's idea, the ability to slow down time that he's created, etc.). Figure out what stands in your hero's way and then you can figure out who stands in his way much easier.
     
  10. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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    One word. Zombies. XD

    You could have an evil guy that uses alchemy to bring the dead back to life. Simple and evil.
     
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  11. writewizard
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    If it allows for it, what about an annoying sibbling that contrasted everything the man said? That would be an antagonist. The only time you would have to add them in was when they were arguing.
    WW
     
  12. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    from what little i know of alchemy according to fllmtl achmst, that's not as simple as it sounds..
     
  13. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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    Thats why it's the antagonist. He can have a back story of how he can raise the undead!
     
  14. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    LOL, sorry but, I'm on Team Ninja.

    An alchemist who controls homunculi (humans brought to life by alchemy) is usually the easy way out in alchemy stories. My idea's a litle too much like Fullmetal Alchemist already.
     
  15. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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    Homunuli are completely different from zombies. I'm talking about a horde of zombies! You need to read a little more other mangas before you start a story about FMA. Since i think you're trying to write a story right after you saw FMA. Though, you could say that it is a Fan fic of FMA.

    Anyways, good luck!
     
  16. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    It's not a fanfic since it includes none of the characters and doesn't take place in the FMA universe. My alchemy just follows the same rules as that of FMA's alchemy.
     
  17. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    Thanks, but I'm looking for more of a main antagonist. Minor antagonists will be added later.
     
  18. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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    You can still use zombies though. They are slow and stupid. Make them turn on their creator. So that he can only make them and run away. He won't be consided a neccromancer then.
     
  19. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    Great ideas. I think I like the second one, since I'm an over-achiever.

    I was working on a rough antagonist: Estella. Her older brother was killed, and he was her only family. She spiralled into hysterics, and to this day crazily studies alchemy to find a way to bring him back because she knew he would've done the same for her.

    I cut her because the story was becoming imbalanced on boy-to-girl ratio, and I wanted it to be geared towards both genders. I guess I can keep her if I add more male supports.
     
  20. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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    Hey, i'd rather have 100 women and 2 males then 100 men and 2 women.
     
  21. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    If you could expound more upon the cultural nature of the taboo against alchemy...?

    'Sinful' has a distincly religious connotation, seeming to set the path for conflict w/ the existing religious order, IMO.

    True & i can relate on occasion but most ppl who actually read & invest themselves intellectually & emotionally in a book don't want anything that's obviously been done innumerable times. If you're writing TV or a movie maybe, but cliche's don't sell books from what i know.
     
  22. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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    Zombie books do.
     
  23. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    Zombie movies sell. Zombie games sell. Zombie books sell, but have to be cleverer than their media cousins, who can get away with basic, overused zombie memes. That said, as long as an author broaches such worn but convenient archetypes with tact and determination, and takes time to develop the characters up and beyond horror/drama & zombie fodder, the genre can be done well. Same with vampires, who've been around longer than zombies, and yet there are enough innovative vampire books out there to garner the audience they do.

    Movies can get away with more mindless, easily consumable crap than books. Ofcourse nothing's new, everything's been done. But some concepts have been done so much that the bar is set high, requiring more originality than others. Keeping that in mind in general is a good practice, especially when working in very competitive genres.

    That said I love a good zombie movie & videogame, but I've never read a zombie book, and it would require a lot of said innovation. Not that I never would.

    Only my opinion tho.
    (Yes, I realize this is an inproportionate response, lol. philosophical/writing exercise)

    @J: i wouldn't mind helping you brainstorm if you expand on your plot a bit more
     
  24. Neoaptt
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    Neoaptt Banned

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    Hmm.. You make a good point. Most zombie books have science behind them. Or a reason as to why they are there.

    I'm not saying that mindless killing of zombies is a good thing, or a bad thing. It just depends on how you are writing.

    Since Horror have the most reconized sub topics (aka: zombie, monster, vampire) there are sub sub topics. Such as, Zombie romance, zombie action chick flick (no idea how that would work out.)

    So saying zombies in general just defeats the purpose of any type of zombie cliche. Though everone can connect to a good zombie book.

    Survival is a basic instinct of humans so we can instanly connect with the zombie apocolypse. It helps bring society to it's nees and still have that feel of reality that most fantasies do not.

    But i guess this is a fantasy so it up for grabs on what you want.

    Oh and Anonym. Try this zombie book. I think you might like it. it's an audio book and online so you can lissen to it anywhere. http://www.podiobooks.com/title/the-zombie-chronicles-escape
     
  25. Anonym
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    Interesting, I agree with you for the most part, but at the risk of derailing this thread I digress.
     

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