1. NewRealities
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    NewRealities New Member

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    Making a villan the main character?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by NewRealities, Jan 7, 2013.

    So I've been working on a story for a few months, now, but I'm a bit conflicted about how I'm handling it. Basically, the story starts off kind of like a "buddy movie", where two unlikely companions have to team up to accomplish a mission. And through the beginning, the older of the two is portrayed as the main character. But the twist I wanting to throw in was that by the time the two become good friends, the protege of the pair is revealed as a double agent and kills the mentor. From there on out, the protege takes over as the main focus of the story.

    I wanted to do this to create the spark that would begin the "villan's" process to becoming "good". I thought that if I could build up and destroy the relationship between the two, it would make the villan realize the moral conflicts of their life and change for the better. Because, essentially, the killer partner is part of a much bigger organization that they come to see the wrong in and wish to escape.

    I feel like I'm kind of rambling at this point, so I'll cut to the chase: My goal is to have the protege character be consistently likable throughout the whole story. But in killing the person who I initially build up as the main character, am I crossing lines that will prevent that from being possible?
     
  2. XIII
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    XIII Member

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    In my opinion, it all depends on the, ah, "villain's" personality. If he is a fun, likable person who is pretty carefree and easygoing, then he'll most likely have more fans than the other guy. But if he's mean and stuck-up, making him kill off your original MC will most likely make people angry with you. In conclusion, as long as that character has a likable personality, no lines will be crossed... Well, not too badly, at least...
     
  3. NewRealities
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    NewRealities New Member

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    The personality is exactly what I'm going for- they're a very friendly, outgoing, and even naively innocent at times, so killing off the original MC should come as a complete shock. She's just following orders, doing what she believes to be right.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A villain is just a character. Characters are the essence of fiction. Solve for X.
     
  5. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Wasn't Captain Ahab the villain and main character in Moby Dick?
     
  6. Wilmeister
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    Wilmeister Member

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    A villain as a main character is a good regardless of personality, just keep the reader's interest and make the character like-able. I'm writing a story in a similar vain, the main protagonist is actually the antagonist people like it.


    (P.S.)
    Friday the 13th is a very successful series of movies, BOOKS, etc. Jason is the main character, unlike Michael or Freddy, he is believed to be the antagonist, but is in fact the protagonist
     
  7. Perplexity
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    Perplexity Member

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    Oh have I wanted the main characters of books to be villains. I don't know why but I've always been thirsty for a good story in which the main character was bad. (I'm not talking about a fantasy story, but a straight fiction story.)
     
  8. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Really the more I think about it, the more I realize that there are more instances of "villains" being the main character. On the television show "Dexter" would you consider him a villain?
     
  9. Perplexity
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    Perplexity Member

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    I don't watch the show Dexter, and the only really thing I can think of is a book I read a long time ago called Villain.net. There are books where there main character is "portrayed" as a villain by other characters and don't actually turn out to be, but I haven't came across a straight villain as a main character.
     
  10. Man in the Box
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    Man in the Box Active Member

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    Death Note.

    It basically has the roles reversed, with Light being the villain/protagonist and L the "hero"/antagonist.
     
  11. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    I wouldn't worry about crossing any lines, as long as you write a good story that interests your readers, it really won't matter if lines are crossed. Besides, I think the idea of reading a story from the "villian's" pov will be a welcome twist to the usual hero vs villian stories we read everyday. Show us what you got ^^
     
  12. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Captain Ahab is the main character, but his character is written by the crewman Ishmael which somewhat alters things. It's his perspective, his judgement that makes the story hang together. If the book were written either in the first person by the captain, or in the third person with him as the MC it would have been very different. I can't imagine that many would have enjoyed the book, simply because lets face it, the guys an arse.

    As to the OP, yes I can see a villain on the road to reform as being a good MC to write and read. But you face two conflicting problems. If you want to make the character likeable from the get go, then the killing will shock and upset readers, and they might not be able to trust him again. Especially if he's still the same after, i.e. still likeable.

    But if he's not likeable in some way, then readers simply won't like him, though they would likely accept that he was the sort of person who would murder his buddy.

    You have to steer a careful path between these two rocky shores.

    My thought would be that you should use other emotions based on guilt etc, to plot his path. Before the killing he's surly and uncommunicative - he know's he's got to do this terrible thing. After he's filled with guilt. But he can't be easily happy go lucky, or he would not be accepted as redeemable.

    Cheers, Greg.
     

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