1. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Start a novel from the villain's POV?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Lifeline, Jan 7, 2016.

    I think I have seen a similar topic here before but I can't find it right now, even though I have looked. If it is out there, could you point me to it? That said...

    What do the collective mind think about starting a novel from the villain's POV?

    Thanks in advance for all opinions! :)
     
  2. WriterMMS
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    WriterMMS Member

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    Make sure your villain gets plenty of chapters as the story progressssses, dont just give him a single chapter or the reader will just go wtf y is this even here.
     
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  3. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Good point! Will get on with it ;)
     
  4. Rob Rowntree
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    Rob Rowntree Member

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    Think it would be okay. Make sure your villain is multifaceted - villains are people too. Make them interesting and as the above poster said, make sure they stay around. Once in to the novel if you have a chapter for the villain and then one for the protags, pretty soon people will be into the rhythm and it won't matter.
     
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  5. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    If it starts with the villain pouring acid on puppies, the reader may assume they're in for a cliche story. It sounds like you villain might have some depth, though, so there's no huge reason not to give him the opening.
     
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  6. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    :D I am biased of course, but I think he will stay quite prominently around in the mind of my readers!

    I am writing character-based, so no chance of anything like such things happening here. That would be much too simple! ;)
     
  7. Rob Rowntree
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    Rob Rowntree Member

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    Sounds good.
     
  8. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    My prologue is a flashback from the villain's POV before she became totally evil. It sets the stage and makes you wonder what happened to her. Works for me for now.
     
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  9. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    I am jumping right in with a splash :D
     
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  10. Bandag
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    Bandag Member

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    You can write any POV you want as long as it helps tell your story. If it's interesting to be inside the villain's head at the start of the book, then get inside that head.
     
  11. Tea@3
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    Tea@3 Contributing Member

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  12. Tea@3
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    Tea@3 Contributing Member

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    I think your issue may be far different from mine, which entails a potential betrayal of the reader resulting from the lack of an important reveal, necessary at the outset. Sounds like your is a straight up consistent POV for your villain, no switch mid stream. I don't see a problem with that at all. In fact, I think a lot of books/movies begin from the antagonists' scenes well before the protag is ever introduced.

    I real 'girl who played with fire' recently and it started from the bad guy's perspective/scenes. Interesting. (not holding it up as a great novel, by any means; just citing an example)

    If I think of any more I will return.

    Make sure I understand, you are not meaning full on antihero, you mean there is a good and bad guy and you want to start from the bad guy's angle first?

    Should work, IMO
     
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  13. disordinary
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    disordinary New Member

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    It's acceptable to do a single chapter if its a prologue, epilogue, or the instigating event imo.
     
  14. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    No there is no betrayal of the reader ahead. Everyone stays more or less who he is (disregarding growth of character). I have this POV & MC who is the antagomist but without him there would (perversely) be no happily ever after. He is a figuratively twisted *shiver* human being but is in a way still understandable, and more explanation would reveal spoilers. Yeah, one could designate him as the bad guy :)

    I wrote the first scene from his POV yesterday and it is amazing how much tension can be added by only about 1,000 words. Makes for a much more sympathetic reader towards my real hero and MC. So I think it works, speaking from experiment :D
    Have to let the bad now speak throughout the novel and see how that affects the storyline. I don't expect major changes, as I have ever included the bad guy as a menacing presence in my mind. Now he just has a true POV :D

    Yes that was the thread I remembered, thanks :)
     
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  15. NeighborVoid
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    NeighborVoid Active Member

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    I actually write villain-archetype protagonists more often than not. Speaking from experience, the most important thing is to not make the villain an unambiguously evil edgelord who is justified through the revelation of a sob story.
     
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  16. Tea@3
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    Tea@3 Contributing Member

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    The more I think about it, with my story (referencing our 'sister threads' here) I think the Dragon Tattoo/Played With Fire example may work fine for my purposes.

    That book(s) bounces back and forth between Lisbeth and Mikail as co-MC's which didn't strike me as odd at all while I was reading it.
     

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