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  1. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Teamwork?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Melzaar the Almighty, Mar 16, 2011.

    I have 2 villains in my story - one who is absent and removed from the action, who basically went through anything up to 10,000 years before the setting of the story and put together the elements my main characters are trying to undo. He has more of a symbolic value of destruction and bad decisions. But he's still alive so the main character can get his closure.

    I have a second antagonist to counter the protagonists on a more personal level, popping up wherever they go and making their adventure a little more interesting. All 3 "sides" will soon be in the same place, but I'm wondering... In previous drafts the local villain had nothing to do with the big bad but I'm going more into his psychology, and I could make a very valid subplot of they've been working together, quite logically. After all, even though one of them is a crazy elf from the beginning of time with genocidal leanings and one of them's a bored upwardly-mobile member of the local aristocracy who's got more money than sense and a craving for treasure and power, I think they might get along.

    Do you think, symbolically, it might cheapen it for the big evil villain to have minions running around helping him out, no matter how validly he could logically do it? Should I keep him removed and aloof like how he's always been, as a sort of looming, undefined threat through the whole thing, or shall I make him more of a puppetmaster who directly influences the action? It'd make for a tighter plot, probably, for just a few extra lines of explanation, and make the presence of both villains in the same place a little easier to understand.

    Aaargh, I've trimmed and neatened up this plot so much and the end's the last bit driving me crazy. I know I could do it either way, but I can't decide between a final neat twist to make it all glue together and be excellent storytelling, or staying true to the random events of the original plan so the symbolism holds true and the story makes more sense on a meaningful level... Bleh?
     
  2. Mezza
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    Mezza Member

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    I think depending on how you write the story you could go either way. If the character is aloof from the action, and your MC is cleaning up a mess he made some 10K years in the past why would he have a minion running around stopping them? That just makes no sense. Whereas, if he's been stirring the pot the whole time having a minion makes perfect sense.

    Something else to consider is if the reader knows about the bigger bad guy. If not bringing him in as the leader of something bigger and badder than they before thought can add some extra tension to the story, even if it's a bit cliche. Even if they know about him making them team up could be a surprise that makes things more difficult for your hero.

    Ultimately it depends on where you've taken the story, where you want it to go, and what makes sense. If you want it to stay true to things as you've laid them out here than I'd say no minion. The big bad guy has been aloof from things, so why would he have a minion.

    After all "The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. No more. No less." Why would they team up?
     
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  3. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    The main plot is essentially a treasure hunt with the big bad guy responsible for the placing and nature of the treasures. He's therefore irrelevant to the immediate plot because it's a bit of a give away to have him standing giggling outside various temples and caves and whatnot :p The smaller-scale baddie is currently also treasure-hunting for personal gain rather than the altruistic reasons the main characters are doing it (well, actually, totally selfish reasons, but that's a different subplot :p). Still, there's a freakish amount of luck involved in some of his discoveries as he beats them to the treasure two/three times out of the four. Although...

    Now I think about it, if I removed that and made it so he knew where to go (essentially acting on behalf of the big bad to keep the treasure safe) I'd not only remove his motives of greed which make a good theme and cast him as Generic Motiveless Villain, but I'd also have to write him into the massive section I just wrote where he missed out on the treasure when his dumb luck ran out and he went to excavate totally the wrong sunken cursed city (you'd be amazed how many there are :p)...

    So actually, unless I want to do a massive re-write, I can't have him being told where the shinies are. -__-;

    I should really think these things all the way through before I post them. :p Thanks for asking that question, anyways. Saved me a day of trying to figure it out on my own. :D

    I'll continue with a vague plot where luck plays its part to keep everyone on the same track, and preserve the integrity of the story instead of making it a silly treasure-hunt romp. I'm sure that's how the movie version will play it anyway once I'm rich and famous. :p
     
  4. Lothgar
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    Lothgar Contributing Member

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    You don't get to be a "BIG" evil villain if you have to run around doing all your dirty work yourself.

    How does one go about being a removed, looming threat, without being a puppetmaster using minions and influences to create the threat that is looming? Is it even possible?
     
  5. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    It is indeed. If he had minions running around making trouble, he would not be removed nor looming: he'd be a fact of life. As it is, he hasn't appeared once, except a couple of lines of dialogue in a memory where he was being a good father and teaching his son some nice things. And a few pages from a textbook he wrote (being a scientist and all). The people he killed were the results of (sometimes deliberately) bad experiments or wars created by them, which he did pretty much on his own, relying on charm, "good ideas", and very powerful magic to convince people to let him do the experiments in the first place.

    He's constantly mentioned, and the main character being his son, there's enough of the personal aspect and an inbuilt fear from childhood which keeps him feeling frightening because of the enormity of standing up to someone who, the story reveals, the main character is always teetering towards becoming himself. As we're getting closer to meeting him I'm beginning to layer on how he's crazy, unstable, and how he might be potentially dangerous.

    Like I said, the other villain keeps the plot moving, exciting, and with good enough tension not to fall into a steaming pile of rubbish like it was the first few drafts, but because everywhere they go the results of all the terrible things the big bad has done are all around them, he's a totally valid end boss kind of villain. :p He doesn't need minions, as I have realised today, because he's already done all his work, and left people to create new problems of their own out of the mess. He's very much a "curse you with what you wanted the most" sort of guy.

    Sorry, thought this thread was over, but your doubt spurred me to reply :p
     

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